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Angst Salon

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on March 6, 2012

Angst Salon TorontoAngst Salon is a venerable Toronto salon thoroughly bred with juxtaposition. While Billy
Angst may have the reputation as a celebrity stylist with regular stints on CityLine, his downtown salon is far from television-studio flashy, with an adornment-free window display and an iron gate manning the entrance. The salon's clients may drive down from Rosedale and Forest Hill, but when they're at Angst they're in the company of Queen East dive bar regulars. The area is perhaps one of the more run-down of Toronto's neighbourhoods, but the styles emerging from the salon are neat, kept, and timeless.

Angst Salon Toronto"This is a co-op," Jeff, one of the stylists, tells me at my first visit to the salon. "We all work together here, though it was Billy who started it all. He wanted to open up a place for creative people work together."

Angst SalonJeff and I get to chatting since Billy has already tucked away his scissors for the afternoon. He tells me how he was a chef before he became a hairdresser, ultimately inspired by the collective attitude at the salon. "Billy has been an amazing support," he says. "And I think we do the best hair in Canada."

angst20120203-06.jpgBold statement, indeed, but Angst's more-than-twenty-year loyal following is a testament to the satisfaction it delivers with every cut and colour. There are no products lining its walls ("We're not salespeople, we're hairstylists," Jeff says), no ultra-modern, ever-changing fixtures (the old victorian barber station is indeed the salon's centerpiece), and 'tolerance' is without a doubt the salon's main mantra.

Angst Salon"We don't have a problem asking someone to leave if they walk in with an attitude, if they're not gracious," Jeff says. Yes, this can be a rough neighbourhood, but we want to promote tolerance. And I think we have pretty good street cred with the people in the community."

In terms of the style community, Billy has his own type of street cred. "He'll tell it like it is," Jeff says. "He's not afraid to say if something doesn't work for you."

Angst SalonSame goes for the other stylists at the salon (which total six), he continues. The attitude is very much laissez-faire and easygoing. I catch Billy later on the phone later on, and he tells me he has been cutting hair since he was 13. He travelled for years before deciding to set down some roots, and resolved that Queen East was the perfect location. "After travelling the world," he says, "I realized that all of the best places are in odd locations."

"I found this place, I bought it, and I love it," he continues. "This is where I'm going to be until I die; I'm going to cut hair until I die."

Angst SalonUntil then, as well, Billy is operating a new website where he will be unveiling a cooking show and a beauty-focused video clips. Back at the salon, most all of the stylists perform both cut and colour, which range in cost from about $70 to $150, and $60 to $100 respectively.

