JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Owners and employees from Jefferson County barbershops and hair salons are concerned about the future after a mandatory shut down was ordered by health leaders.
The businesses were included in Sunday’s health order issued by Jefferson County health officer, Dr. Mark Wilson. Barbershops and hair salons in Jefferson County are now ordered closed as of 5 p.m. Monday. Measures are in place to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
While many owners understand the safety concerns, they are also concerned about income.
“This how we eat. This is how we feed our families,” said Quincy Moore.
Moore runs Moore Styles Barber Shop in downtown Birmingham. He’s been cutting hair for almost three decades.
“I’ve been doing this since I was 16 years old and my passion for barbering has brought me through many passages in life,” said Moore.
Many of Moore’s customers are friends, who have become family. He’s also concerned about some of the other barbers who work at the shop.
“I do understand, but it is hard on us just to shut down like that. Some people have children, some people have bills,” said Moore.
The new health measure will impact around 3,000 licensed barbershops in Jefferson County, according to Jefferson County Barber Commissioner Rhegess Perry.
“It could be crippling it could possibly shut down most of our licensed barbershops in Jefferson County,” said Perry.
Perry also runs Trim’s Grooming Lounge in Birmingham. He’s been working to clean surfaces and equipment to keep everyone healthy, but understands the importance of closing temporarily.
“It makes it impossible to cut hair. You cannot cut hair 6 feet away from a person and it is very unfortunate but it is definitely necessary,” said Perry.
According to Perry, stylists can make house calls at their own risk, but the commission is advising against it. Barbers like Moore are not sure how long chairs will be empty, but he is hopeful the break allows for a trimming of cornavirus cases in Alabama.
“Our health is more important. I understand. It is what it is. We just have to do what we have to do and shut it down,” said Moore.
There is no timetable for barbershops and hair salons to reopen. The health order only applied to Jefferson County as of late Monday night.