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Hair Expectations named Ontario’s top bridal hair and make-up salon

Hair Expectations of Richmond was named the Bridal Hair and Make-Up Specialist of the Year at the First Annual Oceanic Ontario Hair and Beauty Awards in Hamilton last weekend. From left to right are Vange Duncan, Emily Moulton, Rachel Durst and salon owner Jen Hastings. Members of their core wedding team not in the photo are Tania Mullins, Christine Charbonneau, Kayleigh Babcock and Marissa Donnelly.
Jeff Morris photo

By Jeff Morris

Manotick Messenger

A local salon has made South Carleton proud.

Hair Expectations, located on McBean Street in Richmond, came home from the First Annual Oceanic Ontario Hair and Beauty Awards in Hamilton with a major provincial award.

The salon, celebrating its tenth anniversary in Richmond in December, won the award as the Bridal Hair and Make-Up Specialist of the Year. Vange Duncan, who accepted the award on behalf of the salon, was also a finalist for the Stylist of the Year Award. Another member of the Hair Expectations team, Tania Mullins of the Kanata location, was also a finalist.

Weddings are a big part of Hair Expectations’ business, as they do an average of 80 weddings a year at the salon.

“On some Saturdays in the summer we will do two weddings in a day, sometimes even three,” Hastings said.

Part of Hair Expectations’ success in the bridal business is their ability to help the bride relax and let her focus on her special day.

“They have already been in for a trial and they’ve already built a relationship with whoever is doing the hair and make-up,” Hastings said. “By the time the wedding day comes they have talked to us so many times between booking the wedding and coming in for a trial that they are completely comfortable with us.”

While the award was the biggest won by Hair Expectations to date, it is not the only award in their trophy case. In 2016, Vange Duncan was Best Hairstyle Platinum Award winner at the Ottawa Wedding Awards. In February, Hair Expectations was the Ontario East winner as Hair and Make-Up Specialist of the Year at the 2019 Oceanic Ontario Wedding Awards.

“I’m super proud of them, and they work so hard,” Hastings said of her team. “”You’re always hopeful you’re going to win, but you’re never expecting it. I know my girls are talented, but there a lot of talented people out there. It’s tough competition, especially when you’re up against the Toronto market.”

Emily Moulton of Richmond, who has been with the salon for the past five years, says winning the award gives her team motivation.

“We all strive to do bigger and better things,” she said. “We’re always learning and keeping updated with new trends.”

Duncan represented the salon at the awards gala in Hamilton.

“As soon as we won, when I got back to the table I texted everyone,” she said. Although Duncan and Mullins did not win the individual award for Stylist of the Year, she said that having two Hair Expectations stylists among the top 10 finalists in Ontario was a special honour.

“It was pretty cool just to be nominated,” Duncan said.

Duncan, who grew up in Richmond and graduated from South Carleton High School, said that the best part of winning the award is making Richmond proud.

“At my table, I was telling everyone that we were from, like, a really small town,” she said. “To put us on the map – that’s huge. Our clients are super supportive and so happy for us.”

Hastings echoed Duncan in saying that the award is one for Richmond.

“The people who come in here – it’s like a family,” she said. “Everyone has a nice bond with their clients. This is something for everyone to share.”

Hastings said the salon has about three dozen weddings booked already for next year. She expects that number to grow dramatically within the month.

“At Christmas and New Year’s we get an influx of inquiries because so many people get engaged over the holidays,” she said.