Angst SalonAngst SalonPhotos by Natta Summerky

Discussion

22 Comments

Patrick / March 6, 2012 at 02:48 pm
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Not sure what an antique cash register has to do with how well they cut and style hair, but it sure is a nice interior.
Cheryl / March 6, 2012 at 04:37 pm
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I'm a new client and I feel so welcome that I really look forward to each appt. The vibe is joyful, professional and unpretentious. Bill is fabulous and my hair never looked better. I love the decor and his attitude toward the neighbourhood. Thanks to my sister-in-law for sharing this gem.
vincent filliatre / March 6, 2012 at 06:42 pm
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FAB... It is a family of talent- luxury service at its finest !!!
john / March 10, 2012 at 09:24 pm
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Odd question, but is this only female styles? Never paid 70$ for a haircut (im a guy). Is their a cheaper price for guys?
Bill Angst / March 13, 2012 at 01:54 pm
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Jeff was so excited to do the interview he skipped a beat.
Yes we also have stylists with a $40.00 men`s cut price.
Also add HST... to all prices.
The colour prices quoted do not include highlighting prices which can go up to $150.00.
billyxoxo
kidori mmbaga / April 13, 2012 at 04:02 pm
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am crazy!!!!!!! is it possible to get the same equipments like furnitures etc, because i want to establish my own please i need your help.
Bill Angst replying to a comment from kidori mmbaga / April 26, 2012 at 09:45 am
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The major pieces of furniture are Turn of the Century so hard to find.
Miriam / May 1, 2012 at 06:10 pm
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Is women's hair really $30 more difficult/time consuming than men's?
Dawn Hunter / May 8, 2012 at 01:21 am
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Angst salon—I can't say enough good things about it. I've been having my hair cut there for more than 10 years. Every cut has been fabulous, and Bill really listens to what a client wants. But Angst really is about more than just hair: I always leave feeling happier than when I walked in. I know they are in the business of making people feel good, but (for example) Bill's ability to remember things about his clients is extraordinary. You can't help but feel a little special in his chair.
Jay / May 9, 2012 at 04:09 pm
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I'm wondering if Bill is taking on new clients? I used to go to his salon about 10 years ago for a particular colorist, but who was unfortunately unreliable in showing up so I stopped. Would love to be 'cut' by Bill, as his reputation is of the highest. Thank you in advance for a reply.
Bill Angst / May 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm
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Any one that has passed through my salon is always welcome to come and go as they please.
As a matter of fact all of the stylists do their own color work now including myself.
billyxoxo
Bethann / October 15, 2012 at 03:22 pm
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For 22 years, Angst has been working on my hair. I moved from Toronto long ago, and still drive 2 hours each way for my appointments. To address the fee concern posted [above], I pay for professionals and their expertise. What I get is much more. I sit in Billy's chair and say, "OK, whatever you want" and he gives me appropriate, beautiful, world-ready hair that is easy to care for. I often see my colour treatment or a similar cut in USA fashion magazines months after he has done it. It's not why I go to Angst, but it makes me smile. I feel great EVERY time, no exceptions. That's great VALUE to me. I can get my hair treated by nice people closer to my home, and for much less, yet I would miss Bill and Angst as I would a missing arm or leg: I would get used to it, but would never be truly happy again. :) I go for the hair, but honestly? After all these years, every 9 weeks? I go for the love. xoxo
Lori / January 21, 2013 at 02:25 pm
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Hi Bill - i see you've been responding to comments so I'm hoping you'll read this. I recently switched hair dressers after 3 years of going to mine b/c he was doing the same boring colour and refused to give me any other option other than "i'm not putting any more bleach in your hair. Go brunette or cut it." I've been going blonde for almost 10 years now and going full on brunette isn't an option right now. So I switched hairdressers and found someone who specialized in blondes and was over the top expensive. I loved the colour but my hair has NEVER been so damaged. It's thinned out in the day it took him to colour and highlight my hair, it's unmanagable, brittle and weak and the worst part is that it's falling out. Sooo....I'm in tears now and wondering what to do. Coming to your salon will be the first step..should I book it with you? Do you specialize on care for dry/damaged hair that needs repair. I really need help :(
bill angst / February 17, 2013 at 10:46 am
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The only thing that will help is scissors at this point.
Give up the blonde! The universe is trying to tell you to stop...
billyxoxo
Meg / April 30, 2013 at 03:01 pm
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I know it's a few months after this post was made, but I know someone who bought hair and had her extensions done at Angst, I am just wondering what types of extensions you do, and if you require/allow all clients to purchase the hair themselves? Thanks!
stacey / May 8, 2013 at 08:46 am
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HI Billy - Do you have special tricks or expertise with curly hair?? It's so hard to find someone really good with the curls....
Dorothy replying to a comment from Lori / June 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm
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to:- Lori Jan 21/13

Hi, you should have listened to your first hairstylist
although he should have explained to you exactly why too much bleaching is not good for your hair but you found out the hard way anyway.

You probably have very fine but dark colored hair which needs a lot of bleaching to lighten it
but bleach always weakens hair and too much will cause it too break.
but it is also possible when you got the roots retouched he let too much of the bleach find its way onto the older hair
which would make things even worse.

Other things which would damage hair that seriously would be using products with too much strong alkali in combination with thio products.

When your hairdresser says "no-no" please listen to them
but it is ok to ask about why the chemistry would damage your hair.

We are only hairdressers and not magicians and we cannot override the basic constraints of hair chemistry.

Margaret / August 12, 2013 at 10:13 am
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I recently had my hair cut and it was pretty awful it is short and the problen I see is uneven and choppy in places especially, the top and the sides. The left side is much shorter and uneven than the right and the saides at the back. My hair has some curl and wave in it. I am willing to go as short as I have to , just do not make me bald or look like an army recruit with a shaved head. Is there a particular stylist at angst that can help me, I would really appreciate it. Also what would the cost be?

Looking forward to a reply,

Margaret
Susan Alexander / October 28, 2013 at 02:10 pm
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Looking for someone who can do a good chin length slightly A line bob on fine straight hair. Much harder than you think! If not cut right it flips out. Sick of Vidal Sassoon, don't like the undercutting aka softening Fiorio does (seriously? I have fine hair already!)

Can Angst help?
Singer Island Real Estate / January 22, 2014 at 09:57 am
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Howdy! This post couldn't be written any better!

Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him.
Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!
Monica / June 27, 2014 at 05:51 pm
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Bill is a genius. I will never ever let anyone else touch my hair.
linda / July 16, 2014 at 12:50 am
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I have fallen in love with the hair cut & style of LUCY WORSLEY (English anthropologist) - to me it says "quirky and artistic". (I can email you some photos but googling her name works).

Would this hair style be difficult to maintain and would it be suitable for someone with fine, thin hair?

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