I had my first salon hair-cut in over a year.
While the pandemic helped some billionaires increase their billions, as some businesses increased profits—so long as they were able to use the word “essential” to describe their work—many others have had a brutal time of it.
You know that for some it’s been rough.
“Lone and Co” live on, even if the original staff complement all departed in the carnage of forced closures. They opened for awhile in the summer of 2020 then closed again when infections surged in the autumn last year. They really re-opened in summer 2021, in a new and improved location but on the same stretch of Queen St East near Broadview. We’re all vaccinated, as another business carefully re-opens with a few special procedures and caveats. I’m glad to get back into the salon, but things have changed, and so have the people.
Four years ago I interviewed Cheryl Lone. But she is not the same person. Now she’s seeming more relaxed. No wonder when I think of the ordeal she’s gone through. To say nothing of the money she’s gone through.
This is a different space, a different sort of team. There’s less of an emphasis on brilliance, more on kindness. Is that because of who Cheryl has become? Possibly.
She tells me that they’re all empaths. That was the focus. Instead of hair virtuosos, she looked especially for communication and people skills.
In my first 30 minutes I talked to everyone on the new team, which come to think of it is more contact than I had with the other ones in five years. The previous group could be a little daunting and proudly so. This group are super friendly.
Of course it’s easy to be friendly to people when you’re all wearing masks.
Jeepers that’s a complication.
How do you cut hair without hitting the strings in the mask? Obviously it can be done –and I watched Cheryl do it—but it’s a new set of procedures. When doing the short hair around my right ear, I took off the string on that side, while holding the mask in place, until she’d finished on that side. And then we did it on the other side. If there’s a procedure it can be learned and even before you know it, the new procedure becomes part of a routine.
But for me it’s a fascinating change. After all, the facial shape is altered by this weird thing covering my mouth and nose.
Cheryl laughed, pointing out another challenge. “Try cutting a new client with a mask on”. She explained that with me, even with a mask on, she knows what I look like.
Dudley is a new member of Cheryl’s family, and just like me he’s had a haircut too. Okay maybe not precisely like me. Dudley is about two years old.
I had been pleasantly surprised when I called up to make my appointment. It used to take a long time to get an appointment, but now I could get an appointment much quicker: because business is slower.
Why I wondered..? The world has changed. Some of us are cutting our own hair (guilty as charged… at least for the past year, with Erika’s help). Some of us work from home. Some are retired (me again). Some have moved away, out of the city altogether.
It’s a weird time, to be sure.
There’s an outside patio in the back of the new space. They used to have a liquor license (a previous tenant was a restaurant or bar), and might again, because Cheryl’s thinking of serving alcohol. I can’t be the only one who would love to have a beer while I get my haircut.
I’ve found my thrill, not on Blueberry Hill, but holding Dudley. I may not be allowed to hug people yet, but for now I’m content hugging the adorable canine. He let me hold him and it was wonderful.
Lone & Co at 711 Queen St East can be reached at 647-351-8480, firstname.lastname@example.org