Tag Archives: hair salon

My Favourite Ottawa Hair Salon Has a New Look

5 Aug

Last week, my mom texted me to say that she thought that something strange was going on at The Hair Loft, our favourite salon in Ottawa. (You can read about it here.) I was curious and I did a little snooping around and found out that they were moving.  Then I started to see pictures on social media, little teases of what’s to come and the curiosity built. So here’s the scoop,


Press Release:

Popular Centretown Salon Gets A Face-Lift

Ottawa, Ontario. July 31st– The Loft Urban Salon has opened its doors at the new 429 MacLaren location. The new Salon is an amalgamation of all the stylists and estheticians from the Elgin St. Loft and Le Spa. The Loft, now the largest Salon in Ottawa, is a gorgeous Heritage home in the heart of Centretown with a fully renovated, modern interior complete with three floors of hair and spa services.

The union of The Loft Elgin and Le Spa into a brand new state of the art salon has already benefitted the loyal clientele of both salons. The new location, while still in the downtown core is more accessible and makes parking less of a hassle. The new Loft Salon will be populated by all the familiar faces clients have grown to love and rely on for all their beauty needs.

10525648_10154481932510164_8113009001180502486_n“We are very excited to have merged the two locations; it will bring the expertise of both salons together and having all of The Loft family under one roof gives the Salon such a great energy. I am proud to say that this is the biggest urban salon in the Nation’s Capital” says owner and creative director Bruno Racine.

The beautifully designed salon is spacious and grand while still maintaining the cozy feeling clients are accustomed to. The salon spans 6000 square feet and houses the only integrated academy salon in Ottawa. The first two floors of The Loft are primarily focused on hair, with a sleek manicure bar and make up station in the colour room of the second floor, while the third floor functions as quiet spa for nails, facials and massage. The basement of the salon is reserved for The Loft Academy, where student stylists learn the tricks of the trade and take clients at a discounted rate.

For more information, or to book an appointment, you can find us online at www.hairloft.ca, on Facebook or by phone at (613) 232-0202.


Review – Moroccanoil Treatment

29 Apr

Moroccanoil has been out for a while, and I really didn’t want to like it. I know that sounds nuts, but it started showing up in EVERY salon, high end, low end, but always the same price and attempting to distinguish itself as premium by not allowing salons to include it in their own promotions. This frustrated me. If you’re high end, be high end, have standards of where you sell the product because not all salons are created equal. What I do like, is that every bottle is tagged and so they know exactly where that bottle comes from. This means, it’s easy to track diverted products and prevent fakes from showing up in non professional shops.  And now that you’ve heard my thoughts on their distribution methods, what about the product itself?

Moroccanoil, is actually an entire line of products that are all based around Argan Oil and their signature product Morrocanoil Treatment. The only product I’ll speak of in this review is the treatment.

As I mentioned, I wanted to hate it. I hate fad hair products and they usually turn out to be a bust, anyone remember the Brazilian Blowout recall by health authorities? But the fact of the matter is that this product is good, actually it’s better than good, it’s great.

My hair is bleached and I flat iron it pretty much every day, so you might say that it’s a wee bit damaged. Also, and sorry to gross you out, but my scalp has always been super flaky from dry skin. I put Morrocanoil Treatment in on damp hair, just the tiniest little drop. I emulsify it between my hands and then put it on scalp and hair before blow-drying. Let me re-enforce that I use one drop, the treatment is an oil and I can see things getting really slippery, really fast, if you got carried away. Because my hair is bleached I always buy the light version of the treatment as the regular one I find a bit too heavy and it can leave my blonde hair slightly yellow.

What have I noticed? Well, believe it or not, after a few uses my hair dries faster. Yes, this sounds like total BS, but the treatment helps smooth the porosity of your hair and thus it absorbs less water and voila! Hair dries faster. Also, my hair is softer, smoother and my scalp….way less flaky! It’s, forgive the overused expression, my new “go-to” product. My only dislike is the smell, everyone else I know LOVES the smell, but I am super sensitive and it’s a bit much for me, but other than that it really is one of my favourite products.

