This is what hair salons and barbers in Canada have been doing to help during COVID-19
Though barber shops and hair salons may soon be reopening in provinces such as British Columbia and Saskatchewan, most remain closed until further notice after weeks of shuttering their doors due to the lockdown.
That means for many, the quarantine hair situation may be getting desperate and if you haven’t already, you’ll most likely be needing to take the matter (or should we say – the scissors) into your own hands.
Luckily, hair salons and barber shops across Canada have been offering their services virtually, so that Canadians are not entirely on their own when it comes to chopping their locks.
Fernando Marcantonio, hairstylist and owner of L’atelier Gents in Montreal, has been posting maintenance videos and also offering video tutorials for his clients during lockdown.
“These tutorials are meant to help today’s man during these difficult times in maintaining their hair until we see them again,” explains Marcantonio.
“It’s about the maintenance that men need, but also the ongoing friendships that you develop in helping them during this pandemic.”
In the Facetime calls, Marcantonio takes people through a simple step-by-step process and works with what they have available to them.
"I’m working in collaboration with the tools they have in their drawers as most people don’t have our expensive tools in their households.”
“It’s what I’m calling the next best thing to an actual barber cutting your hair,” said Bernadette Taggio, who co-owns King’s Crown with her mother. “The barber is literally looking at the angle of the clippers to the head and can coach them through the process.”
Taggio says the video appointments on average last between 45 minutes to an hour.
“It’s funny seeing these quick 15-minute tutorials because a barber can’t even do a cut [in that time], how is someone learning supposed to take anything away?” she said. “We really make sure to reserve enough time to get the job done right and check everything a million times over.”
Taggio says the positive results have been thanks to their team of barbers and says their patience helps create a feeling of collaboration and trust in the calls.
“What we hear often is, ‘I wouldn’t be doing this unless you were watching me every step of the way,’” she said. “We really give them the confidence to not screw up their hair.”
Taggio says even during lockdown, a haircut can make all the difference.
“When you look good, you feel good so it’s about inspiring the confidence in our clients to look good – and no one wants to rock a COVID-19 haircut.”
On top of the tutorials, King’s Crown offers right-to-the-door delivery of men’s hair and skincare products, retail items, and even sanitization products such as hand sanitizer, gloves and masks, from their extensive online store.
“We try to add a human touch to every online order that goes out, so every order gets a personalized hand-written note from someone on the team saying thank you,” said Taggio.
Toronto’s Colour Lab, a salon which focuses exclusively on hair colour, has also been making some deliveries of their own – they just launched colour kits that are now available for home delivery.
“Whether you’re taking Zoom meetings or cruising the grocery store - we want you to look your best,” said Raphael Ness, master colourist and co-founder of Colour Lab.
Ness explains that they always start with a virtual consultation in order to tailor the dye to each individual’s hair needs and that the home kits use the same Goldwell hair colour that’s available in the salon.
“I always knew this would be a hit and the response has been staggering,” said Ness. “Everyone has said it was easier than expected and most have turned it into a hilarious night making their husband, partner, or quarantine buddy apply their colour.”
Ness predicts the hair industry will see a lot of changes once hair salons and barbershops are able to open again.
“Overbooked crowded salons will likely be a thing of the past and the way we all interact will be extremely different.”
Taggio agrees and has been preparing for the new climate at King's Crown.
“Eventually we’re going to have to start opening up the economy again and the industry will open up, but we still don’t have a vaccine so we’ll have to make sure to still be very careful,” she said.
“I think what we’re going to see is that clients are going to be very particular on what they’re doing and where they’re going.”
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