Events + Updates, Personal, Uncategorized

Ottawa Wedding Awards 2018

Hey guys!

I had the honour of being nominated for the Ottawa Wedding Awards this year! The hairstylist award has some crazy competition so it was really amazing to be apart of that. The Wedding Awards are hosted by Ottawa Wedding Magazine and happen annually.

There are two award categories, Platinum awards, which you have to submit work into and the winner is decided by a panel of judges, and people’s choice, which is exactly what it sounds like. I was nominated in the people’s choice category! Meaning somewhere on the internet, someone thinks I’m cool (score).

After finding a dress and getting everything ready, my girlfriend Lana volunteered to do my makeup. She’s kind of amazing at it, so naturally I was thrilled (especially because I’m terrible at it). Here’s my full glam

The awards ceremony was absolutely beautiful. It felt like we were at a wedding reception, a super glam wedding reception, it was magical. The best part had to be the food, I’m usually a semi-picky eater, but I tried everything and LOVED it all.

I can’t even tell you what these food items are for the most pet, but they rocked my world. Food was provided by the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata.

While I didn’t take home an award, I did get to be apart of this fabulous event and had the chance to meet other incredible professionals from the wedding industry.

Thanks for having me!


Events + Updates, Personal, Photoshoot, Uncategorized

Contessa Collection: Spark, Fire, and Ash

Around this time last year, I had a spark of motivation, I thought “hey screw it, I might as well try and make a collection for the Contessas” and so I did! I had the honor of connecting with a team of industry professionals to help make this dream come true. With that, I started planning.

After a quick facebook post, I had a team! I had the pleasure of working with each of these talented artists beforehand, so I knew that whatever we created was going to be beautiful.
My stunning model, Katrina, agreed to let me do three separate color, cuts, and styles on her for the collection. This beautiful girl is over six feet tall, breathtakingly gorgeous, and has a PhD in chemical engineering. She’s basically straight out of a fairy tale. Oh, I forgot to mention, she had virgin hair… every stylists dream. This patient and beautiful human spent over 20 hours with me over the course of a month and a half creating three different looks to match our theme: Spark, Fire, and Ash.

Mike Giovinazzo, volunteered to capture the collection, and I could not have done it without him. I met Mike only a few months beforehand during a photography workshop and knew right away that we would be creating some art together! His talents include boudoir, fantasy, portrait, and so many other types of photography. On top of that, he is such a kind soul.

Jacquie Mathers from Artistry by Jacquie lent her creative makeup skills to the collection. This energetic and friendly lady practices ethical beauty in everything she does. Jacquie’s kit only holds cruelty-free items. She even offers advice for people wanting to switch to cruelty free in her blog! I gave her complete creative freedom in the makeup department, because she knew much better than I would! I certainly can’t argue with the results either!

Finally, we topped it all off with clothing from the incredible designer Rebecca Rowe of Rowe’s Fashion. Her clothes are a work of beauty. Each piece is well-made and beautifully crafted to suit the body that wears it. The most amazing part about her clothes? Most of the dresses and skirts have POCKETS.

So folks, here it is! My first collection: Spark, Fire, and Ash. This collection placed top 10 in the apprentice category at Contessa 29. The experience of creating this was humbling and has given me a creative buzz. This week I begin the work for my second collection, hopefully you’ll see it at Contessa 30!

Photography: Mike Giovinazzo

MUA: Artistry by Jacquie

Model: Katrina Roebuck

Designer: Rowe’s Fashion

Hair: Emma Ward


Events + Updates, Hair Product, Personal, Uncategorized

ABA Toronto 2018

Hi guys!

After awhile away, prepare for a ton of updates! First of all, I went to ABA Toronto!

The ABA (Allied Beauty Association) has been going on for years, and I have yet to go until this year. Accompanied by my lovely best friend from hair school, we took off to Toronto for two days jam packed with education, new tools, and too much alcohol.

0511c62d88This year’s show featured two of my fave Instagram famous hairstylist: Platinum Perfection and Larisa Love. Naturally, I fan-girled like an idiot but hey, I met them both!

I left for Toronto after work on Saturday, got in around midnight and after tracking down some food.

The show itself was surreal. It was a humbling experience being in a place filled with so many incredibly talented artists. I watched several hours of education including styling, coloring, and business classes. My favourite panel was the Panel of Influencers. It was compiled of a team of famous Instagram stylists sharing their stories and helpful tips for growing stylists.

Of course, the after party was fantastic. Most of the photos are blurry, but so was my vision so it’s okay.

In summary, I spent way too much money, learned a lot, and had an absolute blast! Until next year, see you again ABA Toronto!

(My loot from day one)

Events + Updates, Personal

Contessa 2018 and Hollywood Hair

Hey everyone!
I’ve finally had some time to sit down and let you in on the madness that has been my last couple of weeks. A whirlwind of excitement and education also unfortunately led to exhausted and a mean cold so I’m a little late.

