During her Monday press conference, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) appeared to insult barbers and hairstylists when she suggested people who wanted their haircut should just “Google” how to cut their own hair.
Whitmer, whose own hair looks perfectly maintained despite the state’s coronavirus lockdown orders (which were lifted this month), had been asked during her press conference about Michigan residents traveling to Ohio to get their hair cut, since most other businesses were allowed to open in The Great Lake State.
“If you’re one of those people that’s going to Ohio I hope and pray that you are doing your part not to bring COVID-19 home. If you haven’t resorted to that, Google how to do a haircut, or throw your hair in a ponytail or curl it and get through the next couple of weeks so we can resume some of these things,” Whitmer said, according to MLive.
Whitmer was already facing criticism from salons and barbershops for leaving them out of Phase 4 of Michigan’s reopening, which allowed bars and restaurants to begin inviting guests inside.
In a press release, Mike Sarafa of the Alline Group and Kevin Lent of BAMF X2 expressed their dismay over Whitmer’s reopening plan.
“We are extremely frustrated by Governor Whitmer’s decision to open most of Michigan’s economy while keeping salons and barber shops closed,” the two wrote, adding that Safe Salons for Michigan had created a plan to allow salons and barbershops to reopen safely.
“Not only is this gutting the salon industry, but we are also losing business to neighboring states every day. We firmly believe we are safer open than closed. We urge Governor Whitmer to review our plan and allow licensed salons and barber shops to open immediately,” the press release said.
Sarafa was further insulted by Whitmer’s comments suggesting people could simply look up how to cut their own hair.
“I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the entire industry and the over 100,000 licensed cosmetologists and barbers in the state of Michigan, to ask the governor to apologize for this remark. She is speaking about the jobs of tens of thousands of Michigan voters that are either furloughed or unemployed,” Sarafa said while briefing state lawmakers on the Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Lansing on Tuesday. “It is insulting and degrading and a slap in the face to an industry already reeling from forced closures and shutdowns, and it is tone-deaf in the height of arrogance.”
Rachel and Scott Harned were also at the briefing, MLived reported, and explained to lawmakers just how many hours stylists spend learning proper sanitation techniques.
“They actually spend 130 hours devoted to sanitation, equipment safety, personal hygiene, we teach them not only hygiene in the salon but their own personal hygiene,” Scott Harned told the lawmakers.
So far, Whitmer has not apologized for her remarks.
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