Everything You Need to Know About the Nancy Pelosi Hair Salon Controversy

09/04/2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed herself in hot water after a recent salon visit.

On Tuesday, the congresswoman sparked controversy after a video surfaced of her Monday visit to a San Francisco salon called eSalon. In the surveillance video, which was leaked to Fox News, Pelosi can be seen receiving a wash and blow-out indoors, all while failing to wear a mask for the entirety of the clip.

It should be noted that many salons throughout the state of California remain closed or have been forced to operate outdoors due to the state’s recent coronavirus guidelines. According to current San Francisco coronavirus orders, salons in the area were only allowed to begin operating outdoors on Tuesday (Sept. 1st). All indoor hair services were prohibited on Monday (August 31st), when Pelosi’s salon appointment  was scheduled. Since eSalon is located in San Francisco (on Union Street to be exact), it is subject to all city and county directives. By granting Pelosi an indoor salon visit on Monday, the salon was in direct violation of the city and county’s order.

Pelosi’s salon visit sparked claims of hypocrisy from many people who believe her behavior not only contradicts lockdown orders but also her earlier statements about taking the pandemic seriously.

With all the talk surrounding Pelosi and her salon appointment, we took the time to answer all of the questions that you might have about the now-viral incident.

How Has Pelosi Responded To The Controversy?

Pelosi’s spokesperson Drew Hamill released an initial statement to POLITICO on Tuesday defending the lawmaker’s salon visit.

“The Speaker always wears a mask and complies with local COVID requirements,” he said. “The business offered for the Speaker to come in on Monday and told her they were allowed by the city to have one customer at a time in the business. The Speaker complied with rules as presented to her by this establishment.”

He added that Pelosi wore a mask for the entirety of the salon appointment and only took it off when she was getting her hair washed.

Just a day later, the congresswoman laid the blame with the salon owner during a press conference on Wednesday, claiming that the salon owner “set her up.”

“I take responsibility for trusting the word of a neighborhood salon I’ve been to over the years many times, and when they said we’re able to accommodate people, one person at time, and that we can set up that time, I trusted that,” Pelosi told reporters. “This salon owes me an apology for setting me up.”

As for why she was mask-less during a part of the footage, she had this to say: “I just had my hair washed. I don’t wear a mask when I’m washing my hair. Do you wear a mask when you’re washing your hair?”

Did The President Really Tweet About The Incident?

  Yep! President Donald Trump released a series of tweets on Wednesday, including this one:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1301570802551324672

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi said she was ‘set up’ by the beauty parlor owner when she improperly had the salon opened (and didn’t wear a MASK!),” Trump tweeted. “Does anyone want a Speaker of the House who can be so easily SET UP?”

As if that wasn’t enough, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany played the video of a mask-less Pelosi at eSalon on a loop during a press briefing on Thursday.

What Was The Salon Owner’s Response?

During a press conference with reporters, eSalon owner, Erica Kious denied there being any sort of set-up, per a local CBS affiliate’s report.

Kious claimed that an independent stylist at her salon, named Jonathan DeNardo made the arrangements with Pelosi for the salon visit and that she was not involved in the matter.

“I understand Mrs. Pelosi says she was set up by me to come into the salon and be filmed,” Kious said. “Of course, since I had no contact with Mrs. Pelosi or her team for any of this and Jonathan is the only one they communicated with, if there was a setup, it only could have been Jonathan who orchestrated it. In fact, not only did I not set her up, her assertion that she is a victim and set up is totally false and outrageous.”

The owner also shared that she was responsible for leaking the footage to Fox News and only did so, when she saw that Pelosi was not wearing a mask.

“I realized that it is absurd that she felt safe and gets to choose to go to the salon while others are prevented by the state and local restriction from making the same choice,” she said.

Nearing the end of the conference, Kious got emotional as she voiced that she feels Pelosi owes the American people an apology for her actions.

“Hairstylists and other small business owners in San Francisco and elsewhere are doing what they need to do to survive,” she said. “The point of releasing this video was to show a woman in a high-risk age group who spend much of her time on TV warning about the dangers of COVID-19, feel safe and comfortable in a San Francisco salon, and can be responsible for being cautious and mindful. Why can’t the rest of San Francisco and the rest of America do that too?”

In the aftermath of the incident, Kious shared that she has been receiving a number of death threats, according to Fox News.

Why Are People Protesting?

Following the controversy, dozens of women sporting curlers in their hair and blow dryers took to protesting outside the lawmakers home on Thursday.

The women, wearing plastic that resembles a beauty salon smock, gathered around Pelosi’s San Francisco home to string up curlers and blow dryers in her trees.

According to a tweet from San Francisco Chronicle photojournalist, Jessica Chastain, these women are “angry salon customers” who want to be able to get their hair and nails done again.

What are your thoughts on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent salon controversy? Let us know in the comments!

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Camille Nzengung

Camille Nzengung is a Features Editor at The Tease, where she covers all things hair. You can find her writing about the best hair products, the coolest hair trends, and all the exciting new hair launches.

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