How I Found My Toronto Hair Salon

Part 3 in our series on the future of hairstyling.

Toronto hair salon owner Kahlae Clifford and long-time client Mauricette.

Toronto hair salon owner Kahlae Clifford and long-time client Mauricette.

In the past few weeks, we’ve switched the focus on the Studio 86 blog from hairstyling tips to a deeper discussion about the future of hairstyling. We’ve been asking our readers how they feel about racial segregation in salons and whether or not people consider race as a factor when selecting a hairstylist.

In our last post, we talked to Studio 86 owner and head stylist, Kahlae Clifford, about her experience owning a Toronto hair salon that caters to people of all races and hair textures. This week, we’re chatting with Mauricette, one of our favourite clients, about how she ended up in Kahlae’s chair, and her thoughts on all of the above.

What are the qualities you look for in a hairstylist?

I look for someone who takes the time to get to know me and my preferences. Someone who is creative and makes suggestions for my hair that will improve its health and suggests styles that are flattering that I might not have even considered. I especially like a stylist that is honest at all times and doesn’t try to sell me on products I don’t need or un-needed chemical treatments.

I also look for someone who is respectful of my schedule and does not run hours behind on appointments or keep me sitting in a chair for a long time waiting my turn.

Have you experienced challenges with finding a stylist that knows how to work with your hair type?

Yes, I have moved several times from one coast to the other and at times lived in small rural towns. It has been virtually impossible to find someone in small places who is comfortable working with thick curly hair. Even in big cities like Edmonton and Ottawa it took me a long time to find competent stylists.

What do you think about racial segregation between hair salons?

I think it is a sad state of affairs especially in a diverse city like Toronto but to be expected when people in the hair industry have pre-set ideas about hair types and many are not well trained in a comprehensive way. Hair schools, where there is a diverse population, should be teaching stylists to work with a range of hair types.

How did you end up in Kahlae’s chair? What were your initial impressions?

It was the owner of a previous salon that I went to who was too busy one day to take me but advised that Kahlae was available if I was willing to give her a try. That was about nine years ago and I have never looked back. From day one, Kahlae styled my hair beautifully and within about three years helped me to stop using relaxers and my hair has never been healthier.

Kahlae’s new salon is lovely, the service is attentive and professional and I never leave disappointed. I have referred friends to her and often get asked by strangers who does my hair and I never hesitate to refer them to Kahlae!

What would you say to someone who wouldn’t sit in her chair because of her race?

I say that it is their huge loss! Kahlae can work with any type of hair and I love it when I walk into the salon and there is a range of people with different hair types. It speaks volumes about her incredible talent.

Where do you think the world of hairstyling is heading in terms of working with different hair textures?

Toronto in particular is incredibly diverse and so are the hair types.  The mix of people coming to our city is going to continue and stylists are going to need to be trained differently and to be more open minded. Those who limit themselves to only do only certain types of hair are the ones who will lose out on potential clients.

Thanks Mauricette!

Readers: what are your thoughts on this topic? Share your comments below!


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    […] what do we think about all of this at Studio 86? As a Toronto hair salon with a client base that’s as diverse as our team, we think it’s time for hair salons to be a little more progressive. Segregation is not […]

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