Supporters show up as Male Room Barbershop opens despite order

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HOOVER – Two weeks after announcing he would open his barbershop in Inverness before changing his mind, Male Room Barbershop owner Scott Farr has decided once again to open the doors on Friday, May 1.

Originally, Farr said he would open the doors to the barbershop with the business in need of income to survive.

But after talking with Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato and U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, who asked him to reconsider, Farr decided to remain closed at that time.

“We have reached an agreement with state and local governments not to reopen at this time in exchange for assurances that they will advocate on our behalf to reopen as soon as possible,” The Male Room’s voicemail greeting stated on April 17.

But after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced retail businesses could reopen at 50-percent capacity starting Friday, May 1, while barbershops and other close-contact businesses must remain closed, Farr changed course and has now decided to open once again.

On Friday morning, Farr had plenty of support as protesters gathered also asking for Ivey to open more businesses.

Some of the signs held by those in support of the Male Room included:

  • “Support small business. Taking names and voting!”
  • “We support the right to work.”
  • “We love our hairdresser.”
  • “Uphold the constitution.”
  • “Open the salons.”
  • “You can trim our rights, but we can’t trim our hair?”

Ivey said that she is planning to meet with the state cosmetology board either late this week or early next week to work on a plan for those other businesses to open.

But this time around, Farr didn’t budge and defied Ivey’s order by opening his doors to customers, while a DJ was playing music just outside the entrance to the barbershop.

One of the first customers in was Brian McDougal, a customer that normally would cut his own hair, but wanted to come in to make a point.

“Part of the reason I’m here is because this isn’t necessarily as essential to me as it is to the people in here that are trying to support their families,” McDougal said. “I couldn’t go without a paycheck as long as they’ve gone without a paycheck, so I’ve got to come out and support them.”

McDougal said the haircut was “awesome” and the first one he’s had in years.

“This is purely a show of support,” he said.

He also added that anybody can lose their paycheck, saying that if they can tell these people they can’t work, they can tell anybody they can’t work.

McDougal said he felt safe and that the barbershop did what they needed to do to practice the proper safe guidelines during his haircut.