Tis the season for fabulous hair!

9 Dec

It’s official… the holidays are here! And whether or not it’s your favourite season, or if you even celebrate this time of year, holiday events and social obligations are lurking around every corner — and you have to look fabulous!

A great outfit is just not enough during the holidays. Everyone is dressed to impress, and that goes for hair and makeup as well. Well… unless you get invited to one of those Ugly Holiday Sweater parties… then we know for sure your hair won’t be the focus (no matter what!) Having said that, you still don’t want to be too fussy or formal with your hair. After all, you’re there to party!

Here are some of our favourite hairstyles that are perfect for those holiday parties where you want to look fabulous but still let loose!

Penelope Cruz’s side-swept waves:

A great and easy way to add a little extra oomph to wavy or curly hair. Pin it all to one side and touch up the waves for a lux look… and make sure to add lots of hairspray to keep it in place and a shine serum or spray!

Kim Kardashian’s edgy pony:

If you’re looking for a little edge to go with your glam, look no further than this Kardashian’s voluminous ‘do. There’s no Snooki resemblance here — Kim keeps her poof sleek and modern, pinning the sides back into a long and shiny pony.

Anne Hathaway’s elegant chignon:

If you’re looking for something a little more elegant, but still simple, Anne’s Oscar updo is for you! It’s as easy a low chignon, a modern middle-part and a few sexy, loose tendrils!

Sarah Jessica Parker’s glam waves:

Want a modern take on 70s wave and volume? This look is perfect! Ultra big and ultra shiny, this style can go from office to evening in no time!

Diane Kruger’s decorated ‘do:

So you fancy, huh? (who doesn’t like a little Drake reference!) Diane Kruger adds the perfect amount of bling for the holidays to this wavy updo. Adding a little sparkle with fancy pins and clips is an easy way to be festive… and gorgeous!

Elizabeth Olsen’s chic top knot:

Those of you wanting to show off your fantastic facial structure, make up or neckline should take a page from the youngest Olsen’s book! This not-too-perfect but not-too-messy bun does everything right and can work with jeans and a blouse or a fabulous dress.

This holiday season partake in as many festivities as possible… just so you can show off your fabulous hair!

The gift of hair…

18 Nov

It seems the moment after we’ve packed away our Halloween costumes and decorations the holiday season is upon us. Christmas lights and ornaments adorn storefronts starting the first week of November and slowly Christmas carols are floating through the air, trying to add merriment to the general public. Besides an excuse to deck the halls and stuff ourselves, to many, the holiday season is about giving, whether to friends, family or those in need.

Toy, clothing and food drives are in full force at this time of year, supplying a little bit of cheer to as many less fortunate families as possible. These initiatives are vital, there’s no doubt about it. But this holiday season, there’s another gift that you may be able to give to a child in need. The gift of hair.

Locks of Love is a public, not-for-profit organization that provides custom-made hair pieces to financially disadvantaged children in the U.S. and Canada. The age bracket for recipients goes from six to 21 and it’s for those suffering from long-term medical hair loss, from any diagnosis, be it cancer, alopecia or a traumatic accident. (learn more about the organization here)

LOL uses donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics to give to children in need free of charge, or on a sliding scale, based on financial need. Their custom-made prosthetics are the ideal option for children because they do not require the use of tape or glue because they form a vacuum seal. Only the wearer is able to remove the wig and they can swim and shower with it in place, avoiding any shame or embarrassment that might come with it accidentally being removed. And so the child truly feels like he or she is getting her own hair, she’s able to choose the colour and length of the hair, the skin tone of the silicone base and the cut or style she wants. This process takes between four and six months and recipients may reapply for a new prosthesis every 18 months.

These prostheses are made possible through financial and actual hair donations. Each prosthesis requires between six and ten ponytails at least ten inches long, and it’s estimated that 80 per cent of all donations come from children who want to help other children.

If you want to donate your hair, there are certain guidelines that must be followed, but most salons are familiar with the organization and can help you make sure they are met. For a full list of guidelines, click here.

So this holiday season, or the next one, if you find yourself wanting to make a difference to a child in need, think about Locks of Love… all it takes is a little time, patience and care.

