If you read my previous post, you already know how I feel about venturing past Bloor Street, and how often I do it. Not very often. Now picture me taking the TTC all the way up to Richmond Hill on my own. Why would I do such a thing? Well, I don’t drive, didn’t realise it would take two hours, and I had a hair appointment with Sean Spence, The Rogue Stylist.
Richmond Hill might seem like an odd location choice for a young, talented and cool hair stylist, but Sean decided to open up a studio inside his “suburban dream home” after cutting hair in various Yorkville salons – Holt Renfrew, Toni & Guy, Salon Daniel, Hair on the Avenue – over a period of 10 years.
When I arrive, Sean greets me with open arms outside of his home. I’m almost taken aback by his warm welcome considering I’m over an hour late (my little adventure north of Bloor took quite a lot longer than I thought it would) and is completely forgiving of my tardiness.
Once inside, he leads me up three flights of stairs, through a home that, on the inside, looks as far removed from the suburban cookie-cutter exterior as you can get. Walls are painted a dark plum, with paintings and ornately framed images covering almost every inch of space along them. Sean’s wife, as he explains to me, is an artist.
He leads me into a bright room that is his studio. A long mirror lines the wall while one single cutting chair sits in front of it, uniquely covered in a beautiful cowhide that Sean and his wife upholstered themselves. The floors are painted black and white in thick horizontal stripes; another clever DIY of theirs.
As I sit in the chair, Sean explores my hair as we chat about my wash-and-go lifestyle, and decide to keep the length close to it’s current shoulder length but adding more movement to allow for my constant hair playing, and allowing it to flip over loosely from side to side.
Once he gets to work, I watch him as he twists sections of my hair and chops away. It’s a technique that I’ve not seen before, and he assures me not to be nervous about the unique way of adding layers that he developed himself.
Post blow dry my hair is bouncy and full. I admire it and compliment Sean, saying it’s probably one of the best blow dries I’ve ever had. He tells me when he was “the new kid” at Holt Renfrew‘s salon he built up his clientele by offering free blow dries to shoppers and staff, simultaneously becoming a blow dry ninja. The end result? See below:
Although I will definitely opt to locate a driver to take me to Richmond Hill (or finally get my license) before ever attempting to take the TTC from downtown Toronto to Richmond Hill again, I do think that Sean’s work was worth the trek. Not just that, but his easy-going and charming personality make it almost feel like you’re going to visit a friend and catch up, rather than make it to an appointment. And for anyone who lives in the north part of the GTA, well, you’re in luck because you’ve got a true artist in your ‘hood.
For more information about The Rogue Stylist please click HERE!
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