REFUGE at Studio 209

True confessions: I’m a hair nerd by day and a choir nerd by night. Here is a fabulous project wherein I get the best of both worlds! We recently prepped and shot a 13-hour, 26-person photoshoot at Studio 209, and here is a little behind-the-scenes video of it by Switchdef Media.

Drawing on works as diverse as Meredith Monk’s Churchyard Entertainment, Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, and Isabella Leonarda’s Ave Regina Coelorum, Vancouver’s summer chorus of queer, classically trained singers presents REFUGE, an exploration of both found and created safety and shelter.

Under the direction of Mark Reid, Cor Flammae’s REFUGE includes new works by Vancouver composers Shane Raman and Michael Park, plus works by Peter Tchaikovsky, Joan Szymko, Stephen Smith, Rodney Sharman, Dominique Phinot, and more, presented in two spectacular venues.

REFUGE: Sanctuary on Friday July 15 is at Vancouver’s historic and beautifully restored Christ Church Cathedral. This Anglican cathedral is a safe, welcoming and positive space for LGBTQI people, and is both air conditioned and fully wheelchair accessible.

REFUGE: City on Saturday July 16 is at Pyatt Hall, the acoustically perfect jewel box concert hall at the VSO School of Music. Fully wheelchair accessible and complete with bar, it is the perfect place for our post-concert mingler. Please join us!


REFUGE: the condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit or trouble. From seeking our chosen families to creating welcoming and diverse cities and countries, Cor Flammae draws on the queer outsider experience to build a lateral compassion for all who seek refuge and hope.


Hairstylists plan fundraiser for Syrian refugees

Vancouver hairstylists will donate their scissors and time next week to help refugees cut through the challenge of settlement. On Monday, stylists at eight boutique Vancouver salons are volunteering their chairs to cut hair with new Canadians in mind during “Cutathon: A Multi-Salon Fundraiser to Benefit Refugees,” created to support the Immigrant Services Society of B.C.

Source: Hairstylists plan fundraiser for Syrian refugees

CUTATHON: A multi-salon fundraiser for refugees

A few years ago I was frustrated by the blindly competitive nature and lack of community building in the hairstylist scene (for goodness’ sake, there are enough clients to go around!), so I founded a little Facebook group meant to create a space for Vancouver-area hairstylists to work together and learn from each other. Who knew our little community would grow to over 700 members in Greater Vancouver, and that through mentorship and the sharing of information we could create informed and well-represented local hair experiences for clients and stylists alike. We have had casual meetings over the years – watching videos, having hair parties, and talking business – but this upcoming event is by far the most exciting thing we have done yet!

From our journey of fostering cooperation arose a common desire to contribute to the refugee support efforts happening in our backyard. Dozens of local high-end hairstylists will be volunteering their time and talents to give you the haircut of your dreams for a great cause! There are 8 participating salons all over Vancouver and on the North Shore – Yaletown, Lonsdale, Downtown, Chinatown, Hastings Sunrise, Main St, Fraser St – these are all high-end, highly-trained experts who are volunteering their time and salon space for this event. All donations for haircuts will go directly to Immigrant Services Society of BC.

Minimum donation $35 / credit card payments only / new clients welcome!

Graphic design by Amelia Pitt-Brooke

Contact a participating salon to book your haircut appointment:

Studio 209 (FULLY BOOKED [thank you clients!])
209-402 West Pender Street 604.915.9170

Barbarella hair saloon
3277 Main Street 604.876.1414

The Beehive Hair Lounge
3904 Fraser Street 604.709.9928

Big Joy Barber & Salon
203-2132 East Hastings Street 604.562.3443

Coup Salon
524 Shanghai Alley 604.688.2227

Citrus Hair Salon
1036 Mainland Street 604.688.1332

63 & 65 Lonsdale Avenue, North Van 778.340.3332

202-123 Carrie Cates Court, North Van 604.990.0123




5 different ways to blow dry your hair

Hi party people!!  This was my second interview with the lovely Ava Baccari at Elle Canada (PRO TIP: maybe don’t schedule an interview for the morning after your birthday party – I think Ava had her work cut out for her!).  It is so very exciting to be featured on  😀  Hope you enjoy!

