OTTAWA -- The Ontario Professional Hairstylists Association (OPHA) is calling on the Ontario government to allow them to re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying hair salons are well prepared.

The OPHA said the current plan for hair salons includes all safety procedures and methods of infection control, disinfection and sanitation to prevent the spread of contaminates for stylists and clients.

Under the current COVID-19 lockdown in Ontario, all 'personal care services' establishments must remain closed.

The association said its confident its members are well prepared to re-open in Ontario.

In a press release, the OPHA said it “is concerned that other similar industries are being reopened, such as massage therapists and dental hygienists whom are deemed essential.

"We have not yet been recognized by the provincial government as qualified and essential, regarding the 30,000 licensed hairstylists in Ontario.”

The OPHA said the services provided by its members are “essential human services”, which it said promote positive well being.

"Getting your hair done is not only about your outward appearance, it also makes you feel good, builds personal relationships essential to positive mental health and benefits your ability to cope in such dire times," said Debbie Dunseath, President of OPHA.

On Monday, Ontario officially extended the province's state of emergency and all orders associated with it for an additional 14 days — it will expire on February 9.