A New Salon That Really Loves Our Hair – Studio 86

Kahlae Studio86
Emily from How She Hustles

Interview by: Emily from How She Hustles

Check out Emilys’ fab cut by Kahlae owner of Studio 86.  I have a confession to make, I’ve had a hair crush on Emilys’ once long think and shinny locs.  My mouth dropped when she told me she BIG CHOPPED it all.  To find out why Emily Big Chopped her hair, read up on her story – Short Hair, Don’t Care.  If for some reason you’re wondering what is How She Hustles?  It’s an online women’s network founded by Emily Mills in May 2010.  HSH network continues to grow by word of mouth alone, with more than 1500 influential women joining in via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. We juggle careers, volunteerism, families and ‘side hustles’.  Below is Emily’s interview with her hairstylist Kahlae:

HSH: How did you become a hairstylist and when did you first break into the industry?

K: Upon graduating high school in 2004 I didn’t know which direction I wanted to take my life, but hair was always something I was interested in. One year later I decided to leave Muskoka and move to Hamilton to take a cosmetology course. This was the beginning of my hair career.

HSH: You have so many diverse clients – including black women with natural hair.  How did you learn to style black women’s hair when so many hairstylists struggle to serve this clientele?


K: When I moved to Toronto six and a half years ago my first job was at Scarborough Town Center. Working at this location made me realize the diversity Toronto had to offer. I knew that if I was going to make it in this industry, I needed to be trained for all textures of hair. After a few short months of working at Scarborough Town Centre I was hired at a salon, which catered to all types of clientele including natural textured hair.

HSH: After many years in the business, who or what motivated you to open your new salon, Studio 86?

K: Owning a salon of my own has always been a dream of mine. About a month ago an opportunity came my way to start Studio 86. Not very often do opportunities like this come my way, so I thought I would jump in with two feet. I feel as if I was born to be a hairstylist with the eventual goal to own a salon. Without the support of my business partner I am not able to fulfill my dreams.

HSH: What is your biggest challenge – and your biggest worry – about venturing out on your own with the salon?

K: My biggest challenge in owning a hair salon so far has been hiring staff.  A lot of people apply and call for interviews but few have showed up. I have realized that I will have to do a lot of interviews to find suitable candidates.

HSH: So far, what’s the most rewarding part of it all?

K: The most rewarding part is knowing that all of this is mine! I have never seen my clients smile so big, until they walk into my salon and see how far I have come with my career.
HSH: Especially for other women who want to open their own business, any advice about how to make their dreams a reality?

Kahlae Studio86

K: For all those women out there who have the same dream I do, I would say when opportunity comes your way, do not turn your back on it. Everything happens for a reason, nothing is a coincidence. It may come when you least expect it, like it did in my case, but just run with it. Try your hardest, put everything you have into it, and love it like you have never loved anything before.

HSH: In your view, what are the 3 qualities of a good hairdresser?

K: One of the biggest qualities in a hair stylist would be to LOVE WHAT YOU DO. If you don’t have passion for your work, it will speak for itself and you won’t become successful. Second would be your personal image – you have to be able to sell yourself. Last but not least, you need to be able to adapt to current styles to suit their clients’ lifestyle.

HSH: What are your favourite hair trends right now?

K: One of my favorite trends right now would be the long ombre color with a light wave to the hair. Any color of ombre is going to be hot for the fall! Another style that will never go out of fashion in my books would be the traditional bob, maybe a little shorter on one side to spice it up a bit If you can rock it, I suggest you do! The pixie cut is coming back, and Beyoncé proved it. If she can cut her hair off and look fabulous so can anyone else.

Studio86 Salon Toronto

HSH: Since the temperature is dipping down, any tips for winter hair care?

K: As the temperature gets colder it’s very important to not leave the house with your hair wet, take the extra time and make sure your hair is properly blow dried. Secondly I would suggest wearing a hairstyle with the least maintenance, the more you play and tousle your hair the more shedding will occur and split ends you will end up with. Most importantly conditioning treatments on a regular basis will keep your hair from being dehydrated in the cooler temperatures.

HSH: What five hair products or tools every woman should have?

K: My must haves would have to be a good blow dryer, and brush. Without these two, you will get nowhere. The proper shampoo and conditioner suited for your hair texture is also a must. The right styling products will take you a long way. My favorites would be Amika Leave-in Cream, Moroccan Oil, Nourish and Shine from Jane Carter, Quick Dry from KMS and Anti-Frizz from KMS. Ok, so that’s more than five, but all a must have!!

Salon Details:

Facebook: Studio 86
Address: 186 Davenport Road, Toronto (near Avenue Rd.)
Phone: 647-745-5355
Email: kahlae@studioeightysix.com
Website: www.studioeightysix.com