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The Level 10 salon in Toronto's Kensington Market.

In the world of professional hair colour, level 10 is the term used to describe the lightest shade of blonde. It’s also the name that owner Nikki Kennedy gave to her new Toronto salon as an homage to her team’s specialization in hair lightening. “We all came from a background that specializes in colour,” she says. “It’s a very big focus of our work.”

Level 10 is located in the heart of Kensington Market, a historic neighbourhood known for its eclectic mix of vintage shops, local grocers and Pedestrian Sundays, where people on foot take over the streets. “I love it because it has such a small community vibe that you don’t find anywhere else in Toronto,” Kennedy says. When designing the space of her salon, Kennedy looked to her immediate surroundings, sourcing vintage furniture and a jungle of plants from her neighbouring businesses. A macramé wall hanging was found at nearby housewares store Bungalow. “I wanted to give it a vintage, Kensington vibe. It still has that Seventies feel, but I wanted it to feel luxurious.”

The salon is decorated with furniture and plants from other Kensington businesses.Handout

This fall, Kennedy says her clients are asking for cool toned-pastels, taupe greys and, of course, blonde. “Doing a Champagne blond or a beige blond is a good way to warm it up in the autumn without having to do that yellow-y base,” she explains. In addition to Level 10’s colouring services, which include everything from highlights and balayage to incorporating multiple pastel shades, Kennedy’s team offers cuts, up-dos, braids and Japanese straightening perms, a treatment where curly hair is straightened until it grows out.

Level 10, 32 St. Andrew St., Toronto, 416-542-9455,

  • R+Co Mannequin Styling Paste, $35.Handout

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