When you look back, I think things are as they are meant to be. Timing is very important.
When I stop and think about it – I really know a lot of hair stylists. I met Rachelle about 5-6 years ago through a mutual friend. Life has been quite the roller coaster ride for her these past few years. Now, she is about to embark on a new adventure – it is a perfect example of how timing in life is everything.
Here is our interview with Ottawa Hair Stylist, Rachelle Levitsky.
When did you first realize you wanted to become a hair stylist?
I think I was about 6 years old. I remember learning to braid hair on my barbie. Throughout high school I was doing my girlfriends hair as well, it’s always been in me.
Where did you start your career?
I went to school at Marvel in Ottawa. I worked at a couple little salons but my career took off at The Loft on Elgin Street. Thanks to Bruno Racine for taking a chance on a 21 year old girl. I stayed there for about 8 years. When I was working at The Loft on MacLaren, I met some amazing people and worked with a great team of stylists!
You had your own home salon for a few years, what is the best part of working with a team again?
Stepping away from the Loft was tough, but I wanted to raise my kids until they went to school, being at home had it’s perks for sure.
I’m so excited to work with a team again! I’m looking forward to the excitement in the air, the buzz in the salon and blow-dryers going in the background. Really it’s all about seeing the creations that stylists come up with, it’s so inspiring! Lastly, sharing my passion with others, there’s nothing more rewarding as an artist.
As stylist we touch people’s hair everyday and make them feel better about themselves. I wanted to take the salon experience out of my house and to the next level back into the community.
You will be starting a new chapter of your career. This spring you will become a salon owner with The Loft Urban Salon West. Let’s chat a bit about that.
Wow, I’m so excited to be apart of this venture and brand. Bruno Racine and Paul Valleta are great people who share the same dream as I do, and I’m so happy we’ve come together to open The Loft in Westboro. It will be a L’Oréal Professionnel salon with it’s exclusive brands Kerastase, Pureology and SHU UMERA on board as well. Daniel Thompson will also have his line of make-up in house which is amazing!
This salon is my everything and I can’t wait to get started which is most likely April! That being said it’s always been a dream of mine, but everything has to happen at the right time and that time is here now!
Being a salon owner is an entirely different than being a hair stylist. How valuable has it been to have a team of mentors to guide you through this process.
It truly has been invaluable, and I’m so blessed to have these successful partners/mentors behind me. I’m making my way along but to be able to turn to someone when you have a question who has 20 years experience and is so kind. Well, I can’t ask for more and I’m so thankful to be apart of this team!
What does being a hair stylist mean to you and how will that be reflected in your salon.
Being a hairstylist to me is giving back to people. Taking my talent to help people look better and feel better. It’s not about me but what I can do for the client, that’s what brings me happiness to take my gift and share it with someone who sits in my hair styling chair.
At the Loft, we are all about making you feel welcome in a comfortable space but also having fun and laughing. Life is way too serious and when you come to our salon we will take care of you and make you feel at home, but not only that – we can share the latest trends and help you achieve them.
How do you keep up with educating yourself with all the latest trends?
Education is a key role to staying on top of your game in this business.
I eat, sleep, breathe hair styling and I’ve been a stylist for 20 years this year. I don’t think I could go a year without education – I’d simply get bored. We educate ourselves with L’Oreal Professional and Kerastase. They come into the salon and share the latest trends with us. Last year, I went to the Loft for three courses balayage, long hair updos and generations hair cutting. I just got back from a conference called Experience K in Mexico put on by Kerastase, it was great and informative.
I also enjoy attending week long Vidal Sassoon courses. I’ve done Vidal Sassoon in California and Toronto but probably next year it’ll be London at the Sassoon Academy!
If you could offer one hair tip to everyone what would it be?
Oh boy, just one, eh? Hmmmm. Wear your hair down and take it out of your ponytail! Condition it well and use great products this will help keep your hair hydrated and looking it’s best.
The look of undone hair is in, embrace it!
Even with a busy family life and career – you still make the time to give back. Tell is a little bit about your involvement with the Loft Gala.
This one is a no brainer! We raise money for the Regional Cancer Foundation. Do you know almost daily I have someone sit in my hair styling chair and share with me that they are being affected indirectly or directly by cancer. It’s too much sometimes and breaks my heart!
Bruno Racine started the Loft Gala for that very reason to give back and to help those who may need to try clinical trials or need life coaching during their difficult journey. To date we’ve raised about $80,000.00 and this year going into it’s third season, we are on the path to raise more money. I’m an ambassador for the gala. This year I’ve sold my table and I’m on to my second one, so far I’ve raised $2,250.00.
People want to help and make a difference if they can.
When you buy a ticket you are treated to this amazing night that’s put on by Bruno and his team. Sylvie Prud’homme, The Loft owner in Toronto and portfolio artist for Kerastase comes up with the hairstyles for the models for the runway show which will be put on by Mikael Derderian this year.
Sarah Freemark is returning as our master of ceremonies from CTV Morning Live. This is such a wonderful evening at the Hilton Lac Leamy. I could go on and on and gush about the evening but it’s even better in person to see it for yourself. Come and check it out!
Since we are a fashion and beauty blog, would you mind answering a few personal questions?
Do you have a daily beauty routine?
Every morning I have to wash and condition my hair with L’Oreal Pro Fiber (my hair has never felt better). I have to style it with Oleo Relax serum by Kerastase to control my fuzzy hair. It doesn’t take long but it makes a huge difference on my mood and I can go about my day after feeling good.
How would you describe your personal style?
Chic, modern without being over done. You could say I’m always in black as well.
You maintain an active lifestyle. How did you get into running and do you find it helps find balance in your life?
It’s kinda like hair I’ve always enjoyed running I’ve been doing it since my late teens. I’m high energy and it’s my form of meditation. I do a 5K alone and it’s enough to shut my brain down to help me relax. I would say a 100 percent that it helps me find balance in my life.
How do you like to pamper yourself?
I’m a super extrovert, I prefer to be with people. The best part about going out is getting ready so doing my nails, make-up and hair before an outing is my pampering. But, I do get regular pedicures so I guess that is my pampering.
Finally give us three words that describe you best.
Passionate, enthusiastic and genuine.