Following a prolonged hiatus, the lights are back on at numerous hair and beauty salons, barbershops and other personal care service businesses.
“We’re all happy we’re back to work and we can’t wait to get started,” said Shawn Lewis, a.k.a. Bucky the Barber, who owns Custom Cutz Barbershop in Pickering and Whitby.
Lewis says although the shop is fully booked for at least the next two days, he’s never been happier to be so busy.
The barbershop owner says he spent his personal savings to keep his business open.
“That’s really all I had to keep the boat floating,” he said.
“But now the government is starting to help us a little bit more, they’re starting to ease up a bit more, so we’re just happy the doors are open and we can get back to work and start paying our bills again.”
The shop is following COVID-19 measures to a tee, with an outside washing station and loads of hand sanitizer inside, all in an effort to keep customers safe.
For customer Trisha Kalia, the reopening means no longer having to play ‘Edward Scissorhands’ for her son.
“It feels good that mom’s not the hairdresser anymore,” she said.
Over at The Nail Salon and Spa in Ajax, all hands were on deck as employees worked non-stop to serve customers like Alicia Johnson, who was in the chair for a much-needed mani-pedi.
“It’s like somebody cut my fingers off, something is missing, so I was really looking forward to today,” Johnson said.
Owner Amy Train says she has been overwhelmed by the demand. The salon was “fully booked.”
“I don’t even count how many clients have a day but yes, we are busy today.”
The province has also green-lit outdoor gatherings with up to 25 people from different households, and a maximum of five people for indoor get-togethers. Outdoor dining restrictions have also increased from four people to six at a table.
While personal care services like barbers and nail salons have been able to open, other businesses such as gyms remain closed until Ontario moves into Step 3 of reopening. The province’s top doctor said reopening likely won’t be for at least three weeks.