I would definitely recommend the Morrocanoil Treatment, I can’t speak for the other products, but the treatment is a great product to have on hand.

The Hair Loft – Ottawa

14 Apr

Oh The Hair Loft, where to start?

Well, I guess I should start from the beginning when I used to work with many of their staff in various salons. Gradually stylists from all over the city started gravitating towards  The Hair Loft. Back then, they were a small salon and have now grown into a beautiful, fun, funky, modern salon.

I don’t live in Ottawa, I haven’t in about ten years, but that doesn’t stop me from getting my hair done there. I actually plan my visits to Ottawa around when I need to get my hair done, and it takes about 5 hours to get there. I think that on its own speaks volumes as to the awesomeness of this salon.

There are two main stylists that I see, Howard and Gina, for my bleach, toner and haircut. Both are incredibly talented and I always leave pleased. Gina is bubbly and fun and always in a good mood, she really makes your experience something special, not to mention that she knows hair and leaves you looking stunning. Howard is incredibly talented,educated and accurate, you know when he’s got you in his chair that you’re not leaving until it’s perfect.

Not only are the two stylists I see wonderful, but really the whole team is. People are always checking on you to make sure that you’re comfortable and to see if they can top up your drink.

The Hair Loft also has a hair school, it’s called The Loft Academy, where Suzanne is an educator. I have worked with her in the past and she really is something special, she also works at The Hair Loft as a stylist.

So yes, a lot of the staff are people that I know, have worked with and many I consider friends. But I DO pay for my hair, and our friendship doesn’t cloud my judgement when it comes to recommending them. Like I said, I travel 5 hours to come to this salon.




Got2B Hit and Miss – Review of Got2B Hair Products

11 Apr
Photo Credit:  Fabulously Innovative Marketing

Photo Credit: Fabulously Innovative Marketing

So here’s the deal. Schwarzkopf makes both a professional line of hair care products and one that is available in retail store. I was very familiar with their professional line but had never used the non-pro line got2B until I was given the opportunity to at the “Come Fly with Me” beauty event put on by London Drugs. I was given the got2B Oil-licious shampoo, conditioner as well as the got2B POWDER’ful volumizing styling powder.  The results were hit and miss.

Let’s start with the miss. I didn’t love the Triple Oil Shampoo and Conditioner as it isn’t hydrating enough for my extremely damaged hair, I also don’t love the smell.  But if you are a big fan of incense smell or don’t have extremely damaged hair then you may love it, it all comes down to personal preference and hair type.

Now the hit. I absolutely love POWDER’ful volumizing styling powder! Even though my hair is damaged it still can get oily from all the products I use and well, no one wants a greasy head. This powder is awesome for adding texture to your hair without the goop or grease. I highly recommend it and will definitely be buying it again when this bottle is done.

 All got2B products can be found at London Drugs.

(This post was originally featured on Fabulously Frugal in Vancouver)

Hairkraft Studio

31 May

ImageIf you have read my post What It Takes To Be A Blonde then you already know about Simona Heger and how great she is. Well she is now out on her own, technically she is out with her business partner, another amazing stylist, Sabrina Allen. They have started a great little salon called Hairkraft Studio at 155 8th Ave in East Vancouver.

Simona is an incredible stylist. She has great ideas, but also really knows how to listen. She helps her clients figure out what they want and what would look best so that they always leave happy. She is both a gifted colourlist and hair cutter.

Another things that really sets Simona apart is her speed. She gets me in and out of there in about half the time it takes other stylists, making her the perfect person to see if you have a tight schedule.

For colour, Hairkraft studio is using a combination of L’Oreal Professionel and Wella, two great lines. For styling products they are using Kevin Murphy.

So if you’re looking for a new salon this is definitely a place I would recommend. There is no attitude, no pretension, just talent and good times.

