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Fashion Stores

Cooney for Hair

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on February 17, 2012

Cooney for HairCooney for Hair is one salon in Toronto that's consistently looking east for inspiration. While Cooney himself is Chinese, the salon is decidedly Japanese in approach.

I've surely past by the salon countless times, but never bothered to venture inside (and not just because of the whole "stairs" thing). The second floor salon is easy to miss; simply marked by a black and white sign right by the corner of Queen and Spadina. But once you climb the stairs and pass through the door, you'll find a space unlike most other salons in Toronto.

Cooney for HairA stylist fetches Cooney from his office once I enter the salon, then returns to resume highlighting a male customer's hair. That's one thing, Cooney points out, that happens a lot at Cooney that is atypical for conventional salons. "About 30 to 40 per cent of our clients are men," he says as we take a seat on the salon's couch. "And we do a lot of colouring — a lot of perms."

That goes for both male and female Cooney customers. While the rest of the city abandoned perms 20 to 30-odd years ago, they're still done relatively frequently at Cooney, in keeping with Japanese trends.

"We usually leave the hair longer," Cooney replies when I ask about the other distinguishing features of a Japanese cut. "A lot of texture, colour, and specialized treatments like Japanese straightening."

Cooney for Hair"There's no such thing as 'just a trim,'" he continues. "The Japanese are a lot more fashion-forward. They don't want to be conservative or repeat the same haircut each time. We try to do something new each time a client comes in."

Cooney for HairCooney for Hair has been around for the past 15 years or so, in it's current location for about six. Cooney grew up in the U.S., cutting his own family's hair and hoping to one day open his own salon. He was able to see to that aspiration once he moved to Toronto after high school, and his Japanese-focused salon quickly garnered word-of-mouth attention.

Cooney for HairAnd that continues to be Cooney's primary method of marketing. He tells me he continues to see new clients on a regular basis, all of whom come from different backgrounds and are looking for something new. Cuts here generally range from $43-$67, treatments from $38-$70, colour from $62-$160, and perms from $105-$170. Needless to say, there is no specified price for a "trim."

Cooney for HairCooney for Hair



Jarrett / February 17, 2012 at 01:48 pm
Ahh interesting

I see Hero burger has taken over all Lettieri locations too
meh / February 17, 2012 at 04:41 pm
Slow news day.
DS replying to a comment from Jarrett / February 17, 2012 at 05:03 pm
Same ownership (Mr. Lettieri owns Hero Burger)
wikito / February 17, 2012 at 05:31 pm
Go to Maya Hair Salon in Koreatown instead
Jamie / February 17, 2012 at 09:23 pm
If you want an authentic Japanese hair style, 'Hair Happiness' and 'Atelier May' are true Japanese owned and run hair salons in Toronto.
Nic replying to a comment from Jamie / February 17, 2012 at 09:30 pm
Actually, Cooney IS Japanese, and so are all the stylists, so I don't know what you mean by "true Japanese" owned.

This is the only place in Toronto that I trust with my hair. Get exactly what I want every time. They play great music, too!
Oz replying to a comment from Nic / February 18, 2012 at 08:49 am
It says Cooney is Chinese.
Jes / February 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm
I've been here a few times and was pretty happy with the results but it was actually Cooney himself that turned me off from coming back. His staff made a mistake and when I called him to point that out, he was extremely rude and hung up on me. I'd recommend Hair Happiness, which is where I go now.
DD / February 29, 2012 at 11:35 am
This is HONESTLY the worst hair salon I have EVER been to. I had some extra time before I went out with friends so I thought, “ why not get a quick blow out?” The "stylist" got a round brush stuck in my hair! I left with soaking wet hair in a bun I did myself, not to mention a lot of scalp pain. NEVER EVER GO HERE, EVER!
Amy / March 7, 2012 at 04:16 pm
I've been going to Cooney for over two years and it's the only salon I've ever been happy with and now trust for my hair styles every month. They pay more attention to detail and texture than anywhere else I've been. Occasionally you do get a stylist that isn't quite as great as the others - Cooney himself is the best. The extra money for a cut from him is worth it!

My only complaint - sometimes there is a language barrier with the sylists, so bring a picture. :)
www / June 21, 2012 at 01:46 am
last time cooney cut my hair\middle to long and he charged me 110$. he is crazy! and i dont like the cut at all.
A replying to a comment from www / January 15, 2013 at 10:38 pm
True, they cheat on their customers and they never give you a receipt if you don't ask for one. If you ask for a receipt, you will know that the prices don't add up. The 13% tax and the haircut price dont add up to the final cost. They tried to get away from cheating by writing the receipt on a rough paper, not a formal receipt that has their company name on. So just be careful if you want to try this salon.
Lola replying to a comment from Jamie / July 17, 2014 at 11:57 pm
tried both, neither is good
Lola replying to a comment from Lola / July 17, 2014 at 11:58 pm
I mean hair happiness and atelier may someone mentioned above

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