Missouri barbershops, salons close because of coronavirus, despite no directive from state

CAMDENTON, Mo. -- Tashia Starnes is fairly new to owning a barbershop. She opened Bristle Barbershop and Academy in Camdenton, Missouri, 17 months ago.

Last week, she tried to stay open to cut hair, but six feet of social distancing is a challenge.

"I only had 10 people that were allowed to come, but they were required to stay in their car until I called them or messaged them. So there was only one client at a time on my men's walk-ins," Starnes said.

This weekend, she made the hard decision to close because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Safety, and cautions, and health is always number one in our industries," Starnes said.

The state didn't force her to close.

"Hairdressers, barbers, estheticians, and massage therapists were not in that fine line, Starnes noted.

Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and other states are banning people from going to barbershops.

"In this industry, we want specifics," Starnes said. "We're told specifics in the cosmetology state board, and I think we're expected of that."

KY3/KSPR's Andrew Havranek asked Governor Mike Parson's office if he would consider doing the same.

So far, there's been no response.

"If we don't get up and running within three to four weeks, what are we going to do," Barnes asked.

She said the best way to help your local hairdresser or barber during the coronavirus pandemic is to buy your hair products like shampoos, conditioners and gels from your local salon. Clients are also encouraged to buy gift certificates from their barbers for later use.