by Shelley Budd

Inside the clean, sleek and futuristic iDaburn salon with its white walls, white chairs, white shelves and smooth concrete floors, I find Robyn’s cutting station.  I’m sitting down today for a trim and some tips on upcoming trends in hair styling and care. 

The big hit of the summer for colouring is ombre, or the “growing-it-out” look, which first appeared on runways and has now trickled down to a popular in-chair request.  Ombre can be either a darkening of your roots if you’ve got lighter hair, or a lightening of the ends, and where Drew Barrymore took it all too literally, Alexa Chung got the subtlety right. 

A hot way to add flavour to a flat or short style is clip-in extensions.  After trying sew-ins, weaves and other high-maintenance extensions, Robyn has found real-hair clip-ins to be the most practical and fun while still blending naturally into your hair.  The only clip-ins I’ve experienced were a synthetic, stringy, blonde strip of strands, picked up from a dollar store in London and worn for 3 outings, after which they looked like wet rat pelt and were sensibly ditched into the darkness of my costume box.  These guys take a far more specialized process – you have them died and cut to match your natural hair, then you can shampoo and style them like your own (shampoo only when needed, if you’re using a lot of styling product you’ll need to wash more often); once they match your head, you can clip them in (takes 5 minutes) whenever you want the extra length or volume.  I’m sold – Robyn says the only place to pick up good quality, real-hair extensions is through Abantu in Burnaby.  You can call to order or have them ordered through the salon. 

Robyn also explains the most futuristic hair technology yet, the digital perm, not yet seen in North America.  The most advanced hair technology is developed out of Asia, as typical hair demands more creativity to bring colour and texture to straight, dark strands. Hot rods are plugged into a computer and controlled digitally through varying temperatures, allowing a stylist to create looser waves and curls than a typical cold perm.  I imagine live wires swinging wildly from bubble-heads inside a busy Japanese salon where the stylists hover 2 feet off the ground and wear smocks made from pure silver.  I might have exaggerated, but the styling possibilities that computer-generated curls could inspire is exciting.

Robyn has gone from hiding pop-cans in beehives at hair school, to working at the salon of Ian Daburn, the stylist who brought famed Toni & Guy over from the UK, and her final tip comes from my asking how stylists always have way better hair than normal people.  It’s in the tools – so get yourself a professional grade brush, flat-iron and blow-drier (she suggested Dannyco and Avanti as failsafe brands that are on the lower end of the cost spectrum).  The salon philosophy is that getting your hair done is a high-class service that should be available to anyone, so they have stylist and price levels to suit your pocketbook.  Located on Cambie Street in Yaletown, I’d recommend Robyn and iDaburn as an excellent choice for knowledgeable and experienced styling at a good price.
1073 Cambie Street (604) 694-0639