This year has forced several once thriving businesses to close indefinitely as states enforced regulations to stop the spread of COVID-19. For nine months, owners have had to adjust and find new ways to stay connected to their clients — and with unreliable government assistance, the pressure on small businesses to support their staff and pay their bills is tremendous.
So many industries have been feeling the weight of these restrictions, but hairstylists especially so. Due to the intimate nature of their work — and, many would argue, unfair categorizations by government officials — they've often been the first to close and the last to re-open. California stylists are currently on their third lockdown this year. Some are facing mountains of debt, poverty, and even homelessness.
Now more than ever is the time to show them our support. Call your representatives, donate if you can, and make sure they know you care. "My clients are so dope, and have shown up in ways I never expected," says Dez Marshall, a barber at Classic Men in Downtown Brooklyn. "As soon as non-essential businesses were closed, my clients hit me with donations. Some who can't come in for cuts have sent payments as if they did come. Others check on me via text or email, to make sure I'm doing OK."
Hairstylists, who often serve as therapists and confidantes, deserve our support — and what better time to show them we care than during the holidays? "Gifts are my love language. No matter how big or small, it's the absolute best feeling to be surprised with a gift picked specially for me," Sabrina Yamani Yamga, the NYC colorist known as "Sabrina The Hair Witch," tells us.
We asked stylists for the gifts they would love to receive this holiday season. In addition to direct financial support, these are the items that made it onto the top of their wishlists.