Winter hair care

You don’t have to hide your tired tresses under a toque

Salon One Eleven, located unsurprisingly at 111 Fort St., manages to have all the glamour of a modern salon, minus the pretension.

Natural light fills the open airy space, and the chic employees chat effortlessly with a variety of clients against the backdrop of exposed brick walls.

“There is absolutely no ego here,” says Kelly O’Leary, one of Salon One Eleven’s hair experts. “This space has been around for 22 years, which draws in clients from all ages.”

Because of Winnipeg’s dramatic weather changes, O’Leary is currently taking many people into a more appropriate seasonal look.

“It must be so boring for stylists in places like California who are always doing blonde, blonde, blonde,” O’Leary says.

Yes, the colder months usher in a craving for a warm, sophisticated palette.

“I’m doing a lot more deep reds, rich browns and subtle highlights, which are healthier and easier to keep up anyway,” says O’Leary, who also suggests a trim to finish off your new look. While “straggly” ends are cute and carefree in the summer, heavy winter fashions make split ends stand out.

Some clients are inspired by celebs - including Michelle Williams’ short look, a grownup take on Miley Cyrus’ trendy punk-y cut.

“A lot of women are accessorizing with scarves this time of year, and long hair can get in the way,” O’Leary says.

For longer locks, the Ombre trend isn’t going anywhere, but it is shifting to a more subtle transition between colours.

“I love experimenting with the dark to light trend in different ways. Brown to red can be very pretty,” O’Leary says.

As for winter hair woes, O’Leary has a few suggestions for that dry static-y mess that can drive a girl crazy.

“Use a moisturizing shampoo,” she says. “Some people think if they have fine hair they don’t need to, but in the cold air you need that extra boost.”

Unfortunately, those enormously comforting long hot showers are secretly stripping your hair of moisture. You don’t need to completely give up on them, though.

“Even a cool rinse at the tail end of a shower can lock in moisture,” O’Leary says.

O’Leary also suggests a heat protecting spray from Kevin Murphy, a line available at the salon.

“The same product that protects your hair from damage caused by curling irons and straighteners will help you out in the winter air,” she says.

If you need a more intensive treatment, O’Leary swears by Kerastase, a deep conditioning process that helped her out after stripping her black hair to blonde and then adding red.

“It was a life-saver. We are one of two local salons that offer it,” she says.

Looking to impress with a complete polished style at an upcoming holiday party? Salon One Eleven offers “the whole works” including hair, make-up, waxing and manicures. Stop by before November 30 and get $10 off a shellac manicure with hair service.

And don’t worry if O’Leary’s chair is booked.

“I often suggest people visit a different stylist if I’m busy,” she says. “We aren’t competitive here.”

Published in Volume 68, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 13, 2013)

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