September is one of my favourite months — it’s a start of the ‘work year,’ which means new beginnings and opportunities. New York Fashion Week and the Toronto International Film Festival are in full swing during this time, so I’m either scouting latest fashion trends on and off the catwalk, or doing back-to-back interviews with Hollywood celebrities on the Red Carpet. As a journalist, this is what I love the most — seeing how creative people express themselves through their work.
To me, one way to express myself is not just through writing, but also via makeovers. As most of our readers know, in my life these often involve drastic hairstyle changes. That’s why I partnered with Pixii Salon in Toronto earlier this month, taking our Social Media Editor Lacey Ward with me; we were excited to try something fun together.
Anh Nguyen, the owner and creator of Pixii, has been in the business for 15 years. She has another salon in the Bloor West Village, and recently decided to expand to the east side of the city by opening the doors of Pixii in late 2012.
Pixii features a team of professional, friendly and very creative stylists and aestheticians, who are skilled in cuts, colour, hair extensions, skin care, nail care and waxing.
The venue is bright and cozy. All tables are custom-made and the furniture has a strong retro influence.
For our makeovers, Lacey and I had different things in mind. Here is what happened.
I really wanted to go back to a darker colour. Having been blonde for the first time in my life all summer, I thought it was time to do something different. So I asked Anh if she could dye my hair black, but she said it might be hard to go lighter again in the future if we go for a very dark dye (because it would mean more bleaching later). In the end, we chose an extremely dark brown that still looks like black, so I was really happy with that.
Of course, I wanted to add something funky to the look, so we also opted for two platinum blonde streaks inside the hair – this way, I won’t have to touch up the roots for a long time.
Anh worked together with her colleague Joanne Tabifranca: I have never seen two hairstylists work together so efficiently. They literally tag teamed the whole time and, considering how thick and unmanageable my hair is, their ‘hairstyling partnership’ significantly cut down the time it took for the entire process! Both ladies were very friendly and fun to talk to, they also took real care with my hair and recommended ways in which I need to care for it moving forward. For example, Anh said that I shouldn’t use a clarifying shampoo for a while, otherwise it will make my new colour fade quicker.
It was a lovely experience. The overall atmosphere and brightness of the salon were also really enjoyable, because I was able to see the makeover in daylight, which isn’t the case for most salons as they tend to rely on indoor lighting.
The hair colour I chose for our makeover was called ‘balayage’, which is a more subtle and natural ombre. I like my colour to be low-maintenance and prefer changes that are not too drastic. I also enjoy having different tones mixed in and, as an avid hair-curler, I thought this colour would go well with my hairstyle.
The décor at Pixii Salon had a retro glam feel, with a mostly black-and-white theme and pink accents. There was a mixture of minimalistic and retro pieces, such as sleek white tables, black chandeliers and an accent animal print wall. I felt that Pixxi had an inviting, glamourous atmosphere, perfect for a girls’ day out.
Starting with a consultation with Anh, to the balayage colour, onto the cut and styling — the whole process was roughly two hours, but the time flew by quickly. Anh and Joanne were very welcoming, and made me feel comfortable and relaxed. I also did a quick nail polish change while waiting for my hair colour to set in, so it was a perfect day of pampering!
At the salon
Photos by Hannah Yakobi & courtesy of Pixii.