'I desperately need a colour': Toronto residents eager for salons and barbershops to reopen
TORONTO -- When Anthony Passero’s Yorkville salon is cleared to reopen, it’s going to look a little different.
His Cumberland Street walk-up is now coated in signs that highlight the importance of hand washing, social distancing, screening and disinfection practices. Plastic covers debit machines and remotes, while hand sanitizer and surgical masks are prominent features at the reception desk.
“Our standard was already very high, so we’re just stepping it up a little more,” Passero told CTV News Toronto. “Showing that, you know, we know what we’re doing, we’re educated in what we’re doing, and make it a safe place for everyone to continue to come in.”
Passero’s salon has been closed since late-March when the province ordered all non-essential businesses to shut down. The 34-year-old says that the closure has been a tough blow for himself and his stylists, who are eager to get back to work.
In the meantime, he says his team has been working to ensure that everyone in the salon will be protected when he does reopen.
Passero’s eagerness is shared by many Toronto residents who say they can’t wait to get back into their salon or barbershop.
"I have been missing it drastically. I have very thick hair and I’m used to thinning it out every month,” said Meaghan Martin.
Like Martin, Jane Husak says she too recognizes that safety is important, but admits she is looking forward to getting back in her stylist’s chair.
"I desperately need a colour. Luckily, I can just wear a ponytail and a hat for now.”
Last week, several provinces gave hair professionals permission to reopen. Like Passero, many spent their time off work getting prepared to see clients again. In fact, the CBON group, which sells disinfection products to beauty professionals, says it has never been busier.
“We’ve sold, in the last month, more than what we sold all year last year,” the company’s President and CEO Jeff Alford told CTV News Toronto.
However, Alford says that sanitizing and disinfecting is not enough; it’s important for clients to see pandemic protocols for themselves.
“When you're walking to the chair, they [the customer] should see them [employees] disinfecting the chair. They should disinfect the cape in front of you. When they're finished using the scissors on you, they should let you see them disinfecting the scissors"
Passero says his sanitization and disinfection protocols are in place. He’s also going to reduce his salon’s capacity by half, extend hours to accommodate more clients and create morning and evening shifts for staff, to reduce the number of people in his shop at any one time.
“I’m not stressed out at all. It’s just a different way of thinking, but I’m ready for the challenge and I’m so excited to get back,” Passero said.
And while the province has not yet announced plans to enter phase two of its plan to restart the economy, Passero says he is hoping to get the green light to open his doors in June.
“I can’t wait.”