This wonderful madness began with a class on November 5th in Toronto at the Schwarzkopf academy called Hollywood Hair. This class, taught by the exquisite Michelle Finlayson, was set up to teach stylist how to combine new and old school techniques to create stunning updos and long hair styles.

Here’s one of my fave looks created during the class! Michelle showed up a knotted updo technique and told us to then make it our own and I decided to finish mine with some braid styling (photo two).

Did I mention that I took an overnight greyhound to get to this class? It was bananas and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, just get a hotel room like a normal person. However, I would totally do it again.  After wrapping up the class, I took the bus back to Ottawa, and headed straight to bed.

Fast forward to the next weekend, myself and some coworkers were off to Toronto (again) for the Contessa! For anyone who isn’t a hair nerd, the Contessa is the Canadian hairstylist of the year awards, essentially the Oscars for hair stylists.  The contest features a number of categories for stylists to enter (colorist of the year, texture stylist, etc). Which by the way, yours truly placed top ten in Canada in the apprentice category, just saying.


What a show! With 1000 hair stylist in attendance, it was an incredible experience. We laughed, drank, and danced the night away while being inspired by so many amazing artists. Watch out for next year, the Scissors team plans on taking home our own Contessa!

Personal, Photoshoot, Uncategorized

In Bloom – Photoshoot

It’s not everyday I get to take part in a photoshoot with two of my fave people! My oldest friend (photographer) and one of my dearest hair school friends (model) collaborated with me to create this beautiful In Bloom collection.


This collection was inspired by the pink flowered trees found in Lincoln Fields in Ottawa. This set was published in three different small magazines! Northern Shine, Pretty Poison, and Nymph Magazine.



Model: Kat Falsetto
Photographer: Lana Smith Photography

Hair: Emma Ward (Hi!)

Events + Updates

National Women’s Show

I had the pleasure of working with designer Julie Aubin at the National Women’s Show this year in Ottawa. This year the event was again hosted at the EY Centre, but for the first time organized by Runway For Hope.

It was a delight to share the morning with so many talented makeup artists and my incredibly talented partner for hair, Fatima Abeduljalil.

Here are some photos of the models I had the joy of prepping for the show!

All photos thanks to Richard MacGillivray !

Hair Facts, Hair Product, Tips + Tricks

Hairstylist: Ask Me Anything

For this week, I asked my Facebook friends to ask me questions. After all, the point of this blog is to share some hair magic with all of you, so who better to ask. I was delightfully surprised that the questions were so interesting, so here we go!

(a few of these were so good, I’ll be doing separate blog posts about them after to go more into depth).

What are clear signs of dead hair?

Technically, all of the hair that we see on our heads is already dead, the struggle is keeping that hair healthy and hydrated to appear “alive”. A few signs that your hair is becoming damaged include:

  • Dry-feeling, unhydrated ends.
  • Split ends
  • Hair starts to tangle more easily
  • Hair isn’t holding onto color as well anymore.
  • Breakage

What’s the dirtiest hair you ever had to style? Describe.

Oh boy, I normally leave these stories within the salon. A common hair myth is that you shouldn’t wash your hair before having it colored. Sadly, some people take this myth WAY too far and decide to come in with a hot mess on their heads. I once had a lady come in for her color touch up, and her hair was so dirty that it was actually wet underneath from oils.

 Is having my hair up 80% of the time unhealthy?

Under some circumstance, yes. However, if you avoid a few things, you can drastically reduce the damage of having your hair up all the time.

DON’T – Wear really tight elastics all the time. Doing so can cause traction alopecia (hair-loss caused by pulling) usually around the hairline. This can cause a receding hairline when done too often.
DO – Use a clip or loose elastic to tie your hair up. There are tons of healthier alternatives around for securing your hair that look great! Check out Invisibobbles, they are a traction-less hair tie that you can use again and again without it snapping on you.

DON’T – Leave your hair up all day and night. Make sure you let your scalp breathe! Having a clogged up scalp can cause all kinds of problems, including slower hair growth.

DO – Remember to take your hair down and let it breathe. I recommend running a brush through your hair right after taking it out. This will stimulate your scalp and promote healthy growth rates. It will also remove any hairs that have shed while you’ve been wearing it up.

What is the best brand of shampoo/conditioner for thin hair?

Before I go into brands, I’d like to just discuss some general characteristics of products suited for fine hair. Always look for something that isn’t too heavy. Drug store products are a big no-no for anyone with fine hair. These products are loaded with unnecessary ingredients that can leave a build up on your hair and scalp. For anyone with fine hair who is ready to make the switch to professional products you should always start with a few deep cleansing shampoos to remove the build up.

As for brands, it really turns into preference. Luckily, there are so many great professional products available to give a variety. Here are a few of my favorites that my clients love.

Kevin Murphy – Plumping Shampoo and Conditioner

Schwarzkopf – Moisture Kick Shampoo and leave in treatment.

