My story is one that’s all too common: meet a guy, fall in love…he meets the man of his dreams at Fashion Week and closes up shop in Toronto to go live with him in London. Until last year, I was still lamenting the loss of my high school hair stylist (Michael formerly of Delineation, in case you’re wondering) – especially when the girl I’d replaced him with (at a different salon) gave me Star Trek bangs during our last appointment. After months of painful growing out and Twitter queries, I went back to what I knew best: Dianna Mauro.
Dianna and I grew up together – we met in grade 4 and introduced our parents at swim practice. Soon enough, they had become friends and her dad was building us a house one lot apart from theirs. We’ve been neighbours ever since grade 7 and have gone on many hair + beauty adventures together since. High school Dianna was the reason my hair was jet-black in my grade 12 graduation photos, sparking a reminder from my mom “not to do that thing to my hair with Dianna again” when I headed to check out her new Hoggs Hollow digs, Brixton Parlour.
Opening up shop for herself at Brixton Parlour was a natural progression for a stylist of Dianna’s calibre. She got her start at Marca Hair College but found her inspiration at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in California. Picking up a roster of discerning clients along the way, Dianna became an expert stylist specializing in cut and colour. As her skill set grew, so did her desire to work in a creative space all her own. Brixton Parlour was born.
Located at Yonge and Fairlawn (between York Mills and Lawrence subway stations), Brixton Parlour is a midtown jewel. The space, designed by Toronto designer David Arduini in conjunction with Dianna, is modern but comfortable, incorporating rich, earthy shades and textures like barn wood and stone.
The functional space has an easy flow and appeals to both sexes – no overt girlieness here. The salon’s location on Yonge puts it right in the middle of a highly-trafficked area, chock full of specialty shops and delicious restaurants. It’s situated across the street from specialty lingerie + swimwear boutique Melmira and is in close proximity to Burger’s Priest. If you’re like me, you’ll pick up some bathers, let Dianna work her magic, then go for a celebratory Priest.
As usual, I sat down and told Dianna to do what she wanted. We’d chatted a few weeks before about potentially doing an ombre look, but Dianna’s suggestion was more aligned with what would actually work for me. She suggested subtle highlights that would lighten slightly on my upcoming trip to St. Maarten along with cleaning up the soft layers and side bangs she’d snipped for me a few months earlier. Time flew by as I watched Giuliana + Bill on the flatscreen and I soon found myself seated in front of her mirror, my hair being expertly blow-dried.
3 days later, I’m still madly in love with my hair (and am still receiving a ton of compliments). My hair falls beautifully and has been a cinch to style. I’m enthralled by the soft highlights that appear only when the light catches them just right, adding dimension to my mane. Oh, my hair also feels like spun silk. Whatever Dianna did to it was magical.
Brixton Parlour is an up-and-coming salon you’ll fall in love with immediately. Cuts start at $45 ($65 with Dianna) and colour starts at $60. If you’re just looking for an amazing blow-out, ditch the blow bars and join Brixton Parlour’s Blow-Dry Society (save over $200 on 10 blow-dries!). Check out their Brixton Parlour’s list of services for more information + rates.
Disclosure: YES, I paid for this service! Friends don’t let friends work for free – especially when they’ve just opened up a new place.