ELLE Canada Hairstyles: From a natural blowout to loose waves, here’s 5 ways to blow dry your hair for the perfect finish.

blow-dry-hair-page-twoIn the right hands, a blow dryer and round brush can create vastly different hairstyles. And while the looks may change, there’s one hard-and-fast rule among stylists before styling even begins: not to start from sopping wet hair. “It takes longer and encourages frizz and breakage,” says Missy Clarkson, hair stylist at Burke & Hair salon in Vancouver’s Gastown.

After stepping out of the shower, towel dry hair first then flip your head upside down and rough-dry from the roots until hair is at least 50 per cent dry. “It will give your hair some lift,” says Clarkson. We asked Clarkson to share five different ways to blow dry hair to create your favourite hairstyles.

Natural blow dry

Apply a heat-protectant spray to the hair before you begin styling (try KEVIN.MURPHY DAMAGE.MANAGER). For the safest blow dry, “make sure the heat is not too high, and [the blow dryer] is not too close the hair,” says Clarkson. Divide the hair into a top Mohawk, and blow dry the hair in sections, starting from the front—where you have the most control—to the back, using a round brush (a larger brush will create more volume). “The smaller the brush, the more control you have,” she says, adding that ceramic brushes hold and distribute heat better than metal ones. “A high-quality brush makes all the difference.” Position your arm (that’s holding the brush) at a 90-degree angle.

Once finished, flip hair upside down again blast with a shot of cold air to remove all heat. “Heat manipulates the hair,” says Clarkson. “So if the hair is still hot, it can still be manipulated.” Cooled strands will keep your blowout in place.

A wavy finish

Again, go with Clarkson’s “cheater move” and blow dry upside down until it’s about 80 per cent dry this time. Divide up the hair like a beach ball, creating vertical sections starting from the face, and blow dry using a small round boar bristle brush to create a tighter wave.

Finish with a curling tong to create natural, beachy movement. “Wrap hair around the wand and away from the face, leaving out the ends.” This will leave loose and billowy waves in the hair.

Diffuse curly hair

While you can blow dry naturally curly hair to a pin-straight finish after two hours of styling, it will likely recoil to its wavy state once you step outside. “Keep curly hair curly,” Clarkson advises. Flip head upside down and diffuse dry.

Finish by using a small curling iron to hold the natural curl in shape and create more definition.

Second-day blowout

Styling second-day hair is all about the “faux dry,” says Clarkson. If you wash hair the night before and wake up to quickly style hair the next day, go for an easy updo. Part the hair at the centre and tie into knot at the back, adding in bobby pins to hold any loose pieces in place. Or to re-style already blown-out hair the next morning, add dry shampoo at the roots to remove any excess oil. Take the curling tong to re-shape any kinks that were worked into the hair while sleeping.

The textured hairstyle

The beauty about this look is that you can create a grunge-inspired slept-on hairstyle with texturizing pastes and hair products—but it also works perfectly on second day hair as well. If you don’t have time to wash hair in the morning, work in a volumizing dry shampoo at the roots. Part the hair at the middle and blow dry with a large round brush to create beautiful waves. Divide up the hair into a Mohawk, and back-brush small sections at a time. “Start at the root and work forward,” she says. “This will create soft-looking waves.” With lots of volume.

Interview with ELLE Canada!

Colour me tickled PINK  to have been contacted by Elle Canada for a hair tutorial interview!  I do babble on (and on… you know it!), so I am super happy that their talented and very lovely writer Ava Baccari found a tutorial amongst all my gigglin’s.  I hope you like it!

ELLE Canada Beauty trend lesson: How to get Viktor & Rolf’s runway hairstyle

DIY styling tips for the delicate and feminine braided updo.

Viktor-e-Rolf-beauty-trendBraids—whether wrapped all over or woven into an updo—are timeless. That’s why we keep seeing them twisted and roped into beautiful incarnations each season on the runways, including the delicate and feminine wraparound hairband at Viktor & Rolf’s show this fall. “We can find new and more modern ways to attempt them all the time—you can move them all the way around your head and create a different look,” says Missy Clarkson, hair stylist at Burke & Hair salon in Vancouver’s Gastown. “There’s a lot of flexibility within the style, so I think that’s why it’s something that keeps coming back.”