Found at Bay Station: the perfect pixie

4 Nov

The other day as I was rushing to the salon through Bay station a woman caught my eye. No, it wasn’t someone looking all crazy or super glamorous or quirky. It was simply a woman with one of the most perfect pixie cuts I’ve ever seen.

It was a short, Emma Watson-esque pixie, smooth, but with a hint of texture and the shortest of bangs. It suited her face perfectly and was accented with a simple and neutral headband. But what really made this pixie stunning was the colour; it was somewhere in between a copper and strawberry blonde and it was amazing. There is a shortage of perfect pixies out there in general, and gorgeous, red pixies are even more elusive. It was definitely special. Had it not been rush hour I would have stopped to compliment her and ask who did her hair. I kind of regret not doing so!

Since then, I have not been able to get pixies off of my mind. People are afraid of going uber short because they’re worried about looking too masculine and that men won’t like it. But let me tell you: if you have the right facial structure, a pixie can enhance femininity – even with some edge – and it will draw attention to your favourite features.

And not all pixies have to be cropped right to the head. There are so many options for you to play with texture, bangs and layers to get the look that’s perfect for your face and style. And you may be more excited to play with colour because it won’t be as overpowering (think Rihanna’s muppet red afro).

However, as much as I love a perfect pixie, they sadly don’t work for everyone. Those who are blessed with bone structure to die for and who have delicate features suit the pixie the best. And you have to be comfortable showing off those features as well. If you hide behind long hair and never pull it off of your face, chances are a pixie might be too big of a shock.

Here are some of our favourite pixies to inspire you. Please take note: not one of these beautiful ladies looks like a boy.

The men of Haartek grow some mo’s…

2 Nov

This year, the men of Haartek Salon are proud to be Mo Bros, growing upper lip warmers to raise funds and awareness for men’s health and prostate cancer research. 

The month of November is now unofficially called Movember, and starting November 1st, guys register themselves at Movember.com with a clean-shaven face in order to get sponsored for growing a moustache (or a mo).  Over 1.1 million men take part in Movember worldwide and funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and their men’s health partner, Prostate Cancer Canada.

Besides being an excuse to grow a sweet ‘stache, Movember’s goal is to change the stubborn habits and attitudes surrounding men’s health. Too often men ignore or dismiss medical problems but Movember aims to educate men about the risks they face and get them to act on that knowledge and increase their chances of early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment.  As it says on their website:
“Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words, they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.”

So in honour of Movember, here are some of Haartek’s favourite mustachioed faces, sure to inspire our men’s mo’s.

In 2010, Movember raised 22.3 million dollars in Canada and hopes that 2011 will top it. This is the first year that Haartek will be raising funds as a team and we’re pretty darn excited to see who will grow the best mo (and raise the most money for it!)

For more information or to register your own mustache, click here. You can even join Haartek’s team (official team name is Haartek Salon).

To view profiles and donate money to our mustachioed gentlemen visit their pages: Remo, Cosimo & Mike.

Happy Movember!

A manicure not even I can ruin…

26 Oct

Do you go to your favourite salon or spa and pamper yourself with a fabulous manicure only to almost immediately muck up your polish fumbling for your keys because you just can’t wait long enough for it to dry completely? Or do you paint your nails at home and wake up with sheet prints instead of a glossy finish? Do you wear away your polish quickly typing everyday at work? Isn’t it infinitely frustrating?

A perfect manicure really finishes an outfit. From french tips to almost black, impeccable, shiny nails are a must-have accessory.

The problem is, on the other hand (literally), a chipped manicure is the worst. It will detract from even the most glamorous outfits and hair. (Just ask Cosimo… his biggest pet peeve is chipped nails!)

However, ladies (and those gentlemen who are fans of the polish), there is an alternative to finicky nails. CND Shellac promises an ultra-glossy, mirror-like finish that lasts for 14 days. The best part? It’s dry the minute you finish your manicure.

Shellac combines the ease of polish with the permanence of gels. It’s as thin as regular nail polish, hypo-allergenic and contains no formaldehyde, toluene or DBP. And the application is easy peasy! The system includes the same steps as any professional manicure: a base coat, two coats of colour and a top coat. The only difference is that each coat needs to be cured in a UV lamp (ten seconds for the base coat and two minutes for each colour and top coat). And removal is just as simple. The shellac soaks off in acetone in just ten minutes without causing any damage to your nails.

