February 11, 2021

Spotlight: Haircuts, Lockdown and Local Business

You’ve heard the message many times during the COVID lockdown: support local businesses. It’s become an everyday slogan – but behind the constant reminder, what’s really driving this message? In this Q+A we take a look at the impacts of lockdown on local businesses from the other side – the perspective of an independent business owner.

In 2019, Salon Scavo – a locally operated and independent salon – celebrated it’s 40th anniversary. In the beauty industry that’s a big milestone and no one was prouder than owner Gianfranco Scavo, who celebrated alongsode his talented staff and loyal customers, marking the occasion with a grand re-opening at Yonge and St. Clair. Nobody would have thought that just a year later, Salon Scavo, along with small businesses everywhere, would face the toughest fight of the lives – for their livelihoods. 

Marylene Vestergom is a freelance writer and marketing professional, she has generously conducted and contributed this Q+A to the Yonge + St. Clair BIA.

Please note that salon services remain closed at the time of this article’s publishing, in accordance with Ontario public health measures.

Yonge + St. Clair: How has COVID-19 impacted your business?

Gianfranco Scavo: There are no words to describe it. It has not been easy. No one planned for this – how could you? The first shut down last March, we quickly took steps to ensure our salon implemented the highest hygiene and sterilization protocols outlined by the Ministry of Health, keeping the health and safety of our employees and clients top-of-mind. This, of course, wasn’t new to us, but we took it to the next level. We are fortunate our clients have returned, but we know the routine is different. Now in 2021 we are awaiting the next re-opening and will do our best to make the salon an experience that eases [clients] into this new norm. We are here for our clients and we are eagerly waiting to see everyone again.

Y+S: How did it impact your employees? 

GS: When we first closed, our stylists were sending messages of hope and well-wishes to our clients on Instagram. It was incredible to see the response and the connection. They miss their clients. 

Y+S: What did your clients miss? What did you miss?

GS: They wanted to look and feel like themselves again. And we miss their smiles. During the last re-opening, with everyone wearing masks, the eyes became the windows to the soul. The eyes say everything!

Y+S: What were the latest styles or trends before the lockdown came back?  

GS: Hair takes a cue from nature. So during the past fall for example, the warmer tones of hazel, caramel and spicy reds were making a subtle appearance. It’s a great way to transition from the beachy blonde of summer. The key is being subtle about the colour transition – just like the fall leaves. Balayage allows our colourist to paint in these beautiful tones, which catch the light. So, it’s not an all-over colour – it provides dimensions with soft-focused roots. And with texturizing and a bit of layering – your hair will come alive. 

Y+S: What products would you recommend?

GS: With many clients who will be coming back to the salon in the near future, we’ve noticed their hair requires an intervention. Once salons are open again, it’s the perfect time to treat your hair and we have a wonderful selection of hair treatments for all hair types. If you need any recommendations, we are here to guide you through which would best suit your needs. The result – shiny, healthier hair.

Y+S: Is it a cut or a trim?

GS: It’s all about low maintenance and being natural. In other words, work with what you have but accentuate it. We know a few clients who have tried colouring their hair at home and even attempted to cut their hair – the results were not surprising. Clients now understand that a colourist at our salon is an artist. They come by this experience not by accident and that’s why they can make the colouring look natural; when your hair grows out – it still looks great. An at home mistake can be costly, instead we suggest giving us a call once we’ve reopened.  

Y+S: What makes the Yonge + St. Clair neighbourhood special?

GS: This is a tightly knit community. Businesses and customers alike support one another. 

Y+S: Any last words as we wish for a reopening soon?

GS: In regards to COVID-19, it’s important we don’t let down our guard. As a small business owner who provides employment to our team that allows them to feed their families, pay rent etc., we appreciate and look forward to the days that we can be open.  To our loyal clients – we are glad they are part of the Salon Scavo family.  

Most importantly, we would like to thank the frontline workers at all levels who continue to do their job, who help us re-open and be safe. Please – wear your masks, wash your hands and maintain social distancing. Our community at Yonge + St. Clair depends on you.

Salon Scavo is located at 1470 Yonge Street or or call 416-964-1229

Please note that salon services remain closed at the time of this article’s publishing, in accordance with Ontario public health measures.