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Fashion & Style

The top 10 salons for pastel and rainbow hair colour in Toronto

Posted by Natalia Manzocco / July 2, 2014

hair colour torontoThe top salons for pastel and rainbow hair in Toronto make unusual hair colours a specialty. Somehow, the trend for hyper-unnatural hair colour hasn't yet faded, making the leap into fashion-world legitimacy via famous heads like model Charlotte Free, Nicole Richie, and even Helen Mirren. All of this is much to the joy of people who spent their high school years longingly eyeing the tubs of Manic Panic at Shoppers (including yours truly).

In Toronto, there are tons of places that can add a zip of Crayola colour to your cut, but there's a difference between having some semi-permanent colour kicking around and having the products and skills to create a vivid, long-lasting, multi-dimensional shade. These salons and colourists have a rep for delivering some of the best, boldest colour in town.

Here are my picks for the top salons for pastel and rainbow hair in Toronto.

Blyss Salon
Don't let the Yorkville location turn you off - this salon has a rep for friendly, down-to-earth staff. They're also masters of a "mother-of-pearl" hair technique, pioneered by haircare brand Davines - check out the subtle rainbow effect on local fashion writer Alyssa Garrison. Pricing for the "flamboyage" technique varies.

Proudest Pony
Just east of Lansdowne on College, this gallery-turned-salon takes a painterly approach to colour. Recent greatest hits include vibrant-green ombre and subtle greyish-lavender streaks; check out their Instagram for more recent examples. Full colour starts at $65.

Hero Heroine
Nico and Anthony, the proprietors of this modern, massive Ossington salon, have been doing psychedelic colours on Torontonians since the Electric Circus heyday of the mid-'90s. (Nico himself is known to rock a rainbow of hair colours.) They carry a range of colours and permanence levels - and are willing to research something if they don't have it already. Bleaching and colour starts at $65.

Loft Hair Lounge
At Richmond and Bathurst, Loft (not related to the salon just around the corner on Queen) turns out head after head of attention-grabbing colour: In the past few weeks alone, they've done popsicle-hued ombre, silver with imperceptible pink highlights, and screaming fire-engine red. A single-colour, full-head application starts at $65.

Coupe Bizzarre
It's been open for almost 20 years, and Coupe Bizzarre has still held onto its reputation for cutting-edge cuts. The West Queen West salon turns out Technicolour dye jobs on the regular (check out this recent Pride-worthy look). Colourist Courtney is their fantasy-shade specialist; they deal mostly in semipermanent dye, starting at $75 if you're looking to do streaks or patches and going up from there.

Distinct Hair Salon
For all its homey atmosphere, this cozy salon tucked into the Village on Maitland turns out some pretty edgy stuff; colourist Kenickie is a local fave for ombre-pink, pastel-purple and Crayola-yellow looks. Colour starts at $115.

Palm Sunday
The anything-goes vibe of this easygoing salon on Harbord extends to their approach to colour - including rainbow streaks and some unbelievable cotton-candy-like styles. Pops of colour start at $65, with layered double-process shades going up to $100.

Colour Lab 12
This Rosedale salon is dedicated exclusively to colour - including the wacky ones. They won't fix your roots, and they won't strip old colour out of your hair, but they will give you bright green bangs or jazz up your existing colour with a blue ombre. Their ever-changing rotation of fashion colours starts at $60.

Bob + Paige
On the Danforth, Bob + Paige do some out-of-the-box things with colour; some of their creative looks, featuring delicately-placed streaks and panels, have even placed in Goldwell's annual colour competitions. A full head of colour starts at $70, while highlights start at $110.

Grateful Head
At this rock-and-roll salon on Roncesvalles, colourist Sarah turns out unicorn-pink streaks, violet ombre and Sailor Neptune-worthy all-over turquoise. "Creative colouring techniques" are $120 and up.

Did I miss your favourite? Add it to the comments.



Kat / July 2, 2014 at 09:49 am
Ooh, I really like the Yorkville place's photos. Very pretty effect!

I'd also add Quinn West to this list, I've had some great hot colours from Melody who works there.
MrsP / July 2, 2014 at 03:25 pm
Now you should have a list of the top 10 salons who do colour corrections ... who have to deal with the dead, breaking hair these salons produce!

Jayde replying to a comment from MrsP / July 2, 2014 at 03:52 pm
Yeah I have to agree. Proudest Pony really fucked up my hair with a terrible colour job. I really don't recommend going there unless you have the owner do your hair. She's the only one who seems to know her shit.
kenickiestreet / July 2, 2014 at 08:56 pm
I don't give my clients dead broken hair
salon / July 3, 2014 at 07:14 am
What about The Merchandise Building Salon at 135 Dalhousie st in the Merchandise Building Lofts is being my favourite so far since I got to Toronto 3 years ago!!
Josh / July 3, 2014 at 01:48 pm
Some of the best salons aren't on here.
JLAW / July 17, 2014 at 01:31 pm
Hero Heroine all the way! Brilliant artists. Sufficiently cheeky!
S / July 24, 2014 at 04:47 pm
Loft Hair Lounge does amazing work. Tim is awesome!
timothymeerman / July 24, 2014 at 04:47 pm
we also do colour corrections if thats what your looking for
M / August 5, 2015 at 05:19 pm
What about Medulla & Co!? Carolyn is fantastic at all things colour.
Elizabeth / August 5, 2015 at 10:44 pm
I second the Proudest Pony as a terrible place. Tiffany bleached my virgin hair to a yellowy blonde (almost to the root!) when she said she was doing a subtle ombré and it has been absolutely fried for a year. DO NOT GO!!!!!
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