hair republic salon

My Journey to Bright Purple Hair and How You Can Get It Too

I’ve always been fairly timid with my hair choices, opting for various shades of brown or subtle ombres. The wildest I had gone was a brown with a slight purple tint to it, and some purple pieces along the bottom. But one morning I woke up and wanted to do something totally different and go purple all over. I texted my lovely co blogger Alice and we made plans to come get our hair done. Doing bright, fun colours in your hair isn’t always an easy (or short) process, so I’m going to explain what Senior Stylist Vanessa did to make my hair a gorgeous shade of purple.Because my hair was currently a sombre, I needed to lighten it first. Unfortunately, because there was more than one colour in my hair, and it had been coloured many times in the past, we couldn’t lighten everything at once. Vanessa started by applying the lightener to my roots, which was the darkest and natural hair colour. She let that sit for a while, and when she came back she started applying through the middle section of my hair. Finally she did the ends of my hair and made sure everything was lifting to the same colour.


Seeing my hair the colour of Kraft Dinner definitely made me a little nervous.

As you can see, my hair didn’t lift evenly, and in my experience this is normal. We applied a toner that would even everything out and get rid of some of that residual orange pigment in my hair.


This was the last picture I saw of my hair until the end. Slightly nerve wracking, but I put all my trust into Vanessa

It was finally time to apply the colour! We did this using Sparks direct colour, and Vanessa mixed a few different colours in order to get the shade of purple that we were going for. Once the purple was applied, we let it sit for a long time. We decided that I wouldn’t see anything involving the purple until the finished product. I loved the idea of being surprised, but it was so tempting to peek when everyone was coming up to me and talking about the colour!


The Sparks colour on my hair… it’s so purple!

I don’t know what I was expecting, but I fell in love with the colour! It didn’t feel like a weird colour for my hair to be, it just looked good. In total, it ended up being a 5 step colour application and I was there for 3-4 hours. It’s definitely not a short process, but it was absolutely worth it. Everyone will have a different experience, but most people require their hair to be lightened before they can do any sort of brighter colour. This colour will fade in roughly a month, and then we can play around with different colours to put on!


The official before and after! Unfortunately we forgot to take something while we were in the salon, but even after being out in the wind, the colour look fantastic!

If you’re looking to try something new for summer, head to or call 613-695-0789 to set up a free, 15 minute Consultation. Remember to post your photos with the hashtag #HRBL so we can see your fabulous hair!

Balayage vs Ombre

Balayage and Ombre are two words we hear very often when clients are booking in for colour, but does anyone actually know the difference between them? The two are comparable, but they can yield very different results. The relationship between balayage and ombre is very similar to a square and a rectangle. In the same way that a square is always a rectangle but a rectangle is not always a square, ombre is always balayage but balayage is not always ombre. Let’s break it down.

Balayage is a highlighting technique from the French that means ‘to sweep’. These highlights are done freehand and do not use foils. Balayage highlights are less structured and less systematically placed than foil highlights. Bleach is not always required when getting balayage done. If the hair has not been previously coloured, it is possible to lift the hair with strictly colour. If the base colour is dark or the desired colour is very light, bleach may need to be introduced. Balayage highlights achieve a low maintenance sun kissed look with a smooth transition between colours.


Ombre is a style that uses the balayage technique to achieve a gradual transition from one colour to another. The typical ombre goes from a darker colour at the roots to a lighter colour at the ends of the hair, but it can be done in reverse or with non-traditional hair colours. Like the balayage, the ombre is a lower maintenance style as the roots can grow out for longer without ruining the look. While ombre can be done on any type of hair, it typically looks best with wavy or curly hair. Because ombre is a more drastic transition than balayage highlights, there is a chance that bleach may be needed to lift the colour.


