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Fashion Stores

Lebel and Crowe

Posted by Alexandra Grigorescu / Posted on September 8, 2012

lebel and crowe torontoLebel and Crowe is easy to miss from the West Queen West street-side, squirreled away up a long, narrow staircase and in the back of a high-ceilinged, white-washed loft space. Open since July, they're announced by a chalkboard sign on the sidewalk--a degree of privacy that suits the owners just fine.

lebel and crowe torontoThe pet project of ex-Grateful Head hairdressers Jesse Crowe and Emily Lebel, the space is a homey, comfortable reprise that satisfied their need for something more casual. "We wanted it to feel like going to a friend's apartment," Crowe explains. They left Grateful Head shortly after the move to Roncesvalles (with the break having been "mostly amicable").

lebel and crowe torontoThe especially loyal clients have followed them to their new digs, while others have remained with Grateful Head--signs of a smooth split, if there ever was one. The business "has been busy enough to sustain itself, but relaxed enough that we're never stressed out," Crowe tells me.

lebel and crowe torontoMake no mistake: the space is petite. There'll be no rapid turnover and conveyor belt haircuts here--there are two cutting stations, a small bench for significant others to sit on and observe the cuts, a single ergonomically placed washing station, and a back door to nowhere. They're planning a patio for next spring, I'm told. Photographs and artwork by their friends and local artists span a wall, and there's even a pseudo-pornographic pillow.

lebel and crowe torontoBetween the two of them, they seem to have their haircutting and colouring bases covered. Crowe specializes in colour, and particularly colour changes--having worked with L'Oreal Professional--and men's haircuts (colour, for the most part, yields women, and it's nice to change up the genders in your chair, I'm told), whereas Lebel is known for women's cuts, and has previously trained with Aveda. Their clients range from 4 to 65 years old, but they're all "pretty relaxed."

lebel and crowe torontoThey exclusively use and sell Kevin Murphy products ($20-$40) and L'Oreal Professional colour products. Particularly delightful is the basket of Kevin Murphy colour bugs ($20), a temporary pastel colour that rubs on and washes off without any damage.

lebel and crowe torontoThe cost is, as with many salons in the area, arguably pricey. They divide their women's cuts by short ($55) and long ($65), justifying the price difference by the quantity of products used, while men's haircuts are an even $45. For those of us who are constantly plagued by hair in our eyes, bang trims are, miraculously, free.

Colour ranges from $70 (and up) for a root touch-up, to $80 (and up) for a full colour, to full highlights beginning at $125. Then, there's the entirely different class of colour correction ($200+) and colour lightening ($125+), with initial consults required for both.

lebel and crowe torontoAs Crowe describes the intensive colour change process, I'm reminded of my own quick-change from deep black to white-blonde several years ago--over 4 hours of searing scalp pain that still didn't yield the ideal result and required a return visit; suffice to say that you shouldn't expect miracles, no matter where you go. They also offer styling services, ranging from $75 for upstyle, to full ($400) and half-day ($250) styling rates, but you won't find any extension, straightening, or perming services.

lebel and crowe torontoLebel and Crowe's hours are a bit unpredictable, and it's best to call or book an appointment online beforehand. They take walk-ins, but chances are, if they're not already doing a haircut or colour, they might not be there. Just like your friend's apartment, indeed.



lol / September 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm
WQW Dickhead Afternoon

