left this way toronto

Left This Way Studio

Left This Way Studio isn't the type of hair salon where you make an appointment and tell your stylist how you'd want your hair done. 

Owners Rachel McLaughlin and Darren Kaine go through a lengthy and free consultation process (either on the phone or in-person), a feature that some salons would charge as a deposit for the overall service. 

left this way torontoSome consultations are focused on what you want, but expect both stylists to use their expertise to observe details like your hair history, skin tone, face-shape and lifestyle to create an overall hairstyle that will individually suit you and what you want done. 

McLaughlin, a stylist/colourist and Kaine, a colour technician met each other while working together at a salon in Cabbagetown

Left this way torontoIt was here, where they both noticed customers becoming frustrated that there wasn't enough transparency when it came to final prices for the services they got done. 

For example, a customer would do a consultation of their hair on the spot, they'd want a cut and a fresh set of highlights, so then a price would be set based on those services, alone. 

Left this way torontoAlthough, depending on the length, texture and thickness of the hair, their final bill would end up being a bit more than what they bargained for when additional time and amount of products used were factored in. 

Due to this, Kaine and McLaughlin wanted to start a business of their own and opened up Left This Way Studio on Dundas West in the summer of 2020. 

Left this way torontoOnce they've completed the consultation, Kaine or McLaughlin tally up the exact price of the final bill, giving an approximate price, rather than a range. 

Left This Way Studio has a bohemian-inspired brightness to the overall look. White light decor and green plants create a feeling of assurance that the space is clean and well-taken care of, which is always a plus when trusting someone with your hair.

Left this way torontoAlthough price points for their services vary through the consultation process, the set price for a cut, wash and style starts at $100. 

When it comes to colour, a root refresh is $90 and and dying your hair a new colour all-over starts at $110. 

left this way torontoDuring the lockdowns in Ontario, they started selling at-home hair colouring kits, which have all the tools and instructions you need to colour your own hair. They are still available for $110 each. 

Once you've gotten your hair done, Kaine and McLaughlin say they offer tips and tricks on how to maintain the health of your hair and the style of your current look, so you're not returning back to the salon every month. 

Left this way torontoLeft This Way has salon-standard professional styling products, as well as shampoos and hair masks for sale in-store.

There's two brands of products available, a luxury line called Authentic Beauty Concept and a more affordable option called VERB

left this way torontoIf you're not paying attention, Left This Way Studio's entrance could be easily missed amongst the rest of the shops stacked together along Dundas West, it's dark-coloured brick exterior helps to distinguish it from the others. 

Left this way toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez 

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