Is It No Longer Illegal for Barbershops to Cut Hair on Sundays in New York?

An archaic law may have been long overdue for a cut.

  • Published
The state of New York has repealed an archaic law that banned the act of barbering on Sundays. It is now technically legal to operate barber shops on that day of the week.
Image via Berenice Abbott/Wikimedia Commons

Claim

As of July 13, 2021, the state of New York has repealed an archaic law that banned the act of barbering on Sundays. It is now technically legal to operate barber shops on that day of the week.

Origin

Some old laws need to be “shaved” from the books, and one particular rule in New York was no exception. According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a rule that not many knew existed in the first place is no longer on the books.

As of July 13, 2021, it is no longer illegal for barbershops and any form of hair-cutting services to operate on Sundays. Anyone breaking the law could have technically been charged with a misdemeanor, or fined up to $5 for the first offense.

Cuomo tweeted about the repealing of the law, calling it “archaic,” and overusing some rather pointed puns:

But the law does not appear to have been applied in a long time — this reporter can confirm she has received hair cutting services on a Sunday in New York City.

Cuomo also said that “we’re not feeling blue” to see the law go, referring to the old blue laws from which this restriction originated. According to the New York Times, the hair cutting restriction derived from Puritanical religious laws banning a number of activities on Sunday, the Sabbath day. In 2016 Cuomo repealed a similar law banning the sale of alcohol before noon on Sunday.

The bill repealing the law stated:

This is an antiquated law which, while perhaps only loosely enforced, is no longer necessary. By lifting this blanket prohibition, establishments will have the option to open their doors for business on Sundays; that decision should rest with the owner, not this outdated law.

Given that Cuomo has confirmed the law’s repeal, and the bill repealing the law is available to peruse on the New York State Assembly’s website, we rate this claim as “True.”