Petition urging Governor Kemp to deem beauty industry essential service

The owners of Pigtails and Crewcuts in Smyrna are among the thousands to sign a petition directed toward Gov. Brian Kemp.

With more than 9,000 signatures, it’s calling on the governor to allow all licensed beauty professionals to continue operating as an essential business.

"There is the hygiene component,” co-owner Will Howard said about being an essential service. “At some point, it does become, it could become, somewhat of a health risk."

Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

The petition notes that all necessary sanitation protocols set forth by the state would be followed.

"We are looking at moving one of the stylist chairs into the party room. So you'd have one client in the main room, then one client in the party room so they have the maximum amount of distance between them,” Howard explained.

We also talked with the owner of Austin’s Barbershop in Lawrenceville.

"We would practice social distancing by limiting the amount of people within the barbershop. Before we closed, I limited the amount of waiting area seating,” Austin Harris detailed.

Many barbershop and nail and hair salon owners across Georgia have been struggling lately to keep the lights on.

"For us to not have any money coming in, it really hurts,” Bonnie Howard, co-owner of Pigtails and Crewcuts, explained.

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.

The closures have forced many shop workers to file for unemployment or try to find other sources of income.

"A lot of these people, especially my barbers, are head of their households, so to stop their income fully where this is what they do, not part-time, is hurting a lot,” Harris explained.

The Howards said they are using their savings to help them cover expenses like rent and utilities.

“We can manage for a little while and just keep hoping and writing to the powers that be,” Bonnie said.

The creator of the petition said the “survival of the independent beauty professionals is at risk.”

The goal is to have businesses to reopen on April 27.

App users click here for live updates

Know how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting Georiga

Best prevention measures:

• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.

• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces


Symptoms, testing and how to prepare amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

Who is most susceptible to coronavirus? COVID-19 not just affecting older people

Coronavirus cleaners: These products will kill COVID-19, according to the EPA

Coronavirus and pets: Your cat or dog probably can’t get COVID-19, WHO says

Will sick leave protect me if I get ill from coronavirus? 5 questions answered

RELATED:, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.

Live map: Tracking coronavirus in Georgia