New Brunswick

'Step away from the clippers,' barbershop owner advises customers amid COVID-19

Barbershops have barely been closed for two weeks because of the coronavirus, but for some people itching for a beard trim or haircut, that’s a long time, and there’s no end in sight. 
Jeremy Gilmer said he's about two weeks away from cutting his own hair. (Gary Moore/CBC)

In the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, there's a contingent of individuals who will be experimenting with new looks, particularly hair styles. 

Barbershops have been closed for barely two weeks because of the coronavirus. But for people itching for a beard trim or haircut, that's a long time, and there's no end in sight. 

Jeremy Gilmer of Fredericton goes to the barbershop for a haircut every couple of weeks, and a beard trim weekly. 

"That puts me in big trouble, I'm going to start looking pretty caveman if I don't start dealing with it soon," Gilmer said laughing.

Chad Livingstone usually gets a haircut and a beard trim every two weeks. (Gary Moore/CBC)

He said he can handle his beard on his own, but his hair is a growing concern.

"I'm terrified of having to go to sheep shearers and dealing with it in a definitive way."

If barbershops can't reopen in another couple weeks, he's going to attempt to cut his own hair. 

"If I make too much of a mess of it, if it gets really botched, I'm probably going to have to take it down to turf level."

Chad Livingston is a barbershop regular also. He gets the same haircut every two weeks. 

"I fade from a skin fade to a clipper number one, and then finger length on the top," he said. 

Livingston said he's not brave enough to cut his hair himself, and has decided to let his hair grow during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He said he hasn't had long hair since he was in high school, and described it as his 'hockey hair days'.

Rob Reese said to 'step away from the clippers' if you're thinking about cutting your own hair while barbershops are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Gary Moore/CBC)

"When the hair starts touching my ears, that's when I really start to squirm but I'm going to put up with it — I've seen some of the handmade haircuts and I kinda want to avoid that."

Rob Reese owns the Royal Barbershop, and has some advice for his customers over the next few weeks. 

"Just hang in there and step away from the clippers," Reese said "my best advice is ... don't do it, just wait."

He recommends people who have beards do the basics to maintain them.

"Keep it simple, try to straighten your lines on your beard, don't really go too much into the beard."

But he strongly recommends that people not attempt to cut their own hair. 

"It's like a doctor trying to operate on himself," Reese said.

And his best advice for people who are annoyed with having longer hair?

"Use a little bit more product, kinda get it to stay down a little bit better, don't try to cut it 'cause it's going to be uneven,"

Reese shut his doors two weeks ago and had to lay off his staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He said he's helping his six staff members work through the government programs for funding.

He's expecting his shop to be busy when things get back to normal, and anticipates hiring some new employees to help shear the wave of people desperate for some grooming.

About the Author

Gary Moore

CBC News

Gary Moore is a video journalist based in Fredericton.

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