You can find Hairkraft Studio online here:


Twitter: @HairkraftStudio

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hairkraftstudio

What It Takes To Be A Blonde

4 May

I certainly have the personality, but the fact of the matter is that I am not a natural blonde. Shocked? You’re not alone. I’ve been faking it since I was about 20. At that time, I started having my hair bleached every 6 weeks or so; that means I’ve probably had somewhere in the area of about 70 bleach-outs.

There are many different ways you can go blonde. For me, I have a solid bleach-out done, meaning that I am totally blonde. In the past I have had highlights done, but with my length of hair (quite short) I find it’s easier to go for the all-over colour.

My dark roots

My hair is naturally dark brown so the process involves removing my natural pigment (bleaching) and applying a new tone to my lightened hair (toner/balancer). In the past this service, including a cut, would take over three hours, but now I see Simona at Rain Boutique and Salon in Vancouver. Simona has managed to cut (obvious hair pun) that time down to an hour and forty-five minutes or so. This is a huge plus for me, because it means I can fit these appointments into my life with much more ease. Not only is her timing amazing, but both the colour and cut are always perfect.

The first thing that Simona always does before starting is to go over what we are doing. She asks if I was happy last time and if I want to make any changes. Once we have formulated a plan we get down to bleaching. Simona uses a L’Oreal bleach and applies it section by section to only the roots of my hair. She takes special care to not touch the existing blonde to make sure my hair does not get damaged any more than necessary. Avoiding the existing blonde also helps her prevent what is called banding i.e. those tiger looking stripes that look TERRIBLE.


So what does bleach feel like? I wouldn’t call it painful, but you definitely know that there is bleach on your scalp. At some points it feels a bit itchy like little ants are crawling on your scalp. Sometimes it can feel quite warm and stinging. But after a little while you almost get numb to it and stop feeling anything at all. It’s really quite tolerable. I am a huge wuss, so if I can do it, trust me, anyone can do it.

Bleach-outs are not without risk. Even with the most experienced stylist there is always the possibility of chemical burns, especially for those with sensitive skin. In my time as a blonde I have had many, but have never had complications from them. They heal quickly, although the pus that sticks to your hair can be REALLY gross. The best way to avoid them is by finding a good stylist and staying with her/him. Once they learn how your skin reacts to products you won’t have to worry about anything unexpected. Also, there are great new products on the market for people with sensitive skin. L’Oreal even has an ammonia free bleach that can be used on much more sensitive scalps.

Simona keeps an eye on my hair the entire time, checking it to make sure that it lightens to the right level and not any more. Once we have attained this level we head to the sink for a rinse. There, she shampoos my hair with a “post colour” shampoo that ensures all traces of bleach are gone and evens out the porosity of my hair. Next step is the balancer. So what is balancer you ask? A balancer, or toner, is what is used to add colour back into my hair. It is adding the tone or shade to my hair. Generally a semi-permanent or demipermanent colour is used. These colours will gradually fade over time. Without a balancer I would just have that nasty at-home bleached-out look. Think of a famous rapper who shall not be named.

The balancer is only left on for a few minutes and then rinsed off. Simona takes great care to choose a good, rich, deep-conditioner to use for my scalp massage to ensure that some of the damage caused by the bleach is repaired. Once that is rinsed, we always cut my hair to make sure that it looks its best and that any damaged ends are removed. She styles it and I’m back to looking like my fabulous blonde self.

Me and my fabulous stylist Simona

Having bleached hair does require some at-home maintenance to keep it looking its best. There are two accessories I simply can’t live without.

1. A purple shampoo. I use L’Oreal Professionnel Silver Shampoo. I use this once a week to eliminate any yellow or “brassy” tones from my hair.

2. A good conditioning mask. I use Noctogeniste Serum Nuit by Kerastase. This ensures that my hair is soft and shiny, and not rough like straw.

Being blonde may sound like a lot of work, but remember…we do have more fun.

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