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Hairstylists and barbers out of work due to COVID-19

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SHREVEPORT, La (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana’s ‘stay at home’ mandate is putting a lot of self-employed people out of work.

“You kind of go into survival mode. ‘How am I going to survive this?'”

Nicci Hardeman and thousands of other hairstylists are stuck at home, unable to operate after Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order on Sunday, shutting down all non-essential businesses.

RELATED: ‘We are far from OK.’ Gov. Edwards urges residents to heed stay-at-home order

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years. This has never happened. We have never had to close our doors for this long period of time.”

Hardeman owns Salon 90210 in Bossier City, where she works with two other hairstylists. It now sits empty.

“Most people don’t really understand that we are a small business. If we don’t work, we don’t eat.”

Despite the mandate from Gov. Edwards, Shawn “Bos-Man” Boston says people are still trying to get their hair cut.

“People still want hair cuts. Where are you going? We’re shut down. Where are you going? You can’t go to the club. You can’t go nowhere.”

They say if they don’t keep their doors closed, they could get their licenses suspended or even worse, revoked.

“Is the money that important to jeopardize your whole family?”

Boston owns Bosman’s Barber College. He says the situation is also affecting student’s hours. Many won’t be able to graduate on time and state board testing could be postponed.

The pandemic could also have long term effects for the entire industry.

“If it lasts as long as they’re saying, some barbershops might have to close their doors.”

Hardeman says with so much uncertainty, there’s only one thing she can count on.

“I choose faith over fear. I’m not afraid. I know that God is in control of everything.”

Boston plans to start offering some virtual classes next week for his 34 students.

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