1.Get a 45$ buzz cut
2.Go for brunch at the Drake
3.Hang out at a record store where records sell for x4 times their discogs price
4.Spend 4 dollars on an americano... add sugar
5.Ride fixed gear to the park... hold up traffic because you cant really ride it
6.Take photos on your SLR.... heavily edit them in Lightroom while claiming Instagram is for losers
rofl / September 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm
7. compulsively comment on articles
Adam / September 9, 2012 at 11:20 am
Good article, I'd like to check the place out in the future!
M. / September 9, 2012 at 04:02 pm
Unfortunately no mention made of the actual address for the salon - or any contact info?!
Sarah / September 9, 2012 at 04:31 pm
Emily always gives me a gorgeous cut! Feels more like a fun hang out than anything else. The space is lovely, comfortable and the vibe not pretentious like most other salons in the area. Love L&C!
RJS / September 9, 2012 at 04:46 pm
Best hair secret in town! I followed them both from Grateful Head - they hit the nail on the head with this place. Laid back, un-intimidating honest place and girls. You can book online ( and avoid the annoying reception rant. Super easy. And unless you are used to going to Supercuts for a hack job - these are the going professional rates in a major city.
Ps. Its Queen at the bottom of Montrose.
And yes - I like to sit in the park, ride my bike, drink coffee and brunch at the Drake.
Jesse Crowe / September 10, 2012 at 08:47 am
Lol, I'm actually soooooo pretentious that I shoot at medium format slide film and refuse to edit anything for the "purity" of the work... ;) Jesse Crowe here, typing from my iPad while having a 7 dollar coffee and reading Russian literature so when people ask I can seem deep and educated... Just wanted to mention our address is 793 Queen st. W. on the second floor. We share a space with Eyelove, a fantastic eyebrow bar, in whose signage you'll see along side ours. Come hang out. We aren't actually that cool (what's the a Drake? Isn't he a rapper?).
Jesse Crowe.
Kirk / September 11, 2012 at 11:29 am
That lol guy sure knows a lot about being a dickhead!
porker replying to a comment from Jesse Crowe / September 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm
Best answer. I'll be visiting you for sure!
Barbara / September 20, 2012 at 01:27 pm
I love the ladies and the location of lebel & crowe. They are fabulous at womens and mens hair, they cut both mine and my husbands hair, and all in a relax, fun environment. If you haven't checked them out yet, you're missing out!
Guy Walshe / September 20, 2012 at 01:34 pm
Lebel and Crowe is easily the best place I have ever gotten my haircut. Speaking from a guys perspective I appreciate the fact that these girls are just geniune nice people who also happen to really know their craft. No inane chit chat about (insert crap tv show) no pretending to talk about stuff you don't want to talk about, no awkward feeling of am I cool enough to be here, it really is like hanging out with some friends with the bonus of walking out with a really nice haircut and not feeling like you just wasted 30 minutes of your life.

My girlfriend also loves the work they do.

Andrea / September 20, 2012 at 01:37 pm
Absolutely loved my haircut and colour at L&C with Emily. It's been a long time since I have gone to a salon and felt completely relaxed; not rushing from cut stylist, to colour expert, to wait for a dryer, and then waiting to be styled. An actual relaxing experience with someone showing genuine interest in you and your satisfaction? Can you really put a price on that these days? The space has such an intimate feel and because the girls are the owners, not just stylists, they are completely invested in making sure your experience is a great one. I love the feeling of exclusivity and attention to detail. If you know of this place - consider yourself lucky.
Ashley / September 20, 2012 at 01:56 pm
Lebel and Crowe is the only place I trust with my hair! Emily always does an amazing job. I could spend all day there!
jpl / September 20, 2012 at 02:23 pm
I am forever impressed with these ladies. Emily is my go to lady for everything hair related and some other impressive talents in make up and out fit design as well. She has cut my hair numerous times and done styling for my photo shoots and music videos. Not many hair dressers in the city will be ready for a 5am shoot!! These ladies are some of the best in town, support this awesome place!
Allison / September 21, 2012 at 08:42 am
This salon is awesome! Emily gives beautiful highlights that compliment your skin tone and natural beauty. The girls are super nice and the space is beautiful.
Katie / September 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm
This salon is amazing & both of them are super talented! It's the best kept secret in town! Emily especially is fantastic! She is friendly, experienced & really listens to what you want. I can't say enough great things. You're definitely missing out on a great experience if you're not going to Lebel & Crowe. They have client for life.
joannah / September 24, 2012 at 06:26 pm
This looks interesting. Just hope the end result is as great as the hype. Will definitely give it a try when its time to trim my locks.
Stephanie replying to a comment from joannah / September 25, 2012 at 09:46 pm
@ Joannah.. it totally is worth all the hype! I just got back from getting my hair cut from Emily and it's fantastic! She actually listened to what I wanted and made sure I was comfortable the entire time. I've had some bad experiences in the city and I'm so happy I can finally rest easy knowing I have a solid hair stylist. Plus the products they use are great and smell soo good!
christiana / January 10, 2013 at 11:13 pm
No mention of Jessica in the comments! I wanna try her...I hear she is excellent!

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