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Local hair salon hoping to reopen soon, turns to providing virtual services

Element Hair Studio, located at The Boardwalk, has been seeing lots of demand for their virtual hair salon services
Stock photo.

The gradual reopening plan for Ontario has helped bring some hope for people looking forward to getting a haircut at the end of the lockdown.

However -- there is still a long time to go before hair salons and barbershops are allowed to reopen.

The owners of Element Hair Studio located at The Boardwalk said they are experiencing a flood of inquiries from clients checking to see if they can finally book a hair appointment -- and the answer for now is no.

"I mean, it's been like that since the very beginning," said co-owner of Element Hair, Kim Neilson.

"I'd send out newsletters once every few weeks, just reminding everybody that we're doing the same thing that we did the last two lockdowns. Everybody that has appointments starting April 3rd -- that's considered our wait list. Once we reopen, once we get a reopening date, we will call those people and get them booked."

She added they have had to adapt during the long time that the salon has had to remain shut down.

"I videotaped my hair, sectioned my sections, made a great tutorial and added so much positive messaging saying 'everything's going to turn out okay,' and 'we are all going to get out of this,' and clients were calling me, crying, saying how wonderful they felt and how great I helped them to feel. We are still doing that today."

Co-owner Lance Neilson says even after improvising, the government support has not been enough.

"Our location [at the Boardwalk] -- our rent has not been cheap. We've already only been open in 2021 for six weeks. Besides that, I would say our industry should be open, not closed. I would rather have that than support."

He said they spent a lot of money during the first lockdown to ensure COVID safety guidelines are followed -- adding that before lockdown, they had served over 6000 clients without any issues.

Kim Neilson says she has received a lot of positive feedback about her virtual services. She is currently virtually consulting with clients from across Canada, and plans to keep the services going even after the pandemic is over.

You can access some of her virtual services and her customized colour kits on their website,

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230 The Boardwalk Kitchener, ON, N2N 0B1
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