PLEASANTON (KPIX 5) — One barber in the East Bay isn’t waiting for health officials to give the OK to open his business. He has taken matters into his own hands and is running an underground shop out of his garage.

It could be happening In a garage near you. These so-called “backdoor barbers” and are making a living on the down low. The man KPIX 5 spoke with on the condition he remain anonymous said he sees four or five people a day.

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He claims he is just cutting hair for “family members.” Apparently, he has a lot of family.

The barber said he was getting low on money and it was a necessity to work.

“It’s my livelihood, so I keep it going one way or a other,” the barber explained. “And If I can do it in a safe manner, then I feel there is nothing wrong with it.”

He said he first started cutting hair in a garage when his started his career years ago.

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“It’s like my roots. I start in the garage cutting hair and then transitioned to a shop,” he said.

Hair stylist Tara Piaskowski with Terra Bella in Pleasanton is waiting for the green light to start styling hair again.

“The thing about our industry is that we thrive on being creative. We can be creative to ensure the safety of our clients. That’s how our brains work,” said Paskowski.

She says she doesn’t want to lose her license breaking the rules, but doesn’t understand why stylists can’t restart under a controlled environment. She maintains stylists already operate under controlled environments in order to have a license.

“Sanitize your tools, no reusing your tools in between clients, new drapes, every time wiping down all surfaces and the door handles and washing your hands,” explained Paskowski.

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The anonymous backdoor barber KPIX spoke with said he knew he was putting himself at risk for fines and even getting his license suspended, but that he was willing to take the risk in order to make ends meet during these trying times.

Juliette Goodrich