Sombre is a much subtler version of an ombre. While still a transition between two colours, the graduation between the roots and ends is much smaller – but it still makes a difference. The sombre is even less maintenance than the ombre because the changes are so soft that it does not need to be touched up frequently. Sombre is a popular style for those who like a low maintenance but still fashionable look, but it is especially good for those with blonde hair, since an ombre can be hard to achieve with lighter roots. Bleach may be used in a sombre, but is typically not needed because the hair is only being lifted by a few shades.


Many people shy away from bleach because it can, in high doses, be harmful to the hair, but the use of bleach does not mean that the hair will be ‘fried’ at the end of the appointment. Every effort is made to maintain the integrity of the hair, and treatments like Olaplex can be used throughout the appointment to soften the effect of the bleach without impacting the colour process.

Book your appointment with Hair Republic today by calling 613-695-0789 or at

Blog by Donna Monbourquette

The Very Versatile Lob

The recently trendy ‘Lob’ hairstyle is a grown out bob, or if you choose, you can cut it to a specific length. It has been seen on many celebrities recently and is a refreshing change from long hair and extensions worn by women!

Here are our top five reasons why a lob is the most chic and versatile hairstyle at the moment:

1. Short = less maintenance in the morning

It is a no brainer that shorter hair equals less time when getting ready and less maintenance during the day. How great is that!

2. The messy/beach wave look

It is easy to quickly curl your hair, run your fingers through it, and add some hair spray. Voila, you have perfectly tousled lob that doesn’t need upkeep during the day!

blonde lob

cheryl cole lob


3. Sleek and chic

Again, easy to blowdry straight, or run a straightener through, with a finishing shine spray. You will look beyond polished for your day at work or a night out!


genyth lobjenny mccarthy lob


4. Say ‘bye-bye’ to your Ombre hair style

Ombre (or Balayage highlighting) has been on trend for a few seasons now, but with the Lob, it has never been a better time to transition away from the Ombre look. Cut off the damaged and dry ends from your Ombre for a healthy head of hair while being on trend!


ciara ombre lob olivia palermo ombre lob


5. Looks beautiful with all hair colours and face shapes

All of our celebrity examples vary from blonde to different shades of brunette. Anyone can rock this look in numerous ways. Even our Salon Owner and Manager, Michelle Nguyen, cut her below shoulder length hair into a Lob the other week!


All pictures from

By Amanda Vagners

From Runway to Running Out The Door – Fall 2013 Hairstyles

For the Fall 2013 season, there are many looks you are easily able to achieve at home, and some, not so much! We think you should leave the now  popular runway “wet look” for when you come out of the shower… But below, we have styles that will suit everyone’s often busy lifestyle, as seen on the runways for Fall 2013.

“Wake Up and Go!”

Wow, this is definitely everyone’s ideal hair-style! To wake up and leave your house with your hair as is. For these looks, do not forget to add some dry shampoo, a brush through with your fingers, and off you go!

burberry rough blowdry


easy blowdry vera wang

Vera Wang

“Wake Up, Take 5 Minutes, and Go!”

Similar to the looks above, these are effortless styles, except, you can see hints of wave. To create this look, either curl/wand your hair the night before and simply brush through once in the morning. Or the morning of, quickly curl/wand your hair, break a part with your fingers, (don’t forget dry shampoo), and off you go!

undone waves phillip lim

Phillip Lim

undone waves diane von furstenberg

Diane Von Furstenberg

“Wake Up, Uh Oh Last Minute Meeting, and Go!”

The low pony tail  is ideal for a day where you have meetings or need to have a lunch date with your boss. It appears a little messy, (since you did not have time to wash your hair this morning), but the little detail of wrapping your hair around the elastic is chic, effortless and takes minimal time Your boss will be impressed!

low pony

Ralph Lauren

low pony rachel

Rachel Zoe

“Wake Up and Decide, Hey I Want A Change, And Go!”

We wanted to illustrate styles ideal for the busy woman, however, if you want to opt for a change, please say yes to bangs! The textured bang is versatile – worn straight across or can be side swept. As it grows out (bangs tend to grow the fastest), you will be able to middle part them. Mix it with any of the above looks and you have encapsulated what Emilio Pucci had on his Fall 2013 runway – talk about being trendy!

emilio pucci bangs

Emilio Pucci

bangs pucci

Emilio Pucci


By: Amanda Vagners

Media Coordinator
Hair Republic | Salon

What Is Actually On My Head?

