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Fully booked: Montreal-area barbers, salons are open and busy

Hair salons and barber shops re-open in the greater Montreal area
WATCH: It has been months since Montrealers have been able to go to a salon or barber shop for a hair cut. On Monday, hair stylists were able to welcome clients back to their chairs. As Global's Felicia Parrillo explains, while the experience may be a little different, the relationships will still be the same.

It’s all hands on deck at Venom Barbershop in the West Island.

Monday was the first day the shop was able to reopen since it was forced to shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I wasn’t sure at first if it was going to be really slow or if it was going to be busy right away,” said owner Gerry Leo. “I did not know what to expect and I’m full until July right now.”

READ MORE: A look at how Montreal hair salons and spas will operate once they reopen

In order to operate safely, the shop has installed plexiglass at the reception area.

All barbers work two metres apart and both they and their clients wear masks.

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Appointments are booked every hour to give stylists time to disinfect their stations and no one is allowed to wait inside.

Another difference: for now, Leo said the barbershop has decided to hold off on cutting beards.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Hair stylists and barbers worry about long-term harm to industry, do-it-yourself cuts

“We’re gonna do whatever we can get away with without touching the mask and by working around (the beard),” said Leo.

Rootz hair salon also opened its doors on Monday for its soft opening. It’ll have a grand reopening on Tuesday.

Longtime clients were eager and excited to get in.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Quebec set to ease restrictions Monday

“I was very happy to come back and get rid of the grey,” laughed Zahava Grinfeld.

The salon has installed plexiglass between sinks and stations.

Hairdressers wear shields and clients wear masks and customers are asked to wait outside until it’s time for their appointment.

READ MORE: Quebec to allow indoor gatherings up to 50 people; reduce distancing for kids

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Co-owner Patric Sabbah said the experience will be different but the basics will be the same.

“Yes, we cannot offer beverages. No, there are no magazines, but we can still talk,” said Sabbah.

“We can still catch up on our lives and tell each other our stories about our kids, our families and I hope that will keep going.”

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