Cultural Blow Back: For Lamont, A Lesson In Hair Drying

When Governor Ned Lamont issued state guidelines last week for the first phase of reopening the economy one directive was no blow dryers at hair salons as a safety precaution to mitigate COVID-19 spread. As CT Post columnist Dan Haar explains it drew a quick rebuke from black stylists and customers. Lamont heard them. Blow drying will be allowed “as needed,” according to David Lehman, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development

From Dan Haar:

“Black women are pissed, and Latino women. Do you realize, no black woman leaves a salon with wet hair? Our hair is different. Nobody does that. We’ve got natural hair, nappy hair, straight hair, curly hair, dreds, braids, locks, weaves, extensions–and you’re telling us to leave the hair salon with our hair wet?”

By Sunday night, another woman, Metashar Dillon, who has owned salons in Norwalk, New Haven, Hamden and Farmington, had organized a Zoom call with many black salon owners. Dillon also called the NAACP, the governor’s office and the Attorney General’s office.

An entire community felt singled out. For white hair clients, blow drying is optional. For African Americans, not so.

“This is crippling people,” said Dillon, the third of four generations of women in her family who have owned hair salons. “To me this is a modern-day economic lynching. When you don’t have people that can fight for me at the table, then you’re not meeting our needs.”

Full story here.



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