SUDBURY -- For more than seven months, essential workers have been going to work each day in the middle of a pandemic.

Jimmy Giroux, co-owner of Collective Haus Salon & Barbershop, has noticed their hard work. On Wednesday and Thursday, Giroux has his barber shop chair reserved for essential workers who he said have more than earned a free haircut.

“I was going to do something else, and do a free shave for everybody who got a haircut, but then I figured why not just do free haircuts for two days?" he said. "I’ve never really done free haircuts so that’s what we went with.”

When the salon and barber shop had to close for nearly three months at the beginning of the pandemic, Giroux started thinking of ways he could give back when the salon reopened.

The haircuts are available to essential workers who worked through Phase 1 of the COVID pandemic.

First dibs

Giroux is offering free cuts to all essential workers, but those who work lower-wage jobs such as at grocery stores, retail, as well as bus and cab drivers, get first dibs when it comes to appointment times.

“They’ve been in contact with the highest amount of people, so that is enough for me, especially only making $14 an hour,” he said.

“If I’m going to have my name associated with things, I don’t want to have to pay for it. I want to do the whole ‘kill em with kindness,’ I guess, just do nice things.”

Giroux said he was inspired by a barber shop in Nova Scotia that did something similar for essential workers there.

He cut more then 10 essential workers hair on Wednesday, and has another 12 appointments booked Thursday.

The whole team at Collective Haus is behind Giroux’s efforts.

“Helping out those who have been in the middle of COVID on the front line, just a chance to give back to them, it’s perfect,” said barber Kiefer Turcotte.

“It’s something that is very special and means a lot to me and the boys here and everyone else at Collective Haus, it’s really awesome."

As for Giroux, he said he plans to continue giving back to essential workers as the pandemic continues -- and when things get back to normal.