Kijiji is flooded with ads for home haircuts in Toronto right now
It has now been exactly four months and six days since hair salons and barber shops closed under government orders in the City of Toronto.
For platinum blondes, this equates to roughly four root touchups (or "on scalp lightenings" as the pros would say) and at least two inches of regrowth. Do you know how expensive it is to fix something like that? How difficult it is for stylists?
For several reasons, chiefly how colour processing time is impacted by the heat of one's head, most stylists don't do all-over lightening jobs on roots past one inch because, by that point, it's a full-on colour correction.
Scores of solid blondes will thus be forced to consider highlights when salons reopen, which is heartbreaking enough on its own for some. Others might just say "screw it" and let their natural colours grow out. Others still are sitting pretty thanks to black market cutters and colourists.
People dedicated to their high-maintenence hair styles have been doing whatever it takes to keep their details fresh and their lobs razor sharp pretty much since the pandemic first hit.
Surely most Toronto residents would agree that having shaggy hair or long roots is worth slowing the spread of COVID-19 and potentially saving lives, but the temptation to step out on our trusted hair gurus has been intensifying lately.
Whispers of in-home haircuts have progressed to the point where mobile barbers and stylists are now flat out advertising their services online.
What they're doing isn't entirely legal yet: The province did announce on Friday that personal care services could resume in all colour zones on April 12, but people caught violating rules in the meantime could be slapped with $880 fines under the Reopening Ontario Act.
Still, industry sources say that business is booming, and ads on sites like Kijiji and Instagram support that claim.
There are over 100 active listings for haircuts in the City of Toronto on the former platform as of Monday afternoon, many of them specifically for "COVID haircuts" or "Quarantine haircuts."
"My apprentice needs practice and you need a haircut for the low low. 1+1=2," reads one such ad. "$20 a pop, located downtown... Please wear a mask."
"Since my barbershop is closed I will be doing haircuts at my place," reads another posted on Friday. "Make sure you guys follow my Instagram and make an appointment with me. $30 haircut $15 for line up."
"I am offering haircuts due to the pandemic closures," reads another published today. "I have 20 years experience, 10 years in Toronto and 10 years in Europe."
Some barbers are now even offering "outdoor haircuts" and "garage haircuts" as outdoor fitness classes resume and they wait for their shops to reopen.
Prices vary and your safety isn't guaranteed (nor is the quality of your hairdo) though almost all of the ads specify that COVID-19 protocols such as mask use, temperature screening and rigorous tool disinfection are in place.
Members of the hair industry have, in general, been getting progressively vocal about how safe they believe salons to be are in terms of virus transmission lately — especially as they lose customers to businesses in neighbouring regions where haircuts are allowed, such as Durham and York.
With just two weeks to go now until barber shops and salons reopen in Toronto (hopefully), those of us who don't trust random people on Kijiji with our hair will surely be able to hang in there a little bit longer.
It is only hair, after all.
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