Not only does it remain flawless and shiny for two weeks, it actually helps to protect and strengthen natural nails. It comes in 30 colours at the moment, but by layering colours you can create new shades and effects. For example, if you layer their black colour with purple on top it creates a much darker purple.

I’ve had shellac done twice and have been thrilled by the results. I am the queen of chipped nails, and this has been the solution for long-lasting, great looking manicures. And I definitely recommend it for special occasions like trips, weddings and holidays – you won’t have any last-minute chips!

Sound too good to be true? CND Shellac was voted Nails Magazine’s Best New Product of 2010 and has been praised in Flare, The Oprah Magazine, InStyle and Glamour amongst others. But don’t take our world for it… I dare you to try it for yourself. I guarantee you’ll be hooked!

The only time of year when a bow made of hair is okay…

20 Oct

We’ve talked before about iconic hairstyles and how they can define a personality. The hairstyles are almost always universally recognized, or if not, at least recognized by all of those who follow pop culture.

Halloween is one of the best times to think about iconic hair. When planning your costume do you start with the clothes? Do you ever think about how your hair could make or break the costume?

Think about it. There are certain hairstyles that will define you as a certain character or celebrity regardless of what you cover your body with. You could be wearing an astronaut suit but if you have a tall, curly blue wig on, you’ll still be Marge Simpson… just as an astronaut, right?

Here are some of our favourite ideas for Halloween costumes that are all about the hair… I guarantee you’ll recognize most, if not all, of these memorable styles.

And please keep in mind the reason they make such great costumes is that you really should never have this kind of hair on a day-to-day basis… Snooki, I’m looking at you.

Happy costume planning!

Hair horror stories: It’s okay… you can laugh.

12 Oct

Only the truly lucky people in the world are without an embarrassing hair story. For us mortals, whether it was when you were a child, teenager, in university or in your golden years, there will always be that standout memory of hair that you’d rather forget… but never will… nor will anyone who’s seen the proof let you.

But however horrific the hair was at the time, we can’t really deny the hilarity of the whole ordeal. And, of course, hair stories are our favourite stories, so we can’t complain too much.

Here are a few gems floating around Haartek that might make you giggle… not to mention make you feel better about your own hair nightmares!

Susan’s story:

When she was younger, Susan had beautiful Farah Fawcett hair but decided to go short and sassy. She drastically cut off ten inches of her flowing locks – but nobody noticed! Eventually she got so peeved that she asked her friend who replied, “Oh. I guess we didn’t notice because it just looks so good on you.” Susan was not impressed.

Debra’s story:

Debra was in grade nine and days away from going on a trip to England when she decided to get a body perm. Unfortunately, the results were disastrous: it turned into an afro mullet! She had to get her friend to cut the mullet, but she was still stuck with big, frizzy hair and thought she was going to die of embarrassment… until a shop girl overseas told her that she loved her hair. Then Debra stopped worrying. Her friends still thought it was horrible, though.

Tanya’s story:

Although Tanya has been lucky enough to never have a hair nightmare of her own, she caused a few when she was younger. Having black hair herself, she used to be really jealous of her friends with blonde hair. So when they weren’t looking she found the yuckiest of the smelly markers (think black licorice and orange that resembled Pine Sol) and coloured her friends’ hair. Yes, it stained.

A Haartek client’s story:

When she was five years old, her father shaved her entire head at the advice of her grandmother. Apparently, this trick was to make her hair grow in thicker. Unfortunately, it never did. And her brothers made fun of her the entire time it was growing back.

Carla’s story:

Carla decided to get her first perm in grade eight. Her aunt was a stylist and offered to do it for her. Carla’s problem? Her style at the time was a chin-length bob and her aunt mainly did hair for old ladies. The result? Carla walked around with giant poodle hair, but she still thought she was so cool. At least that’s something!

