My Life As A Hairstylist

Salon owner, hairstylist, educator, product maker, photographer

One of my fave shoots this year

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One of my favorite shoots this year.

A great image created in our studio by one of our students at the Vancouver Hairdressing Academy.
Hair by Emily, who now works at Joy Salon in North Vancouver.
She is a rising star.

Photography by Michael Levine


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Last Minute Holiday Hair?

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Well, here you are, going through it all over again. The receptionist is as sympathetic as always, though you detect a tone in her voice implying you ought to know better than to ask for a cut and highlight appointment any time after 5pm the week of the 18th. What are you going to do? The company Christmas Party is Friday and your roots are already a centimeter past what any person would still consider roots. Your split ends have split ends and your stylist can’t see you until the New Year. Don’t panic, there is still hope, and you can knock off some last minute shopping while you’re at it.

Ask your stylist to squeeze you in, but be flexible. Chances are we have time somewhere in our day that we can make it work; while a colour is processing, maybe when we may have planned on eating our lunch. The etiquette here is to thank your stylist with a generous gratuity (a bottle of wine is a nice touch). They probably worked through a much needed break for you and should be rewarded for it.

If you do get squeezed in, don’t thank your stylist for it while they are with their other client. The one in the chair will then know that the reason they were kept waiting an extra 15 minutes was because the stylist chose to squeeze an extra appointment in on their time.

If your stylist can’t see you, ask the receptionist to ask your stylist if there is someone else in the salon that they would recommend. Any real professional will be happy to share your colour formula with a co-worker, and chances are that they will suggest someone who has similar design ideas and techniques. We want to keep you in our salon and will consult with another stylist on your needs or colour history in order to make sure you get good results.

If you can’t get anything at your salon, find someone with great hair, hair that you would like on you, and find out who their stylist is. Don’t listen to your co-worker if she has bad hair. You’re better off asking a stranger with your type of cut or colour who they see. Play it safe and ask for just enough of a trim to get you through the holidays, and seriously, do not let them change your colour unless you disliked your last colour. Like dogs marking a fire hydrant, some stylists like to put their stamp on your head, often just for the sake of changing it. Be firm but polite, bring pictures and get the hair you want.

Now that your hair is done, you might as well do some Christmas shopping while you’re there. Check out the salon’s holiday gift packages and specials. Most salons now carry specialty men’s products, and shampoos, lotions and soaps make for great last minute gifts for “hard to buy for” people.

Finally, remember when your stylist warned you to pre-book your December appointment back in October when you were paying your bill? We really only ask for you to pre-book  because we want you to have your ideal appointment time. If you do get into the habit of pre-booking your next appointment when you are leaving the salon, you will never have to make that desperate call again.

And please don’t hold it against us if you ever overhear another client thank us for squeezing them in.