Color WOW – Daily Shampoo and Conditioner for fine hair.

Aveda – Pure Abundance Shampoo and Conditioner.

How do you make hair grow faster?

The important thing to keep in mind is that your hair will not grow a noticeable amount overnight no matter what you do. However, there are some things to help promote natural hair growth,

  • Brush your hair often, and don’t forget your scalp

Regular brushing helps to keep your scalp healthy, stimulated, and free of debris. Scalp stimulation promotes healthy hair growth by keeping the blood flowing in that area.

  • Get regular trims

Okay, let’s debunk a major hair myth right now. Why does your hairstylist keep saying that to grow your hair out, you should get it cut more often?

Fun Fact: split ends cannot be fixed, they will not go back together and will not be healthy again. Any product claiming to repair them, is probably just putting a coating over your hair to make it feel healthier. In reality, the hair is still broken. The ONLY way to get rid of split ends and stop them from traveling upward? Cut them off. Getting 1/2 inch trims every 6-8 weeks removes splits and prevents the damage from spreading.

  • Maintain a balanced diet

Everything in our bodies is connected. When one system is thrown off, it takes a toll of your overall health in so many ways. If your hair is feeling weak, it could be a sign that something else is wrong. Maintaining a balanced diet keeps your body healthy and happy, and in turn keeps your hair feeling great.

  • Try keratin supplements

Reasonably priced keratin supplements are all over the market. You should always check with your doctor before starting new supplements but most people can tolerate a little more keratin.

Keratin is the protein in your hair and nails. Some people need extra keratin if their bodies are not producing it naturally, and most of us couldn’t hurt from a little boost to keep our hair and nails looking healthy and happy.

  • Use quality products on your scalp and hair

If you are still in the mindset that drug store hair products are just as good as professional, you need to sit down with your laptop and do some research. These products are full of unneeded additives and ingredients that leave a build up on your hair and scalp. Fun Fact: this build up can actually slow down the growth of your hair. Your scalp needs to breathe, and if there is years of product build up sitting on top of it, it’s going to have a hard time doing that.

If I’m trying to achieve blonde without killing or over-processing my hair, how often should I lighten it to achieve this look?

Ah, here it is, the question of the ages. This has to be the most asked question when it comes to hair. So, here it is.

First of all, you should absolutely not be doing this yourself. When it comes to lightening your hair, there is a LOT that can go wrong. However, if done in-salon, a lighter look is often achievable. For those born with naturally very dark hair, you may never get platinum silver hair. Naturally dark hair has a lot of pigment to it, and so the process of removing the pigment (bleaching) takes longer and more work. Unfortunately, your hair may not be able to handle getting that light before it starts to feel like cooked spaghetti.

Virgin Hair: All hair should be lifted slow and steady. Low volume developers, mixed with a good colorist will give great results. In this situation, most colorists would suggest doing a lift and tone every 6-8 weeks depending on the health of your hair. Even then, you will be sent home with care instructions that are critical in the success of going lighter. Lifting your hair causes damage, there is no way around it. With proper care, most hair will lift to the desired level, but you will have to trust the process.

Professionally Colored Hair: Lifting color out of hair is a lot harder than with virgin hair. Most professional colors will remove without high levels of damage, but again, ensure that you use all of the after-care products prescribed by your stylist during your journey of going lighter.

Box-Colored Hair: Alright folks, here’s the ugly truth. If you want to go blonde, prepare to spend a lot of time and money. The only way around that investment, is to fry your hair at home. When I say fry, I genuinely mean that your hair will likely look like cooked spaghetti by the time you get to the desired level of blonde that you’re looking for.

In salon, you will likely need at least two-three visits. Even then, there isn’t a colorist in the world that can guarantee to lift out box color and maintain the integrity of your hair at the same time. Normally, in-salon lifting can remove quite a bit of the box color, but nothing is for sure. When lifting these colors, they come out splotchy and uneven. It takes an experienced colorist to spot treat these uneven areas. Please keep your expectations realistic. I 100% recommend going in for a consultation, they’re free and will give you a better picture of what can be done for your hair. Maybe you can lift to a beautiful platinum blonde, but it’s never for sure.


Have more questions? Leave them below!


Why I’m Starting a Blog

Hi all!
So after talking about it for over a month now, I’ve finally decided to start a blog. Keep in mind this is my first time doing this, so I will be looking for audience advice on what you’d like to read about! For anyone who may not know me, my name is Emma and I’m a hairstylist in Ottawa. I went to hair school at Algonquin College, and now I work full-time at Scissors Hair Studio.

Anytime I open my Facebook, I want to rip my eyes out watching some people give hair advice or make horrible mistakes on their heads. I’m here to spread some knowledge and help debunk common hair myths. Hopefully, I can help you guys learn some new things about your hair, and how to take care of it.

Thanks in advance for the support,