toronto bar owner haircut

Toronto bar owner will cut off her hair on livestream to raise money for salon

A Toronto bar owner saw her neighbour's business struggling and decided she needed to help out — even if it means shaving her head bald.

Abra Shiner, owner of laidback Dundas West Swan Dive, says she has been struggling, but she knows the owner of a new neighbour rock-and-roll themed hair salon, Headbangers, has even more challenges.

"It breaks my heart to see what is happening to her, so I wanted to find a way to support her," Shiner told blogTO.

Salons have been ordered closed in Toronto since November.

She came up with the idea of holding a livestream fundraiser on Instagram for Headbangers called Chop, Chop on Sunday, April 11 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Shiner will cut her hair live for donations.

Allison Ruzicka opened Headbangers on Dundas West last August, and therefore does not qualify for government assistance. Ruzicka didn't want to open in the middle of a pandemic but her plans were already in motion and the shop was being renovated.

She has been paying rent and expenses with a line of credit, which will run out next month.

"I am struggling to make ends meet," Ruzicka says.

She isn't an anti-lockdown advocate but feels hair salons are sanitary and should have been open. Although it looked for a while like salons may reopen again this month, that hope was quickly dashed with the latest lockdown.

Although they don't know each other well, Shiner decided she needed to help her Dundas West neighbour.

It is an awful time to be in business and she feels strongly about businesses supporting each other.

"We all need to stick together," she says.

On Sunday, for every $20 donation, Shiner will cut off a piece of her hair. "If someone gives a $100," she says. "I will cut off a big chunk."

She is ready for the worst.

"I might end up looking like Tank Girl or I might end up bald," she says.

Shiner says she has been growing her hair since she bought her bar five years ago. "This hair kind of represents my baby," she says, referring to her bar.

But the thought of cutting her hair for a purpose is worth it.

"My hair is just my hair," she says."This is someone losing their whole world."

Lead photo by

Courtesy of Abra Shiner

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