Your hair is “dead”. Actually, the hair you see, which is called the hair shaft, is dead. As it is made up of the protein called keratin. Even though we understand our hair as being lifeless, there is much life that happens under your scalp!  

We will explain simply, the fundamentals of how hair grows. Hopefully, allowing you to better understand this more-than-just-appearance-like characteristic of both males and females.

Hair has two distinct components:

1. The follicle: residing under the scalp
2. The shaft: visible above the scalp



At the base of the follicle is the papilla containing capillaries (tiny blood vessels that nourish cells). The very bottom part around the papilla is called the bulb. The cells of the bulb divide every 23 to 72 hours. Surprisingly, faster than any other cell in the body – and you thought your hair was dead!

As mentioned, the hair shaft is made of the protein called keratin. There are three layers:  

1. Inner layer: the medulla
2. Second layer: the cortex 
3. Outer layer: the cuticle

 layers of hair

The medulla is right in the middle of the hair shaft, acting as a lifeline. The cortex makes up the majority of the hair shaft by giving your hair its width and colour. The cuticle is the protective outer layer made-up of overlapping scales (sometimes well illustrated in hair care commercials).

Do not be so shocked at how much you shed! This is a natural occurrence for humans, being quite random, opposed to other mammals with seasonal shedding patterns. You may shed anywhere from 50-100 hairs per day.

There are three stages of growth and shedding: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Not all your hair is in one of these stages at the same time. 



Sometimes your Hair Stylist will use these terms for you to better understand your hair process, often, when it comes to colouring or highlighting. Never be afraid to ask what exactly he or she mean by, “penetrating the cuticle”!  

(A short form answer: the cuticle must be opened for permanent colour to be depoosited). 


By Amanda Vagners

Image sources:
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GreenCircle Salon

Did You Know…?

Hair Republic | Salon is the first salon in Ottawa that partnered with Green Circle Salons to further improve our environmentally friendly initiatives by recycling our hair and products containers.

Green CircleImage Salons goal includes providing green solutions for the industry that are achievable and most importantly, create an impact. By offering a way the salon’s actions can be more positive for the environment, they are helping clients and employees, over time, make that important green transformation conceivable and sustainable.

Hair Republic |Salon collects cut hair every day which is then picked up on a bi-weekly basis and composted.  By doing so, we are finding ways to do whatever possible to reduce or footprint on our Earth.

An initiative Hair Republic |Salon is looking towards with Green Circle Salons is to further our practice of recycling hair by creating “hair booms”. This involves thousands of pounds of hair being transported to the United States where it is stuffed into recycled nylons that have been donated. Because hair attracts oil and repels water, it will soak up the dangerous substance before more damage is caused to the surrounding environment.

For more information regarding hair booms, feel free to read the article or watch the informative video at the top of the web page:

Every day Hair Republic |Salon makes conscious green efforts that include the use of:

–          Variety of eco-friendly hair and beauty products

–          Compact Fluorescent Lighting by using less power

–          Bamboo flooring due to an energy efficient manufacturing process

–          Green cleaning products

–          And recycling of all product containers

We take pride in our green initiatives. Not only does it leave the clients feeling that they made the correct choice with Hair Republic |Salon, but because our employees implement these practices every day, we are paving the way for a new green salon industry in Ottawa.

For further information, please visit:

Green Circle Salons

Hair Republic | Salon
Twitter: @HairRepublic


Article By: A. Vagners

Spring / Summer Art Exhibit

Presented by IAM Independant Artist Management

Presented by IAM Independant Artist Management – the new collection features work done by Ashley Ann Barrie, Aida Karanovic and Mike Rouleau.  Join us on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at the salon for a live art exhibition for an introduction to our new collection.