Favourite local barber or hairstylist

Isaiah Sanchez

1. Shawna Friederici (261 Hair Company)

2. Jas Moran (The Barber Bae)

3. Walter Spooner (Waltz on In)

Shawna Friederici is quite simply a veteran of her craft. She’s been a staple in local aesthetics long before frosted tips were a punchline and has now been chosen as Winnipeg’s favourite local hairstylist.

A tale as old as time, Friederici’s passion for hair was born of rebellion and fried chicken.

“When I was in Grade 10, I worked at the local Chicken Chef. I wanted to dye my hair blue, so I asked my boss, and he said no. I thought, when I get older, I’m going to do what I want,” Friederici says.

Straight out of high school, Friederici attended and graduated from hair school in Brandon, where she took her first job at the now-defunct Hair Haven salon. Wanderlust struck, and she had a brief stint aiding Calgarians with their coiffures before finally settling back in Winnipeg.

“I went to a place called Making Waves, where you can rent a chair and run your own business,” Friederici says. “My mind blew. You make your own hours. You’re your own boss, and all the money is yours.”

Today, Friederici’s elusive talents can be seen at 261 Hair Company, where she handles a full client list with grace and poise. While more technical stylists may be inclined to “precision cutting,” Friederici prefers a more free-spirited approach to the art of the snip.

“It’s more of a freestyle cutting situation. People like that. I like doing colours and more creative stuff,” she says.

After 24 years in the follicular arts, Friederici has mastered adaptation in an industry that’s never content to settle.

“There have definitely been different time periods where I’m into specific things. Every five or seven years, there’s something new. Everyone is getting copper hair these days,” she says.

It raises the question for would-be avant-gardists all over: what’s on the horizon for hairstyles?

“If we’re talking men’s hair, it’s going to be a permed mullet. I’m having to learn how to perm again. We permed a lot of hair (in) school, but it was gone for a while. For ladies, a lot of the balayage is going on,” Friederici says.

Published in Volume 78, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 30, 2023)

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