You can finally say goodbye to at-home haircuts. As part of the B.C. reopening plan, hair salons and barbershops in Vancouver have been given the go-ahead to open this month. However, the added protectionary measures might send the costs skyrocketing, meaning we'll have to pay way more than before.
Narcity spoke to the owners of two hair studios in the Vancouver area: Michael Hashimoto of Forme Hair Salon and Jackie West of Regal Grooming Lounge.
Both Hashimoto and West have confirmed that the hairstyling industry is quite confused over how they can best protect the health and safety of their clients and staff once they're allowed to open their doors.
According to the B.C. government, hair salons, barbershops, and other personal services can begin reopening in mid-May.
However, Hashimoto told us there's no "official governing body for the hair industry."
This means that the level of education and standard differs from salon to salon. Without an official body to represent the stylists, there's a massive disconnect between hairstylists and government officials.
As a result, a lot of hair salons are struggling to figure out how to change their operations to follow physical distancing guidelines.
For example, keeping customers at least two metres apart will challenge the physical capacity of many salons.
To enable further measures, some salons will need to invest in items like plexiglass, masks for staff and clients, eye protection, disinfectants for surfaces, sanitization supplies, and disposable or extra capes for every single haircut.
These added costs would then impact the prices of their services.
Hashimoto said that if his salon were to bring in the same amount of money as before the pandemic hit, then they would have to raise their prices by nearly 70% — a sentiment that's shared by West.
She told Narcity that the sheer amount of sanitation and physical distancing costs could lead to higher prices for many salons, including her own. "I could see that becoming the reality."
She also said that the applications of so many different tools and measures basically makes the whole process like "performing surgery" for clients.
They haven't changed their prices just yet, and Forme Hair Salon is also thinking of charging "minor COVID fees" for the extra supplies.
The experience of getting your hair done at salons is going to look very different than what you're used to.
Hashimoto said that his hair salon will scrap the waiting area for the time being so that each person will have to get escorted in and out of the salon.
What took one hour before will now take one and a half hours.
Hashimoto commented, "I think it comes down to how can the industry as a whole improve with better unity and structure."
So while you no longer have to resort to impromptu at-home haircuts that you later end up regretting, our regular hair salons aren't going to look that familiar.