California COVID-19 Update: New Guidelines for Personal Care Services and Outdoor Hair Salons

The California Department of Public Health issued new guidelines for Personal Care Services on July 20, 2020, for massage therapists, estheticians, cosmetologists, and nail professionals. Outdoor hair salons also have new guidelines. In addition, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (BBC) issued new guidance on July 20 regarding BBC licensees who intend to perform personal care services outdoors.

Personal Care Service Guidelines

The major changes clarify the July 17, 2020, Executive Order allowing Personal Care Services to be performed outside, but not inside:

  1. Electrology is not allowed to be performed outside due to the need to be performed in sterile areas (page 2).
  2. Personal Care Services may be provided outside. Tents are allowed so long as no more than one side is closed in order to allow for better circulation (page 3).
  3. Masks are required for practitioners at all times. Masks are required in all “public and workplace settings where there is a high risk of exposure” (page 3).
  4. Salons should not offer indoor services (page 3).
  5. Facials and beard trims remain allowed so long as the worker is wearing a face mask and a face shield to cover their eyes. Gloves should be worn during the entire service (page 12).
  6. There should be plexiglass partitions between nail technicians and clients if possible (even outside) (page 13).
  7. Non-latex gloves should be used for facial massages or other hands-on work to the face. These services should not be performed if the mask needs to be removed (page 13).

Outdoor Hair Salon Guidelines

Major changes for hair salons and barbershops providing services outdoors include the following:

  1. Must provide access to shade and water for employees and customers (page 5).
  2. “Hair salon or barbershop operators must provide and ensure workers use all required protective equipment, including eye protection, face shields, and protective gloves when necessary.”
  3. No more than one side of a tent may be closed to allow for proper air ventilation.
  4. Must maintain six feet distance between workers.
  5. Must establish an outdoor reception area. Use plexiglass barriers where social distancing cannot be achieved.

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) & Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (BBC) Guidelines

New DCA/BBC guidance on performing personal care services outdoors provides the following:

  1. Shampooing, electrolysis, and all chemical hair services including, but not limited to, permanent waving, relaxing, bleaching, tinting, coloring, dyeing, and straightening may NOT be performed outside due to lack of “adequate drainage and improper waste disposal.”
  2. Outdoor spaces in which licensed services will be performed shall be located in close proximity to the original establishment. Approved spaces include sidewalks or parking lots near a licensed establishment that can be closed to public access while client services are being performed. 

In addition, the DCA/BBC also issued Notice of Disciplinary Priorities, which you can review here:

It is our understanding that counties will not be allowed to open back up until their metrics go down for a two-week period of time. Some counties have announced plans to shut down for three weeks from July 12, 2020. That timeline may be extended. As you are aware, what is happening in California regarding COVID-19 is fluid and subject to change. These updated guidelines apply to you, but your county’s guidelines take precedence. Please stay informed on what is happening in your county ( to find out your back-to-practice date. It is important that you follow your county’s reopening guidelines. On the linked webpage, scroll a third of the way down, click on your county, and then go to your county’s COVID-19 website. 

We appreciate your membership and will continue working on your behalf to update you as we learn more. Please check our COVID-19 page ( for updates. Be safe and be well.


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