Lavish Feature | Lisa Dinh
Name: Lisa Dinh
Occupation: Hairstylist/Colourist/Salon Owner
How did you get started as a hairstylist?:
L: I took cosmetology in high school in grade 12, that’s when I realized that I enjoyed doing hair. My mom took me to the salon when I was in grade 4 and I got my colour done and that’s when I realized that I want to be in beauty. So then I decided to take a year off after high school and enroll myself into beauty school. After that, I enrolled myself into the Aveda Institute of Toronto and I graduated in 2009.
What or who inspired you to open up a salon?:
L: Guy Tang! He’s the top person in the hair game right now and he really influenced me to open a salon because when I started out I was pretty much just working part time at home and I was only booking 2 weeks in advance. It wasn’t until I followed Guy Tang on Instagram and he followed me back and reached out to me and said to come meet me in New Orleans for a hair show. There was no hesitation, I booked my ticket and flew out and after I went he literally changed my life. Imagine being in your 20s, you graduate school, and you have no idea what to do in life, he basically gave me validation that I’m doing the right thing and to hear that in your 20s is such a big deal. So I felt that after I got that okay from him I came back and I was really confident and started to get booked out pretty much 3-7 months and then eventually a year. I was inspired to open up a salon because I got so crazy busy and I couldn’t do it on my own anymore and I went from it being just me to hiring an admin and then after that eventually hiring a team.
What products or routine would you suggest to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy?:
L: After colouring or not colouring, I feel like you need a really good shampoo and conditioner, that’s major! You shouldn’t be using drugstore shampoos because they strip out the colour, it’s not hydrating enough for the hair. A good routine is your basics, shampoo and conditioner, after that I would do a hair mask once every two weeks, and then use a leave-in oil.
Who are your 3 favourite hairstylists?:
L: Guy Tang, because he inspired me to open up a salon and Tracy Cunningham, because she is a top A-lister celebrity stylist in LA, I took a class of hers in April of last year and it was amazing. I won’t lie I just have those 2 for right now.
What are your 3 favourite hairstyles?:
L: Beachy waves, Sun kissed look when it comes to colour, and Hollywood Glam Waves.
If someone is bleaching their hair how often should they be bleaching it?:
L: The most we would do is split into 3 sessions but it is in a span of 3-4 months per session, we wouldn’t colour or bleach a girl’s hair more than 2 times within a month because it is too damaging. If a girl is trying to get their ideal colour, they will achieve it within a 6 month to 1 year time frame.
If this is not your dream job what would be your dream job?:
L: I don’t know! If I wasn’t doing this I don’t even know what I would be doing.
What is the #1 hair DON’T?:
L: Don’t colour your hair with box dye from the drugstore.
If you could have 1 hair colour for the rest of your life what would it be?:
L: Definitely ash blonde with some ash brown in it, you can’t go wrong with those 2 tones in your hair.
What is next for you in the future?:
L: I have a lot of things planned. I really want to establish the salon, not just for me but for the whole team, I really want them to be super booked! After that, I want to start travelling and educating, definitely doing more platform work and venture off into more beauty endeavors.
What was your biggest challenge (aside from money) that you had to face while opening the salon?:
L: Aside from spending my life’s savings, I had a lot of people doubting me and telling me I couldn’t do this. You get a lot of haters the more successful you get and that was very difficult for me especially people that you thought would be your #1 supporters all of a sudden stop supporting you.
How were you able to grow such a big clientele?:
L: It started from 2 years ago while working from home being booked out 2 weeks and Guy Tang. Once you have someone that established in the industry and is basically giving you recognition for your work, everyone in Toronto is going to be like “who is this girl?”. So the fact that he gave me recognition for my work it was the moment that everything changed and I started getting booked out because people started believing in me. He was that defining moment for me because just him saying “this girl’s got it” everyone in Toronto started booking with me.
Lisa Dinh Hair Studio is located at 651 Dupont Street in Toronto http://lisadinhhairstudio.com/