My story:

It was the summer before grade seven for me when the craze was to dye your hair with Kool-Aid. At the cottage, my friend and I got her mom to do it for us. I was determined to have the brightest hair, so I did one side of my hair pink and one side purple. Having blonde hair, however, the Kool-Aid stained and never came out. Not only did I have to cut all my hair off when I went back to school but I was also followed by bees for a long time.

And here’s the pièce de résistance, Remo’s story:

Although not about his own hair, this is the story of Remo’s first experience with colouring somebody’s hair on his own. In his first month of hairdressing school, his best friend’s mother insisted that he colour her hair with her Wella “black cherry” dye. On her, it was the “in” colour – dark with burgundy tones. There was always a bit leftover and she insisted on keeping it for the next time. They soon realized the colour shouldn’t be re-used as it oxidizes. However,  her husband asked Remo to use it on his almost all white, balding hair. Remo agreed to give it a go and the outcome was a flaming eggplant shade. He couldn’t leave his house for days until Remo had the time and materials to fix it. Ouch.

 So there you go, kiddies. Isn’t it nice knowing that almost everybody has an embarrassing hair story to tell? And that some of us are nice enough to post them online?

If you’re feeling charitable, do share your hair horror stories with us… it might brighten the day of someone who’s just had their aunt give them a purple afro by accident.

It’s come undone..

30 Sep

It’s no secret that I am a fan of undone hair. I’ve written more than a few posts dedicated to various purposely messy looks… and this is no exception.

But why is the “undone look” so popular? Why this aversion to looking polished?

I have a few theories. First of all, messy hair can be incredibly sexy. I’m not talking about “dirty teenager” or “just-been-camping-for-a-week-and-can’t-remember-what-a-shower-feels-like” messy, I’m talking about the “night-after-a-great-party” or, if I may be so bold, the infamous “sex” hair. It just looks so carefree and cool… but you know there was an initial style behind it that just became, well… undone.

The second reason might be a rebellion against being a slave to heated hair tools… or the heat and humidity of the city for that matter. Why punish your hair (or your patience) when casual hair can look great for work and, with the right makeup and accessories, for a night on the town.

My third theory might be a bit of a stretch, but I think it has some merit. I point my finger at the rise of hipsterdom; there must be some correlation between the abundance of hipsters in the world and the popularity of messy hair. Just the fact that undone hair is styled to look messy reeks of hipsters, no?

But regardless of the reasoning behind this trend I am hopelessly in love with it. There is just something so appealing about less-than-perfect hair that looks somehow perfect. From tousled waves to undone top knots and chignons to messy braids, all of these styles demand some effort, but not too much. And this nonchalance is what makes it irresistible.

If you don’t understand, I dare you to take a look at some of our favourite “undone” looks. I’ll bet you fall in love too.


Take a walk on the wild side…

28 Sep

Have you ever wanted to colour your hair bright pink or purple but just never built up the nerve? Maybe your profession won’t allow crazy colours in the office or you wish it could be for just a weekend. Well, your wish has been granted.

This September, our dear friends at Kevin Murphy came out with a new hair colour that will excite tweens and grown-ups alike: Colour.Bug! It’s a temporary hair colour in powder form – think eye shadow for your hair. It’s easy as pie to apply and washes out with your next shampoo. How perfect is that?

I can imagine you shaking your head in disbelief. Surely this can’t look as cool as it sounds… or can it? And if so, it must only show up on light hair. Well, my lovelies, how wrong you are! To show you just how awesome Colour.Bug is, our very own Carla demonstrated on yours truly (a blonde) and one of our dear receptionists (with black hair) who dared to go pink.

What you need: a smoothing and shine serum like Kevin Murphy’s Young.Again; one or more Colour.Bug colours (we chose pink and purple… there is also orange available); and hairspray (we used Kevin Murphy’s Session.Spray).

Before you apply Colour.Bug, it’s recommended that you have product in your hair in order for the powder to stick easily. We suggest using a smoothing and shining serum – why not beautify the condition of your hair while you’re at it? As you can see, Tanya has a lot of hair, but only one or two pumps of Young.Again is suffice.

To apply the Colour.Bug, simply glide the applicator over hair using some pressure. Because the colour is in powder form, use your fingers to rub the product in, spreading it over the desired area and giving it the trendy ombre look. Make sure you drape a towel over your shoulders to catch the loose powder. Some may rub off on your clothes, but it does not stain.

