All posts by marlene

New Provincial Legislation is Welcome News for the Hairstyling Trade

The Ontario Hairstylists Association (OHSA) is happy to welcome groundbreaking legislation introduced today by the Ontario Government. The ‘Making Ontario Open for Business Act’ removes imposing barriers for tradespeople and makes entry into the skilled trades much easier for many.

A particular focus of the OHSA has been to remove hairstylists from the stifling policies of the College of Trades.  If passed, today’s announcement regarding the “Winding down of the College of Trades” will see an overhaul in 2019, putting the governance of our trade back in the hands of the Ministry of Labour and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

“Our members have been frustrated by confusing rules, difficult registration and unclear, disjointed career paths.  The College of Trades created such a bureaucratic web that many hairstylists, current and potential, found the system simply too difficult to navigate. This legislation is a breath of fresh air and makes the hairstyling profession a much more viable option for many.  We are extremely happy that the Ford government has recognized this and taken such positive steps for the tradespeople of Ontario.” Says Marlene Jansen, member OHSA.

Since it’s inception, the OHSA has worked with its members, various levels of government and the Skilled Trades Alliance to push for the reversal of practices that put up barriers to skilled men and women who wanted nothing more than a rewarding career in the hairstyling trade and to work in a clean, safe and professional environment.  Onerous licensing requirements, stifling fees and heavy-handed practices resulted in many stylists abandoning their chosen field, and acted as a barrier to new people entering the trade.  We are happy to say that this legislation will help encourage more entry into the trade and ensure our skilled and talented graduates can embrace a fulfilling career.

“We have heard from many, many hairstylists that the heavy-handed approach of the Ontario College of Trades has been a real job-killer.  It has been very difficult finding apprentices. Once apprentices have been found, it is an extremely cumbersome process to get them registered and productive.  The College of Trades has not been helpful in getting people working in this industry at all.”  stated Lynda Murphy, member of OHSA.

The OHSA applauds Premier’s Ford’s “Open for Business” announcement and is grateful for a government that is listening to skilled tradespeople throughout Ontario.



Simcoe North’s Dunlop takes aim at skilled trades stigma Resolution receives unanimous support

On the night Jill Dunlop secured the win to represent Simcoe North, the daughter of Garfield Dunlop vowed to advocate for the skilled trades, just as her father had done during his years in office.

In the ensuing months, the recently minted Progressive Conservative MPP has taken up the cause at Queen’s Park with a resolution that garnered unanimous support.

“There is a major and growing shortage of skilled employees to create and/or grow businesses and industries in Ontario,” Dunlop said. “As we execute our plan to make Ontario open for business, we need skilled labour to fill the jobs that a thriving economy will generate.”

According to Dunlop, 10 per cent of Ontario’s youth are pursuing careers in the skilled trades at a time when 20 per cent of workers in that same sector are over age 54 and will retire within the decade.

  • PC’s Jill Dunlop wins in Simcoe North

In presenting her resolution to reform and promote the skilled trades, Dunlop stressed a need for immediate action to fill the trades gap.

“Skilled labour jobs are good jobs and provide a meaningful, financially stable career path for many Ontarians, including young people, newcomers and individuals looking for a career change,” she added.

Part of the challenge in steering students into the skilled trades, Dunlop said, is overcoming the negative stigma associated with the sector, “whereby people believe that skilled trades are not a career to aspire or to be proud of.

“Our youth deserve to be presented with as many career options as possible, and the skilled trades should be at the top of that list,” she added.

Dunlop recommended the government take the lead in improving education, training and job creation in the skilled-trades sector.

She is encouraging collaboration between Ontario’s education ministry, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

Dunlop suggested they work toward solutions to reduce the stigma surrounding the trades and address the shortage of skilled labour.

Family, staff, Simcoe North business owners, and area mayors were on hand to support Dunlop during her recent address at Queen’s Park.

by Frank Matys

Frank Matys is a reporter for Orillia Today.

Ontario College of Trades transferred to Ministry of Labour

Did you know?  As of May this year, the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) which formerly reported to the Ministry of Education and Training, was transferred under the umbrella of the Ministry of Labour.  The following excerpt has been taken from the OCOT website:

(May 12, 2016) — Statement from Ontario College of Trades Registrar and CEO, David Tsubouchi: As of Friday, May 6, 2016, the Government of Ontario decided that the regulatory and administrative oversight of the Ontario College of Trades (College) will be transferred from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) to the Ministry of Labour.

