The holiday season is a mixed blessing. It’s a time filled celebrating with family and friends, shopping, decorating, anticipation, endless lists, preparation, and perspiration.
Imagine the scene: the stockings have been hung with care, the tree nears perfection, the cards have been written, there is a sparkling dress waiting in the closet and the house is clean. You confidently glide past the veritable winter wonderland you have created, thinking: “Now it’s time finally relax and have a Merry Chris……” to abruptly stop dead in your tracks. The great mirror on the wall shows a shocking revelation: a scrunched up ball of follicles that have seen better days. Closely resembling a jumbled mess of wires leading to 1000’s of unmatched Christmas lights, you realize you’re in desperate need of a hair makeover.
The holidays are perhaps one of the busiest times of the year for salons. Gastown makes it easy to get you looking beautiful. Here are 8 sanctuaries of style to ensure you are pampered, curled and cut for Christmas.
62 West Cordova
Full of light, white walls, and neon along with teak and leather chairs, Brush Salon is progressive, youthful and effervescent. The salon is built on the idea that every guest should be treated well and receive a luxurious experience, from beginning to end. The space is open and airy, allowing you to articulate your desired look to Brushes’ exceptional stylists. Brush has partnered with Green Circle Salon, a movement that keeps salon chemicals, waste and recyclables out of landfills. They are also a L’Oreal Family salon using only the most innovative colour on the market and a diverse range of sophisticated styling products.
#101 – 111 Water St
The Aveda Institute of Canada has 5 locations across the country and is an internationally recognized school of emerging hair stylists, colourists, salon owners, and beauty professionals. Aveda’s salon is state of the art, utilizing the latest techniques, styles and equipment in the beauty industry. There are four levels of salon services: (each with different price points) Institute, Academy, Advanced and Educators, where students at different stages of their careers and learning processes will create the style you desire. Their is the option to book with an educator; stylists who are highly professional and top of their game.
305 West Cordova
Successfully open in Gastown for over 25 years, Colourbox weaves old world service with modern techniques. High ceilings that tower above large, lead windows create space and light that allow you to relax and be taken care of by one of the many friendly, professional stylists. Colourbox feels like being at home in a good friends place, where the atmosphere is relaxed, comfortable and familiar. The stylists are European trained and are involved with ongoing education, staying current with the latest trends, techniques and looks.
#508 – 55 Water
Thinking that you mistakenly stepped into someone’s home, the House of Blond is a small, intimate, warm space that once there, you’ll find hard to leave. Everything about it says “local” from the craft brewed beer on tap to the rotating neighbourhood art that hangs on the walls. Exposed brick, wood floors and incredible views of the North Shore make this salon quite inviting. The stylists are experienced professionals who pride themselves on identifying their client’s specific needs, ensuring that each person walks out with a style that truly fits.
#312 – 55 Water
There are two passionate stylists who work their magic at this salon: Kelly and Kevin. Located in the same building as the House of Blond, the Kelly Schedewitz salon is an intimate boutique that gives its clients highly individual service. Kelly is constantly refining her skills through working at her boutique here in Gastown, travelling and supporting other stylists and being educated in the latest techniques and trends in hair, beauty and fashion. Kevin is a graduate of the Blanche Macdonald Pro Hair Program, and has apprenticed under his teacher and mentor, Kelly. He has studied with some of the biggest brands in the business: Joico, Goldwell, Redken, L’Oréal, KEVIN.MURPHY and Davines.
73 East Cordova
The Pony Salon provides an exceptional range of services from colour, blonding, highlights, gloss and toning, correction, styling and treatments, and cuts for men. Most services are full service, which include a consultation, shampoo and blow-dry. Owner and stylist, Kristy Davies, got her start here in Vancouver over a decade ago and has since built up a reputable salon with a team of 10. As passionate about styling hair as she is, learning about it, Kristy is dedicated to constantly growing in her craft. She has trained in New York and London.
#203 – 131 Water
Strands is a full hair, skin and esthetics treatment centre. Services include – Cuts, Styling, Color, Perms, Corrective Work, Highlights, Lowlights, Smoothing- Scalp- and Hair- treatments ,Waxing, Facials, Pedicures, Professional Hair & Skin care Products, and Professional Cosmetics. Strands offer The Thermocut – also known as a Wellness Cut. This specialized way of cutting the hair gives fine hair more volume, cuts down on “frizzies” on curly hair at any length. The scissors’ cutting blades are heated to seal the ends and prevent premature splitting. The hair grows longer, looks shinier and smoother.
38 East Cordova
Studio 38 Hair Therapy is owned and operated by Par Singh. Par has been professionally styling hair for over 13 years and has trained under the direction of Kevin Murphy and Vidal Sassoon. Par is skilled at identifying the unique characteristics in each person and then creating a style that suits the individual. He is passionate about making each client happy and looking their best.
#300 – 68 Water
You can go even further off the beaten track without ever having to leave Gastown. Sugar Skull Studio combines everything you’d expect from a professional salon with the option of having a massage before or after your cut. The interior is inspired by traditional sugar skull art, with red and turquoise walls, damask wallpaper, chandeliers, gothic frames and lots of sugar skulls. They hold local art shows in the space every few months. Avant-garde stylists include John A. MacDonald – who specializes in hair tattooing and Velvet Steele – a Vidal Sassoon trained, passionate stylist with over 20 years experience.