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Chatters Salons of Canada

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By: Kelly Taggart for Health Beauty Life
Photos: Allen Carrasco

Beautiful Possibilities

Chatters Salons hit the scene in British Columbia in the late 80s with nothing more than a few styling stations and very modest retailing. By the 1990s, the demand for products and services swelled considerably as customers experienced a new sense of self-awareness. To accommodate, Chatters expanded their existing salons and launched a surge of new salons. Today, nearly 100 salons span 7 provinces with a mix of corporate and franchise locations making Chatters the largest provider of beauty products in Canada, and an industry leader known for its top-notch service.

While touring the Great White North, we stopped by to visit our friends at Chatters Vancouver Park Royal and witnessed some makeovers, well, in the making. James Bisgrove and Peter Downie, both stylists and educators for the popular and high-end chain, joined us.

Brilliantly Bodified

James, a 30-year industry veteran from Victoria on Vancouver Island, found himself in the beauty industry quite literally by accident. A previous career in construction was short lived due to a mishap that crushed his wrist. Canadian Workers’ Compensation offered retraining and, in time, a career in hair was born. James is offering his model, Natalia, an all-new look. Her washed-out color needs refining and her overgrown length desperately requires some shape and volume. James starts the new look with the color, offering some freehand highlights to break up the solidness of Natalia’s all-dark hue. Instead of using traditional foils, he hand paints random pieces taking great care to use a light hand and avoid the roots, which offers a more free-flowing placement. He explains that with richer shades like this, he wants to avoid an overly streaked look.

After processing until the desired result emerges, James rinses out the bleach and cleanses using ENJOY Sulfate-Free Shampoo. ENJOY Instant Reconstructor is worked through, allowed to penetrate for a few minutes and then is rinsed before towel drying.

Opting to cut the foundation before the color is complete, James starts with a blunt line but uses a razor to soften the edge. He removes several inches of old, damaged length using short strokes while he works his way all the way around Natalia’s head. “I design hair to fit the shape of the face,” explains James.

“I tend to do a lot of razor work, but I do mix it up a bit using a lot of different tools. The choice really does depend on the technique or the look I want to achieve. A lot of hairdressers are afraid of the razor… frightened that the hair will be frizzy. Many times I find that they are using the wrong technique on the wrong type of hair or the blade is simply too dull.”

The interior of Natalia’s hair is point cut with shears to give it a bit of movement. After a loose sectioning, strands are elevated and chipped into. James then carves into the hair with an almost notch effect around Natalia’s face to add volume but keep her fine hair from frizzing. He keeps the current length of the fringe, but diffuses the ends so it is broken up and less solid. All through the top, James adds some slide cutting for texture where needed and then softens the ends by slicing through the last inch or two with a razor.

Now that the cut is complete, an overlay of color is applied, processed and rinsed, blotting with a towel to remove as much moisture from the hair as possible.

‘‘Color for hair is so much about lighting and the cause and affect when different light hits it.”Because it’s so concentrated, only a small amount of ENJOY Volumizing Mousse is worked in at the root before blow-drying. James opts to use boar bristle brushes, which help add shine as well as volume.

Working in sections, he lifts the hair up and rolls the brush several times to create a bend. He applies tension on the hair while placing the nozzle of the dryer almost directly on the strands wrapped around the brush.

When each section is dry, the hair is left wrapped around the brush so it can cool while he works on other sections with other brushes. After all sections are dry and the hair is cooled, the brushes are removed and the hair is finger-styled into place, finishing with a fine mist of ENJOY Hair Spray.

The end result is a very curvy shape with lots of volume, rounded movement and soft, natural brown color. A smoky effect brings out the warmth of Natalia’s eyes, making them a focal point then completes the look with a softly hued and understated lip.Makeup artist: Christine Wiesendahl.

Stylist, colorist and educator, Peter Downie has been doing hair for 22 years. He started his career as an apprentice, and after meeting and befriending Ken Fisher, the president of Chatters, he was hired about 13 years ago.

“Chatters has been a really great company to work with and for,” says Peter, “as they’ve sent me all over the world for education. I’ve been to Germany, Spain, even the States. I honestly believe that constant learning makes us better hairdressers.”

“A turning point for me early in my career was discovering that the people that come across as difficult have simply had bad experiences with their hair. I find that becoming more educated and fine-tuned in our craft, we do a better job and work harder to make that person happy. It’s very rewarding to make someone feel good about themselves, especially if they’ve had unpleasant experiences before.”

“My absolute favorite part of what I do is seeing it all come together. That’s why makeovers, especially challenging ones, are so gratifying.” Peter darkens Amy’s regrowth just slightly and places foil where he feathers a lighter and slightly darker tone on the same section of hair. He alternates light to dark on one section and dark to light on the next and so forth.

After processing, the foils are removed, the color is rinsed out, and ENJOY Sulfate-Free Shampoo is applied before rinsing and towel drying. Peter blow-dries the hair then opts to balance out the ends and blend the root into the mid-shafts with one more application.

The desired result spans from a medium color at the root and transitions to lighter coppery ends with some insets of gold beige. After rinsing the color, lathering up with ENJOY Sulfate-Free Shampoo and conditioning with ENJOY Hair Mask, Peter moves on to the cut.

To minimize the size of her hair, he removes much of the bulk revealing Amy’s face in the process. Using scissors, he wet cuts the perimeter, removing damaged ends and then creates a side fringe while framing Amy’s face. After drying the hair and using channeling shears, he applies concave texturing to eliminate the weight. Removing this bulk leaves a more slender and sculpted look providing Amy with a balanced amount of hair.

ENJOY Thermal Spray is misted onto large sections of hair, which are each twisted and wrapped around a large, tapered curling rod or wand. Peter holds each section in place a few seconds to set the curl and then releases. He moves on to the next section, alternating the curl direction in back, but rolling sections away from the face in front. ENJOY Hair Spray is misted over the top for long-lasting hold. The end result is corrected color with unmistakable warmth and a versatile cut that provides a better shape.

It can be worn smooth for a slightly scooped out appeal or loose and piecey for a fun and playful vibe. Couple the new hair with a bold cat-eye effect and the makeup completes Amy’s picture- perfect look.

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