As outlined in a letter sent to College stakeholders from the Ministry of Labour, this change will not have an impact on the day-to-day operations of the College. The College will be undertaking its functions on a business as usual basis with no impact on College staff or members and will continue to serve its members and protect the public interest through our enforcement activities. We look forward to working with the Ministry of Labour as we fulfill our mandate  by regulating and promoting the skilled trades.

Members and stakeholders will continue to receive updates from the College’s website.

Happy Holidays from the OHSA


Animated Happy Holiday

We at the Ontario Hairstylists Association want to wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

We’ve had a busy year at the OHSA, receiving our official registration as a not-for-profit organization and our membership has grown in leaps in bounds. Our new website launched in early 2015 and we started securing members-only benefits, like rental car discounts, insurance discounts, and more.  We’ve met several times with the governing provincial Liberals to promote our organization and its goals, and we’ve put one of our members on the College of Trades board. Most significantly, we also prepared and presented a thorough submission to the government-appointed panel reviewing the current compulsory trade criteria with the College of Trades. That process continues and we’ll keep you posted every step of the way.

This is YOUR forum – we still want to hear from YOU. So if there’s something you want to share with us, drop us a line. Just follow the “contact” link here:

Our Job Postings link got pretty busy this past year as several salon owners or managers took advantage of the page and posted openings for stylists.

Interested in doing a guest blog? – Let me know.

Let’s have a great 2016 together!

Yours in good hair,


The OHSA attends Liberal Party annual golf tournament.

Lynda Murphy, president of the OHSA and hairstylist trade member of the Ontario College of Trades, golfs with Kathleen Wynn and other prominent Liberal Party members at their annual golf tournament at the Emeralds Hills Golf Club in Whitchurch-Stouffville on July 20.   We continue to work with all levels of government and the OHSA to advance the interests of our trade in regulatory and governing matters.    Our membership is continually growing, but we need more!  Pass the word and help us grow our organization so that we can make sure our unified voice stays strong and gets stronger.

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(The OHSA is a non-partisan organization working with all levels and Parties within government to advance the interests of the hairstyling trade.)

What’s Happening with the OHSA and the Ontario College of Trades

This week we held a meeting with Tony Dean, special appointee working with the Ontario College of Trades to evaluate the review process.  We are happy to report that our meeting was very positive and we were able to share with Mr Dean our concerns and frustrations that you, our members, have shared with us in working with the College over the past year or so.   Several great recommendations were made to improve the current process for licensing and apprenticing.  It will be several months yet before any review is actually under way and we will keep you posted.  So keep checking back here regularly, and please continue to contact us with your questions, concerns or good news.



Flashback Friday!!

Are you old enough to remember this commercial?   Are you old enough to remember sleeping in curlers?    What’s your favourite method for curling hair?    And who knew curler shaming even existed? 🙂

Hair Really is a Cultural Phenomenon


I’ve been thinking about hair…

I was on a dream vacation trip to India recently and it really got me thinking about hair. Anyone who doesn’t think hair is a relevant social and cultural discussion has obviously never had a bad haircut or an 80’s perm. At the risk of generalizing for all women (and men), I think we think about hair – a lot.

We just have to remember the sensation caused by “The Rachel” of Friends/Jennifer Aniston fame or the more recent media coverage garnered by Jared Leto’s haircut for an upcoming role. Is it not a cultural phenomenon that in western society we even have the expression “Good Hair Day/Bad Hair Day”?   The very idea that how your hair looks can make or break our day is an interesting concept.  And in our industry, it’s certainly one that we can embrace!

What had me thinking about hair while I was India was that I don’t think I saw a single woman there with short hair. I myself am a habitual “cut-it-short-grow-it-out again” girl, and I’m always wondering what to do next. I can tell you that India made me long for,  – no – pine for, long locks once again.

I wish to qualify my observations by saying that my travels were fairly limited to older, more traditional areas where the women of all ages were mostly dressed in saris, and with down-to-there hair usually worn in one fat, glorious braid down the middle of their backs, or rolled up into a neat chignon.   And no bangs. It was beautiful, tidy and probably fairly low maintenance. It made me want hair like that – and now! But how long until I was bored again? I do love a nice set of highlights and a great blow-out.

