Toronto residents are resorting to underground haircuts to get through the pandemic

In a press conference last week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford told reporters he needs a haircut as much as anyone else, but can’t get it professionally done due to coronavirus measures.

“Look at my hair. I look like a sheepdog right now,” Ford said, while pointing at his hair.



As of Tuesday, Ontario entered its first official phase of reopening the province as part of a three-stage response to revive businesses, services, and public spaces affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Phase 1 included everything from construction projects, golf courses, and marinas to retail stores with street-facing entrances. But personal services, such as hair salons and nail salons, were not on the list, leading some to seek out what’s being dubbed “quarantine haircuts.”

While some are brave enough to style and cut their own hair (or ask a trusted love one to do so)…




Others are going underground, seeking out stylists who are willing to provide hair services during the pandemic — aptly dubbed “black market haircuts.”

The CBC recently profiled an East York stylist named Apex Da Barber, who apparently hasn’t had a day off in weeks. He claims that despite COVID-19 restrictions, he has been travelling around the GTA giving clients haircuts at their homes.

“Last month, I’d say I gave at least 200 haircuts,” Apex Da Barber told the CBC, noting that his clients range in age from two to 35.

Apex is actively advertising his services on Instagram.



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?HOUSE CUTS CALL/TEXT 4372455598 TO BOOK APPOINTMENTS ?#Toronto #MobileBarber #Barber #Fades #Haircut #Style

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Apex isn’t the only one — a simple hashtag search on Instagram shows other hairstylists advertising their services.

Toronto Public Health told the CBC that getting a haircut with someone who isn’t part of your household can lead to the spread of COVID-19, given the close contact. They have conducted 124 complaint investigations of hair salons and barbershops and issued 17 charges (and a host of warnings) since the end of March.

Still, this hasn’t slowed the need for people across the globe actively seeking underground stylists.



If you’re not crazy about the idea of cutting your own hair (or seeking help from a “blackmarket stylist”), here are some helpful tips on how you could give yourself a haircut at home.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO