New Brunswick

Hairstylists look ahead to reopening with precautions

With the province set to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, hairdressers are getting ready to reopen and tend to clients who have gone without haircuts for over two months.

Green light could come as early as Friday

Fewer chairs and more face masks could be the new normal at hair salons in the province going forward. (Jason Burles/CBC)

With the province set to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, hairdressers are getting ready to reopen and tend to clients who have gone without haircuts for over two months.

The "yellow phase" would allow barbers and hairstylists to reopen, as long as proper precautions are in place.

Sarah McGrath, the owner of Shear Beauty Salon, said her salon has been getting lots of messages from clients.

"Just wishing us well but then also kind of asking if we know when we're going to be open," said McGrath.

Gaye Cail, the executive director of the Cosmetology Association of New Brunswick, said her organization in turn has been receiving lots of calls from hairdressers about when they can reopen to the public.

"Our goal is basically that if we can do the proper protocols, keep everybody safe, then we will be able to stay open even if there is a second wave," said Cail.

"In our industry we already do a lot of sanitation and sterilization and disinfection anyway. So it's just the added PPE and a few other things."

New normal

McGrath said she's looking forward to getting back to work, but acknowledges it won't be business as usual.

"So far we've put up a Plexiglas barrier around our front desk and we have one between our shampoo stations and the nail techs have them," said McGrath.

"We currently have eight chairs, but we have to go down to only having four going at once."

The Cosmetology Association of New Brunswick has been receiving lots of calls from hairdressers about when they can reopen to the public. (The Associated Press)

McGrath said the salon will also maintain a log book detailing who came in, at what time and when they left to better assist with any possible contact tracing.

Thor Alder, the owner of Urban Soul Hair Salon, said his operation is a one-man show, so he doesn't need to prepare his workspace for multiple people to be there at the same time, but he will still be taking precautions.

"I have the face shields here," said Alder.

"I have the disinfectant for when the person arrives and you also have to do a survey to make sure they haven't been away or in contact with other COVID people."

Bottom line

Alder expects the pandemic will have a mixed effect on his bottom line going forward.

While he expects a huge spike in customers at first, he also knows many people have lost their jobs because of the pandemic so may be unable to afford some services.

While many people have been waiting to get a haircut, economic realities may put a damper on some hairstylist's business. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

"It's quite possible that you'd have a lot of people come in for hair cuts [and] colour," said Alder.

"Long term you might have a situation where people aren't going to be able to afford their hair colour."
 

With files from Information Morning Fredericton

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