From hair products to hand sanitizer, a Boston hair salon shifts gears during the COVID-19 crisis

LONDONDERRY, New Hampshire — Workers at a Londonderry, New Hampshire lab are mixing it up for a Boston based hair salon.

Salon owner John Marchio said his business is "a cosmetic lab and we have permits to get alcohol.”

Normally the lab in Londonderry makes hair care products for Marchio’s Salon, Enzo and Company, that he owns with his brother. But they shifted gears to make hand sanitizer.

“We decided to produce some and give it to people who really needed it,” said Marchio.

It started out small when their salon on Newbury Street in Boston had to close last month. But they remembered they had that alcohol at the lab. They saw a need for hand sanitizer and helped fill it.

"We decided to produce some and give it to people who really needed it," he said.

They initially donated some to local New Hampshire police departments, fire departments and EMS workers. Hospitals were also given some as well.

They helped front line workers but also kept the lab employees in business. Lab owner Shannon Bourassa told Boston 25, “Well, I mean it’s great we’ve been very fortunate as far as being able to keep working.”

And now what was a void is producing business. When word got out they could make hand sanitizer in bulk -- up to a 1,000 gallons a week -- orders started coming in. In the meantime, government restrictions on ingredients like alcohol were lifted, making it easier as well.

“But because of what’s happening they lifted up some of the red tape and we can purchase more than usual,” said Marchio.

And that is making those on the receiving end and the people who make it happy.

“Just the fact we’re able to make the sanitizer and it’s going to the first responders and we are able to help, we just feel so lucky," Bourassa said.

If essential businesses or anyone wants to order sanitizer in bulk, businesses can go to:

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