Red balloon campaign to draw attention to the closure of the personal services sector


An awareness campaign about the closure of the personal services industry in Ontario is supported by many hair salons in Thunder Bay.

Hair salons have been closed for most of 2021 in Thunder Bay, following a series of provincial lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions.

These personal service companies, which also include estheticians and massage therapists, tie a red balloon to their front doors, to show their frustration with provincial regulations.

“We’re a big community, a big industry, and it’s almost like they’ve left us out,” said Adrian Minnella, co-owner of Trenz Hair Studio.

Lounges participating in the red balloon program are also encouraged to drop off old balloons at another company, Lounge 10, so that these balloons can be reused.

Minnella said he had only 13 days “behind the chair” to cut clients’ hair in 2021.

“The only thing we can do is a bit of curbside pickup selling shampoo and conditioner and stuff like that,” Minnella said, noting that some salons might close their doors for good.

“You’re not going to make him sell a few hair products a week.”

Personal care services are expected to open in phase two of the provincial reopening plan. It could take at least early July.

Minnella said he would like to see some kind of regional reopening proposed by the province, given the low number of cases in Thunder Bay.

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