A couple of months ago, I had the awesome experience of getting my hair done at Hair Ink Studio, a newly opened hair salon located in Toronto's up and coming Leslieville neighbourhood. Hair Ink Studios, run by partners Roxanne Muir and Susan Phillips is, in my opinion, a breath of fresh air in an industry that has become less and less focused on customer service.
Roxanne and Susan
With a philosophy that clients should have 100% of their hair dresser's attention during their visit, Roxanne and Susan run their salon a little differently. First, the Hair Ink Studio ladies do not have assistants. They do the hair colouring, cutting, washing and blowdrying themselves so that their clients are not being passed back and forth and get the same stylist, with the same vision, doing their hair. Second, they do not double book clients or answer the phone while a client is in their chair. If you are waiting for your colour to process or your hair to dry, they are right there with you. You have their full attention while you are there, which helps make the salon feel calm and relaxing.
One of a coolest things about Hair Ink Studio is that they are completely green. With the help of a company called Green Circle Salons, Roxanne and Susan recycle everything from dye bottles to the actual hair they cut off. The products are then used in a number of charitable ways including: 1) Using the hair to stuff milk bags and create pillows for those who were forced to live in tents after the earthquake in Haiti and 2) Stuffing old pantyhose with the old hair in order to soak up oil spills in the Ocean.
After researching a few different salons that specialized in bonded hair extensions, I found my way to Roxanne. Roxanne, who has 19 years of experience in the hair industry, is a certified extension artist and uses an infra light machine to apply keratin bond extensions to the hair. Unlike the traditional glue bond, the keratin bonds do not damage the hair and work well for all hair types (including those who have thin or damaged hair).
I wrote Roxanne, and explained that my hair was not growing fast enough for my liking, and that I really wanted longer hair for my upcoming trip to NYC. Roxanne explained to me that she would need to see my hair in person to see if I was a candidate for extensions, so we set up a consultation.
My 'Before' Hair
Roxanne was great at explaining everything she was doing, and exactly what she was using, and gave me a lesson on how to properly use a round brush and dryer to style my hair (trust me, I needed the help). One of the coolest parts of the experience was when Roxanne flat ironed my hair with the Brocato Vibrastrait Flat Iron, a new vibrating flat iron that I immediately added to my wish list. Not only did this flat iron give me a nice head message (seriously, it felt great!), it didn't tug and completely straightened sections of my unruly hair with just one swipe. Roxanne provided me with a few products from the Brocato line including a shampoo, conditioner and serum to help maintain my cut and colour.
My After Hair
My After Hair
I really loved my final look and was surprised by how healthy my hair felt after having so many highlights put in. The cut was great and I loved the fact that my hair no longer felt shaggy or mullet-like. I haven't had my hair cut since, and am happy to say that I can finally see it growing out. I also really liked the colour which gave me a more natural and much softer look. Of course, being the indecisive hair junkie I am, I died my hair dark brown before my trip to NYC (I can't make up my mind. One day I want to be dark, one day I want to be blonde).
If you are in the Toronto area, and looking for a salon, I highly recommend checking out Hair Ink Studio. Roxanne and Susan were extremely knowledgable and made me feel comfortable throughout my entire salon experience.
Be sure to check out the Hair Ink Studio website here, or check out Roxanne on facebook or twitter.
** Disclaimer: I did receive complimentary services from Hair Ink Studio, but this did not change my opinion of the salon in any way, shape or form. Roxanne is amazing. End of story. **