LOLA Salon opened on Ossington after breaking from the popular Parlour salon that's just down the street. I had a haircut at Parlour last year and later heard that the stylist who worked with me, Erika, had moved along with LOLA's owners Jay Comendador and Janice Daly into the new space.
The prices at LOLA are competitive compared to other salons in the city. Haircuts start at $60.18 for men and women, with a discounted price of $51.33 for students and $39.82 for maintenance cuts, if you come back within five weeks of your previous haircut. A range of colouring and styling services are also offered.
One of the first things that I noticed walking into LOLA was the row of vintage theatre seats lining the waiting area. An employee says they're from an old music hall in Belleville, which captures the old-meets-new tone of the salon. The stylists in this new salon might be the same ones who used to work at Parlour, but their concept for LOLA is completely different.
"I've always wanted to work somewhere where it feels like you're hanging out at your friend's house," says Janice. The vibe of the salon is casual and relaxed. It's a modern space, but wood detailing and plants make it feel more personal.
Jay explains that the name LOLA is what Filipinos call their grandmothers, and refers to the idea of being taken care of. The point is that anybody, whatever their style, should feel comfortable coming in and not be overwhelmed.
Speaking as someone who is easily intimidated by Toronto's cool salons, I definitely felt at ease in the salon. It's not a huge space, but it's cozy, and the stylists are friendly.
Jay quickly identified my hair issues and massaged some texturizing powder from the Davines line, which LOLA carries, into my hair to add volume.
Davines products come from Italy, are not tested on animals, and promote biodiversity. Every product in the essentials line has the name of the farmer and the farm from where its ingredients are sourced.
Speaking about his previous salon, one stylist says, "It wasn't personal for me anymore. There was just so many people around me. So, this feels good because it's back to basics."
Writing by Alicja Grzadkowska. Photos by Jesse Milns.