Last week, I wrote about how beauty editors are always fielding offers to get their makeup done. Well, the same thing goes for haircuts and colours: most of us can get by, if we so desire, on a constant stream of freebies, and it’s a rare beauty editor who can’t name off at least 20 salons who’ve treated her tresses.
Despite—no, I’m quite sure it’s because of—that fact, I’ve almost developed an aversion to over-the-top, trying-too-hard, fancy-pants hair salons. You know the drill: décor that wouldn’t look out of place in Architectural Digest, a gazillion underfed and overdressed assistants, lattes and freshly-squeezed juices at the ready, and stylists who greet you like you’re their new BFF.
All of that sounds like it could be kind of great, in a way, but I prefer the focus to be on The Hair, you know? That’s why I’m adding a new destination to my Little Black (Beauty) Book: Toronto’s worldSALON (hereafter referred to as simply “World”).
Full disclosure: I was invited to experience the salon gratis a few weeks ago, for a colour job and a trim. The brainchild of hair guru Brian Phillips (that’s him in the pic at right—he’s worked with Kim Cattrall, Nora Jones and Jessica Stam), World has actually been around for 20 years, but as with most things really worth knowing about, it’s a bit of a well-kept secret.
(In general, I prefer my hair salons to be slightly obscure and as far away from Yorkville as possible, which is why I’m a longtime patron of Bill Angst. World has a similar vibe: it’s downtown, but off the beaten track, and the space itself, which is sun-filled and crowded with plants, feels so homey that I didn’t want to leave! I also spotted a model during my visit, which is always a good sign.)
Okay, you’re probably wondering when I’ll get to talking about The Hair. It was great. Really, really great. One of the other reasons I’m a new World fan girl is because they use a hair colouring system called La Biosthetique, which has one of the lowest ammonia contents on the market. If you’re like me and are bothered by the chemical fumes that give you an olfactory smackdown upon entering most salons, you need to check this place out. Besides having no detectable odour, La Biosthetique colour won’t fade as quickly either, says my colourist, Johanna.
It’s been a couple of weeks, and so far, so good: my colour looks rich and perhaps I’m hallucinating, but my ends don’t feel as dried-out as they normally do. (I got a few highlights as well, so if you’re in the market for those too, definitely visit Johanna—she’s a master at making them ultra-fine and natural-looking.)
You can also purchase worldPRODUCTS! They include a gentle cleanser (worldCLEAN) and leave-in moisturizer/shaper (worldPROTECT), and are made without artificial fragrances, parabens or sodium lauryl sulphate. (And they’re not just for hair: you can even use them on your body.)
And finally—I know you don’t, at this point, need another reason to go here, but here is one more: World is committed to being as green as possible. They use solar panels to heat hot water and donate monthly to the Sierra Legal Defense Fund, T.E.A. (Toronto Environmental Alliance), Greenpeace and Habitat for Humanity’s World House.
worldSALON is at 132 Adelaide St. E., Toronto.