See, I told you it would show up in dark hair! When you’ve finished applying the colour to your satisfaction (we chose to do all of Tanya’s ends) seal the deal with a dose of hairspray. Again, because Colour.Bug is a powder it is important to use a finishing product like spray to make sure the colour stays put.

And voila! Tanya has pastel pink ends without having to bleach her hair – no commitment!

So now that you know that yes, Colour.Bug is an option for even the darkest of hair. But how does it look on the blondies? Well, you’re in for a treat. Here is my hair after applying the Young.Again serum.

On my hair, Carla decided to do alternating layers of pink and purple colour to give it a rainbow effect.

Because my hair is so light, much less Colour.Bug needs to be used. Layer the colour to play with the vibrancy.

After Carla finished layering the pink and purple, she played with my waves and used the Session.Spray to hold the colour in place.

When all was said and done, I had gorgeous, rainbow tips! Lauren Conrad, eat your heart out!

Colour.Bug truly does do what it claims: it provides amazing, temporary colour, no matter what type of hair you have. However, before using it, there are things you need to consider. Remember, it is a powder which means that no matter how much hair spray you use, if it gets wet it will come out… so you don’t want to get caught in the rain. And for the blondes out there wanting a splash of colour for a day, here’s a warning: it may be visible for a few days. The packaging does say that very light or over-processed and porous hair may be stained by Colour.Bug. In my case, the vibrancy of the colour washed out after using a cleansing shampoo; however, a pastel tint was still very visible after two more washes. Four washes later, there is barely a trace except for a slight purple tint when you look very closely at a few strands. But my hair is naturally blonde and not over-processed, so the staining might be more severe with bleached hair.

Regardless of its drawbacks, Colour.Bug is a fun way to brighten up your look without the commitment of a normal hair colour. For all you nine to fivers, this may be your chance to take a walk on the wild side… for a weekend.

Too cool for school…

21 Sep

We’ve been talking about fall trends and fashions since the end of August, but it seems we’ve forgotten the most important time of year for so many – back to school!

September isn’t just about buying new clothes and supplies for school. A trip to the salon is almost mandatory to get that great cut or colour for the new school year. Whether you’re in high school or university, your hair can define your style, help you fit in or give you that stand-out-from-the-crowd quality. Whatever your aim is, great hair is important!

There seems to be two big trends in Hollywood for the young and fabulous: long and wavy with subtle ombre highlights ; or a choppy bob. Either way, they’re both fresh, young, low maintenance and fun!

Here are some of our favourite back-to-school styles:

Leighton Meester’s subtle ombre locks are effortless chic for the new school year. They add interest to her long, wavy mane and are extremely low maintenance – your roots are supposed to show! However, ombre highlights are not an excuse to be lazy… they should look deliberate and should only be a few shades lighter than your root colour – think sun-kissed vacation hair rather than growing out blonde colour.

This curly, layered lob is stunning on Selena Gomez and is perfect for back-to-school! Lobs and bobs frame your face and are still long enough that you can braid the front or put it up in the ever-popular top knot for those early morning classes!

It’s a given that students pull their hair back in buns and ponytails all the time! But there’s nothing wrong with adding a little style to that pony. Low, side-ponies are back and when embellished with a braid or twist are a fabulous alternative to a boring, high ponytail. And it’s just as easy!


Uber-long, honey-coloured hair seems to be a die-hard trend for the under-25 crowd. To make sure it doesn’t look too plain try adding different braids or subtle highlights.

It caused quite a stir when Diana Agron chopped off her hair into a shaggy bob… but we absolutely love it! She still looks young and fresh but a bit edgy! And she can keep it tousled or flat-iron it for a sleek look!

Blake Lively has the quintessential young, fresh look. From her sun-kissed colour to her easy, breezy waves, Lively is known for her trendy hair.

As we can see from young starlets, having gorgeous hair doesn’t have to be fussy or old-fashioned. In fact, the more carefree and easy your style is the better! You’re young… you should have fun with your hair! Experimenting with your style and trying out the latest trends is one of the best parts of being in your teens or early twenties so take advantage! You’re only young once, right?

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