What do you think about your hair right now? Do you love it, or are you thinking about a change? Cut, colour, length, bangs or no bangs? Ooooh, maybe extensions? What’s next for you? Are you ever really and completely happy with it?


Yours in good hair,



It’s tax time again!

It’s tax time again and people working in our industry may have special deductions and reporting requirements.  The good folks at the Canadian Revenue Agency have prepared this helpful document to assist hairstylists and Salon owners as they prepare their 2014 tax returns.

(Please remember we’re sharing this info but we at the OHSA are not tax experts.  Please refer any questions to your accountant or the Canadian Revenue Agency.)


Getting your taxes done is as easy as wash, rinse, repeat!

The faux hawk, the pixie cut, and the blunt bob—as a hairstylist, you need to know how to do it all, while maintaining high standards and staying on-trend with the latest techniques and the newest products. You’ve built up your reputation and developed an impressive clientele (who you inadvertently play occasional therapist to—no extra charge for listening like an understanding friend). You’re on your feet all day and your work schedule is demanding; but you love it because making people look great is your calling! You have style savvy, but do you have the know-how to claim your expenses and tax credits?

Whether you are paid a salary or paid by commission, you are considered an employee if you are on the salon’s payroll. As an employee, you may be able to deduct the cost of supplies you bought (like your go-to finishing spray), as long as you need it for work. To find out more about deducting employment expenses, go to

You may also be able to deduct the cost of eligible tools (including that new straightening iron all your clients are raving about!) under the tradesperson’s tools deduction, a non-refundable tax credit of up to $500. You will need your employer to certify the tools were bought by you, for you, to be used directly in your work, to claim the deduction. For more information on deducting the cost of eligible tools, go to

As a hairstylist, part of your income comes from tips and gratuities. Clarify with your employer whether any or all of the tips you earn will be included on your T4 slip. Even if your T4 slip does not show your income from tips, it is your responsibility to keep track of these earnings and report them on line 104 of your income tax and benefit return.

Self-employment in the industry can mean different things: renting a chair, providing mobile on-site services, working from home, or owning your own salon. Generally, you can deduct any reasonable business expense you incurred or will have to pay to earn business income, such as chair rental fees or supplies and equipment like hair colour, blow dryers, and scissors. If the salon is in your home, a proportionate amount of your household expenses, such as heating and insurance, can also be deducted. For more information, go to, and select “Business expenses.”

In addition, if your business hires an eligible Red Seal apprentice hairstylist, you may qualify to claim the apprenticeship job creation tax credit. This non-refundable investment tax credit is equal to the lesser of $2,000 or 10% of the eligible apprentice salaries or wages. Don’t need to apply the whole credit amount this year? Carry it back three years or carry it forward for up to 20 years! For more information on the apprenticeship job creation tax credit and other investment tax credits, visit and select “Investment tax credit.” For information on the 57 designated Red Seal trades, including hairstylists, visit

Part of owning a salon also means ensuring the proper employee contributions, premiums, and tax amounts are properly deducted and remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), along with your own employer contributions and premiums. You will find more information on this topic at, by searching the payroll topics alphabetically for “Barbers and hairdressers.” Also take a look at the proposed Small Business Job Credit which helps small businesses by lowering their Employment Insurance (EI) premiums. More information can be found at

The deadline to file your personal income tax and benefit return is April 30, 2015. If you, your spouse, or common-law partner is self-employed, the deadline to file is June 15, 2015. BUT, if you’re self-employed and have a balance owing for 2014, you still have to pay it on or before April 30, 2015.

Filing electronically with NETFILE is easy, secure, and lets the CRA process your return much quicker. If you’re entitled to a refund, you can enjoy your money in as little as eight business days, by combining online filing with direct deposit—”shear” genius! For a list of software and web service options, including those that are free of charge, go to

While you are visiting the CRA’s website, be sure to sign up for My Account. You’ll be able to track the progress of your refund, make a payment, change your address, check your benefit and credit payments and your registered retirement savings plan limit, set up direct deposit, and so much more!

To take advantage of this and other CRA electronic services go to to learn more.

Don’t miss the latest CRA news or tax tips on Twitter @CanRevAgency