We asked Clarkson to share her expert tips on how to get Viktor & Rolf’s runway hairstyle’s modern twist on the classic French braid.


“My hair is about collarbone length and I actually wore this look to a wedding yesterday,” says Clarkson about the runway hairstyle. “I found that to be pretty ideal.” This way, you don’t have the braid wrapping around your head multiple times—although you can fold it back and forth if necessary. “If you have a shorter cut and lots of layers, it creates quite a messy look,” she explains, and that’s exactly what you want for this braided updo. “You just need to be able to have something to tuck up.”

1. Start with clean, dry hair
With a base of clean, dry hair, you can add in the gritty texture yourself. “I would blow dry with a texturizing spray into it, just to get a bit of grip and to have a bit more control—to have the messy look, but on purpose,” she says. She recommends Kevin Murphy Hair Resort spray, and spritzing it from roots to ends, working it in as you roughly blow dry hair. “I’ve got very slippery hair so if I just put in a couple French braids, my hair will try to slide right back out,” Clarkson says. “If you put a little grip in there first, it’ll be a lot easier to do.”

2. Master your French braid
Create a diagonal, imperfect part along the centre of the hair. “I don’t like a too-clean-looking part when you’ve got such a messy look,” says Clarkson. “So if it looks more devil-may-care and casual, then that’s more appropriate.”

But first things first: “If you don’t know how to do a French braid, you can get your friend to help you or look up videos on YouTube—there’s a cornucopia of resources to help you get practicing,” says Clarkson. “Because it is a matter of practice with a French braid.”

Start your French braid on either side from the temple and work your way down the scalp, wrapping around to the other side. Then pull that end up above the opposite ear and pin that in with bobby pins. “I like to start doing quite a tight braid and once I’ve secured my braid with a clear elastic, I would rough it up from there, rather than trying to do a loose braid right off the bat.” Be sure to tuck the ends into the braid on either side so it’s completely hidden.

3. It’s sew easy! 
If you want to get creative with your braided updo, you can get an embroidery needle and using your hair as a thread, sew spare pieces right into the braid. “Or you can push them in with the back of a tail comb as another option,” Clarkson suggests. “If you get it done in a salon, they will most likely sew it in and you can wear it for a few days. I like to sleep on updos if I can get them sewn in, and then it looks even messier and more perfectly unkempt the next day and last a little bit longer that way.”

For the DIY runway hairstyle, be sure to insert bobby pins at the base of your braid along the scalp (not on top) so they’re kept hidden. “That’s going to feel more secure,” she adds. “Pull some soft pieces around the face to look almost garden party,” she says. And spray all over with hairspray. “If you get all the little pieces that you want out, spray to keep the rest in so it doesn’t get too loose on you,” she says.

The best part of the braided updo? “It’s actually quite easy—it sounds harder than it is!” Clarkson reassures. “If you already know how to French braid, you can get it in 1.5 tries.” The braid is what takes up most of the time when creating this runway hairstyle. “It’s a messy look, you can’t screw it up too much!”

Original link here.  Thank you, Elle Canada!  Now go braid your hair!

See you later, Murphinator xo

Due to a whole lot of stuff I have had to make a very difficult decision – my last day as KEVIN.MURPHY Brand Manager is this Friday.  I will certainly stay connected to KEVIN.MURPHY through the wonderful people I have met and through the wonderful products that I use, but for now I am just going to have one job, like sane people do.  Okay, maybe 1.5, but the 0.5 is volunteer, and no promises on the sanity thing.

I honestly cannot thank KEVIN.MURPHY and West Coast Beauty enough for this life and career-changing opportunity.  I have learned so much in two years, and I hope that I brought a little love to the places I visited.  Thank you to the amazing superstars I was lucky enough to work with closely: Kevin, the Davids, the Tims, Kelley & Nancy, and extra special thanks times a grillion to my amazing superstar KEY educators: Catherine, Jackie, Christopher, Katrina & Kimberly.  Our paths will surely keep crossing, and there is karaoke to be sung!

This means that my availability at Burke&Hair will increase, starting in April!  Thank you to my clients and friends for your patience and patronage.