California Salons & Restaurants Sue Governor Newsom


Since 1999, the Professional Beauty Federation of California has striven to give voice to California’s 620,000 hair/skin/nails licensed professionals and 53,000 licensed barbering/beauty establishments. In recent months, they have been very active in trying to keep the so-called “non-essential” but safe businesses in operation, including a concerted #OpenSalonsNow campaign and peaceful demonstrations up and down California. 

The beauty industry joined with restaurants in suing Governor Newsom to compel the immediate and permanent reopening of our quintessential small and proven-safe businesses. 

The vast majority of this industry is made-up of women-owned and operated establishments, including a huge percentage of first generation immigrants and those from the LGBT community. Ten months into these lockdowns, the State has failed to produce any “data and science” justifying the criminalization of the services of these state licensed professionals. 

“Our small businesses, less financed and politically connected than multinational corporations, Hollywood and other so-called ‘essential businesses’, have become the go-to sacrificial lambs to the Covid gods”, stated PBFC Counsel and Advocate Fred Jones. “This has been ruinous for thousands of our establishments and the livelihood of tens of thousands, without any justifiable basis,” he further stated. 

Lead counsel and high-profile Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos commented: “What has become obvious is that the Governor and so called health officials never followed ‘science or data’ on closing down outdoor dining or capricious lockdowns of safe barbershops and beauty salons. Instead of following the science they followed the Lobbyists and allowed film companies to utilize hairstylists and makeup artists, while preventing the same services to be done in salons by the very same trained professionals. By definition this is ‘unequal treatment under the law’.” 

“Cutting hair is a criminal act in only one State in the Union,” reminded PBFC President, Ted Nelson. “Governor Newsom is arbitrarily and needlessly destroying the livelihoods of state licensed professionals who have the formal education and training to keep their clientele safe from infections, as the CDC has acknowledged. Shame on him!”, concluded Mr. Nelson. 

The PBFC has recently been doing much to prop-up, defend and advocate for the beauty industry, including guiding over 10,000 beauty professionals through the PPP application process to get them desperately needed federal relief dollars through a partnership with an approved SBA financial institution. Beauty professionals can go to for more details.

To read the full lawsuit, click here.

About PBFC 

The PBFC is a nonprofit trade association that was formed in 1999 to give voice to the over 600,000 licensed barbering/beauty professionals in California to raise the professionalism of the beauty and barbering industry. While their mission has never changed, their scope of representation has expanded in recent months, as they blazed the reopening trail for all 

Personal Service professionals throughout the United States, demanding the respect these safe and honorable trades deserve. For more information please visit

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