UPDATE: I had the chance to visit Hair Designs by Paula after this post was drafted. You can check out my results here!
Last Monday (Jan 23rd) I had the great pleasure of meeting Ms. Paula Whitelocke. She is an awesome lady, doing BIG TINGS in Ottawa and is the owner and lead stylist at Hair Designs by Paula located at 198 Greenbank Rd Ottawa’s West End (across from Woodvale Church). I learned a lot about her and her work ethic, goals and vision for her salon and brand. Below is just a short little description/intro. I’ll let you get to know Paula yourselves since she is very personable and loves to build client relationships.
Paula has been in business since May 2010 and this spring marks the 2nd year anniversary for Hair Designs by Paula! Paula is very interested in holding workshops and events at her salon. I would love to attend one since this would be new in our community and we can ALL learn from each other. (I will definitely update MA with any news on meet-ups with Paula) The one thing that I noticed about her salons direction is that is caters to ALL textures! Most salons claim to do so…..and when you get there with your natural kinks, coils, and curls the stylists seem intimidated or surprised. Hair Designs by Paula does not just focus on 1 texture. They do dreads, they have a stylist that focus’ on Caucasian textured hair as well as a braider! They have a stylist dedicated to braiding!!! Paula is a very positive woman and I truly appreciated her time, laughs and information. You can expect stylists who are experienced and client oriented. You will receive personal attention and great service.
Personally, as a potential client in Ottawa, I would love to see this salon get bigger and expand it’s reach to other parts of the city. The look is clean, fresh, modern and vibrant. They also do children’s hair. I am planning on bringing my daughter for her first hair appointment this spring. Auntie Paula will have some work cut out for her! (lol)
1. Does Hair Designs by Paula sell hair?
Yes they do! They sell Remy Human hair for weaves and the 100%Kanekalon braiding hair as well as some ponytails.
2. Does Hair Designs by Paula sell products?
Yes they do! She is very wise when it comes to product knowledge and wants to inform her clients on what they can do themselves to maintain their lovely mane. She is knowledgeable on the products she uses within the salon and on what is popular. I also purchased some JBCO (Jamaican Black Castor Oil) at 22$ for a 236ml bottle. A little definitely goes a long way with Castor oil, so this should last a few months. Paula herself is Natural. I find that it’s also important to have a stylist that is experienced with our natural mane. She adds weaves and braids to protect her hair since it is hard to make time for natural hair styling.
The products she would use on Natural hair include,
JCBO, Mixed Chicks, Syntonics-used on both relaxed and natural. For braiding- Coconut oil and as mentioned below Camille Rose Naturals will probably be introduced in the springtime.
Since Paula is a graduate of Algonquin College (Hairstyling) I wondered,
3. Was there any focus on black hair? Natural hair?
Not really. Not a focus, definitely not natural hair. As far as chemicals, yes but not the maintenance of black hair after relaxers (which is extremely important).
I mentioned on Facebook that Paula’s reputation precedes her and is amazing……
4. How long has she been doing hair total?
It is a passion of hers! She is very passionate about hair. She has been doing hair for over a decade (has been doing hair since 13 years old) . She is an experienced and educated hairstylist. She took her passion from the neighbourhood to the next level and went to school and then to the next level and now owns her own shop!
5. What do she think about the Natural Hair Scene in Ottawa?
Paula thinks it’s a good scene. We’re out there but the styling time required is usually the challenge. Maybe if there were more resources and more salons like Hair Designs by Paula then we could have a place to educate ourselves on styling or a salon that we can visit to give our hands a break from time to time. I added that since its winter 9 months out of the year we, to protect the hair, use weaves, wigs, braids. I also added that if the image of an afro or afro textured hair was more prominent or just accepted or common more women would choose to show their natural hair without the braids, weaves, wigs.
6. As a professional, what do she think Natural’s should focus on, what’s important?
We should focus on moisture, conditioning and deep conditioning. They are important for our hair whether relaxed or natural. Hot oil treatments are good…ok great! Also, proper treatment of hair, maintenance and treatments are important. Paula tries to educate/inform her clients on proper care.
Product Recommendations? Paula mentioned Camille Rose Naturals and is thinking of bringing them in-
The natural factor is the base. We naturals sometimes need other options besides oils depending on the texture, since there is such a wide range. Having used the line, their products cater to a lot of natural hair styling like the Almond Jai Twisting Butter for twist outs.
I will definitely take a look at their line (that Almond Twisting Butter sounds amazing!) and hopefully I will test them out and review them once Hair Designs by Paula brings them to Ottawa!
We did talk about how hard it is to get certain products from the United States due to packaging and our product guidelines are a little more exclusive in Canada. Paula brought up a great point, the market in Canada is the probably the population of 1 state in USA. We do not have the numbers for a company to invest in our smaller market.
8. Can Natural’s come for styling alone? If they prefer to wash/condition/ blow-dry at home?
Yes! she accepts that and welcomes it as well. So if you only want a braided style and prefer to prep your hair at home…..that is totally welcome. I personally wouldn’t want to sit in a chair for too long….so I will definitely prep prior to going to Paula’s.
BUT AS A COURTESY TO PAULA AND HER STAFF, IF I PREP MY HAIR-IT WILL DEFINITELY BE DETANGLED AND BRAIDED IN BIG SECTIONS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE STYLIST GET DOWN TO THE STYLING PART….AND NOT UNTANGLING ETC.
9. Can Natural’s ask for most natural products OR bring their own?
Yes they can! As long as it’s not chemicals, she is fine with using what you prefer. This is also a great option for natural’s who prefer a more strictly natural product regimen, or if you are following a regimen at home-you do not have to sacrifice that at Paula’s.
What I loved to hear the most was that Paula is client oriented. I was pleasantly surprised to see that she is SO client focused she has a section that caters to her Muslim clients. For clients who maybe do not expose their hair or do not want to expose their hair in public, Hair Designs by Paula has a private section for them, which is really great because some Muslim women have natural afro-textured hair as well.
Of course I booked an appointment!!!! Had to and I will update MA with my results 😉
You can either use highway 417 or Hunt Club Road to get there. The salon has a great location directly on Greenbank Road.
Of course FREE parking is included!
Using OC Transpo public buses, # 172 and #173 go directly in front of Hair Designs by Paula.
Consultations are available and given before services to ensure the style you’re getting will reflect your daily lifestyle if need be, or reflect that new style you were looking for 😉
So let me know if you’ve been to Hair Designs by Paula, let me know if you have an appointment coming up as well….I would love to feature your services!