barber shops open ontario

This is why you can get a massage but not a haircut in Ontario right now

Most people are desperate to get haircut in Ontario right now, and might be surprised to see massage therapy clinics reopen but not barbers or hair salons. Some would argue both services are done in equally close quarters.

Earlier in May, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said hair salons and barbers wouldn’t be opening anytime soon and compared his coif to a sheep dog.

“I think dog grooming, I should go there, get a little clip myself... Everyone wants to go and get their hair done,” Ford said.

But this week, regulated health professionals, including massage therapists, got the okay to return to work.

So why aren’t hair stylists and barbers reopening?

The simple answer is that massage therapists are governed by a health regulatory body, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, Emily Hogeveen, a senior communications advisor and press secretary for the Ministry of Finance, told blogTO. The regulator sets standards for all clinics.

“The Ministry of Health has been in touch with each health regulator and requires them to implement practice standards and hygiene standards — and only once those are established, approved and communicated to their members are they allowed to open,” said Hogeveen.

Hairstylists are regulated by the Ontario College of Trades, which does not fall under the Ministry of Health's mandate. 

She added that she also anxious to get a haircut and has a family member keen to reopen her salon. The reopening will come in phases.

“Hairstylists and manicurists are important to me but in the general scheme of things, I think registered health professions, if we can get them up and running and get their standards in place — the rest will follow,” said Hogeveen.

“The hairstylists will be tied to Stage 2 and we are currently in Stage 1."

So, it looks like Ontarians will have keep those shaggy styles a bit longer.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim


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