Business is booming again at Jimmy’s Barber Shop in downtown Victoria on the first day of hair salon reopening in B.C.
“I’m very happy, very happy!” says owner Jimmy Pavlidis.
“It’s great, it’s been a long time to see people waiting in the chairs like this,” adds barber George Voulakis.
A Fort Street fixture for 50 years, Jimmy’s was forced to close after the province shut down all personal services due to the COVID pandemic two months ago. And the staff couldn’t wait to get back to work.
“It feels amazing!” says barber Sal Stephens. “Anything beats being in the house going nuts.”
At The Natural Hair Salon nearby — voted B.C.’s best salon this year — it’s also reopening day.
“It’s super exhilarating and also a little stressful but we’re used to stress!” says Natalie Ferreira.
And after two months of home haircuts or doing without, customers are eager to come in.
“I’m excited — this has been long-awaited, let me tell you!” says long-time customer Katherine Manning. “Attention to my hair at the moment trumps everything else.”
New safety protocols mean masks are mandatory for staff and available for customers to wear.
Customers will have to wait outside until it’s time for their appointment and the number of stations has been reduced.
There’s increased cleaning and sanitation between clients and the normally bustling salon now has people sticking to zones for physical distancing.
But salon owners say the measures have gone a long way to allay fears.
“I think it’s an understatement to say it’s off the hook,” Ferreira. says “Calls, emails, Instagram messages — people are eager to come in and some clients that have been more anxious about coming in actually changed their mind after reading about our protocols.”
And for many, being open again it about far more than a haircut.
“It isn’t just about doing hair,” says Sarah Stratton, a stylist at The Natural Salon. “It’s about having human interaction and connection.”