The time has finally come.
The coronavirus is shutting down barbershops and hair salons across the country. States like New York, New Jersey and Ohio have made announcements that if you need to get that shapeup retouched or those locks re-twisted, it’s time to consider other options.
Much of Black Twitter was completely distraught.
Barbershops have become a pivotal space in Black culture for various reasons.
If you ever need to test your firm stance on sports, music or politics, the barbershop is definitely a place for spirited discourse. Yes, we have Black Twitter now, but for that face-to-face debate, the barbershop or salon is one spot to get your opinions out to those forced to listen because, well, everyone’s waiting to get their hair done.
Even if the barbershop is not the space for you to voice your thoughts, you wouldn’t dare trust anyone to cut your hair other than your life-saving hair guru who’s skilled with the clips, brush, gel, cream, razor or whatever else you need to be primped and beautified.
Barbershops have also become the place for Black entrepreneurship. A guy stops to sell the very beginnings of his future clothing line. A woman drops past to market her new incense, colognes or cosmetic supplies. On a hot summer’s day or cold winter evening, someone drops past selling homemade food to feed the soul.
Now, with social distancing and limited in-person interaction because of the coronavirus, many barbers, hairdressers, customers and entrepreneurs will lose business. A “phase three” of a stimulus package is reportedly in the works to help small businesses during the coronavirus after a “phase two” was passed this week. However, it’s yet to be known how the specifics of such a bill will help Black cosmetic workers and the people who frequent their shops.
Until then, many people took to Twitter to voice their complaints.
“The barbershop i go to is closed indefinitely and the company I work for wants us to use video chat for every virtual meeting,” wrote another user. “If this goes on for more than 2 more weeks, I may no longer be recognizable.”
The coronavirus is clearly adjusting life as we know it and in a radical way.
You can check out more tweets of devastation and hair crisis below. Continue to be safe out there.