‘Unmitigated disaster:’ Hairstylists desperate to get back to work amid COVID-19 pandemic

Article content continued

“Since pet grooming is essential service, we are groomers today, as apparently we are pets of the government. We are offering pet grooming for humans,” the barbershop wrote in a pointed post on social media Wednesday. “We also have dog and cat food available for purchase.”

Others in the industry are considering their options.

Adam Spence, owner of True You Salon & Spa in southeast Calgary, told Postmedia he contemplated reopening this week but didn’t want to risk fines and put employees in a difficult situation. However, he said “next week might be a different story” with bills piling up.

A passerby looks through the window of the True You Salon & Spa in Midnapore on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia

Jeff Alford, who sits on the board of directors with the Canadian Allied Beauty Association, said instances like these speak to people’s desperation.

“These people, many of them, their entire life is on the line,” he said, adding women and single mothers, who make up a significant portion of the industry, are most greatly impacted.

There are about 35,000 salons operating in Canada and 200,000 people practicing in the beauty industry, explained Alford.

During the first wave of COVID-19 across the country, the Allied Beauty Association estimated between 2,000 and 6,000 salons would be unable to survive. That estimate, following a second wave of infections, has jumped to 10,000 that will have to shut their doors indefinitely.

“It’s turned into, basically, an unmitigated disaster for the beauty industry,” said Alford.

Tom McMillan, Alberta Health spokesperson, did not provide specifics on how many cases are linked to hair studios in the province but said the government has “seen spread in every sector, including this one” which led to Alberta’s partial lockdown.

View Source