LOVE Salon: Edmonton’s Gem | Interview By Monika Oliver

“Love starts with looking in the mirror everyday and being okay with who you are.”

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Beyond excited to try that new hair color or style only to walk out of the salon with the world’s worst ‘do’, and hating that bitch who spent more time talking about her crazy night out with her BFF than paying attention to your request for three-tone ombre. The truth is that finding a good hair stylist is much like finding the perfect partner. You need to find someone you can trust, who will listen to your concerns, and most importantly someone that can make you feel beautiful no matter what kind of day you are having. On top of landing the perfect stylist, you need to find a salon that offers a variety of services, reasonable prices, and an atmosphere that lets you relax and enjoy your hair experience.

After years of searching I finally found a salon that offers all that and more. LOVE salon is located a mere 10-minute walk from campus, and offers affordable cuts, colors, and a host of other hair rejuvenation treatments. Did I mention their line of environmentally friendly hair products with organically derived ingredients containing no petrochemicals or preservations? What’s more, the LOVE team is dedicated to making your visit about more than just your hair. With indulgent head massages, and an impressive selection of beverages to sip while you talk the day’s troubles away, this amazing group of young, charming stylists have nailed the perfect salon experience.

I recently sat down with Meagan Vandruten, Owner and Cassie Devine, Apprentice at LOVE salon to gain a little insight into what went into making LOVE.

Tell me a bit about yourselves.

Meagan Vandruten: Well, my name is Meagan Vandruten. I love music, and people, and I am going to change the world. I have beautiful people around me, and a great support system. I live the perfect life… with imperfections—but even the imperfections are perfect. I have the perfect job.

Cassie Devine: My name is Cassie. I am just finishing up my apprenticeship, and I have been lucky enough to work here from the start. I’ve been able to see it change and transform, and I’ve helped Meagan every step of the way.

So Meagan, how did you land this “perfect job”?

M: Well it started with me getting my mom’s towels dirty with hair color and then I got in trouble and moved out. I started doing hair in her friend’s salon, and she taught me everything, and then I was brought over to another salon where I learned even more, and I stayed there for six years and discovered what I was about.

I decided to think positively, and create a dream world in my mind of what I could do with people that loved the same thing that I loved and I thought about it hard, and I talked about it and dreamt about it and then…. it came true. And now it’s been two years and we have LOVE.

Cassie, what do you hope to do when you are finished your apprenticeship?

Well, I’ve always looked up to Meagan and all the things she’s done with her crazy hair life. She’s competed all around Canada and the world and she’s a make-up artist and I hope one day I will get to do something like that. I’ve always wanted to but [I’ve] been too scared. It is so crazy because I had low self-esteem before this and now I watch myself breathe confidence into other people. Meagan breathed it into me and now I get to breathe it into my clients. It really is a chain reaction of breathing love into other people. It is pretty special.

So How did you decide on the name LOVE and what does it mean to you? 

M: I think there is so much magic in everything around us that we walk by so fast and there are so many things that we wish we were, or wish we were doing, and all we need is love to end our suffering.

Ultimately, love starts with looking in the mirror every day and being okay with who you are. Sometimes it starts on the outside and gets into the inside. That is Cassie and Scott’s job, and mine: we talk to people, show them we care, give them a place to be calm and relaxed, and like themselves no matter what.  We look deep inside of you and show you something that you haven’t seen about yourself already. We want to have a salon that you can come into whether you need a hair cut or not, and leave feeling like the person you are supposed to be feeling like, not the person you’ve been burdened to feel like.

C: Well, love to me is the feeling when someone smiles at you, and there is just that spark that goes off. That happy feeling inside and the relationship between two people and the happiness you feel. That is love.

So girls, what piece of advice do you have for people who are trying to follow their dreams like you followed yours?

M: Be yourself. Because really, if you aren’t yourself who are you? But it is so hard for girls and young people especially to be themselves if no one looks into them to encourage them. And with that, the best advice I’d like to pass on is: help show someone who they really are.

C: Find someone who is in a place you want to be and you will never feel alone when you are starting out. There are so many times in life when things don’t go the way you planned and to have someone there to reassure you that it is going to be ok then you just feel so much better about yourself.

And [love is] specifically about following your dreams, I would say that every day you just need to get up and say to yourself: “I want this. I am not going to give up. I am not that person. I want to make a difference.” It is hard every day, but it is worth it. Find that motivation in yourself and use it, learn from it. Every day I learn from my clients and gain insight. You need to talk to new people, and try new things and be open to things happening. Have you ever seen that youtube video with that guy who says, “If you want to succeed as much as you want to believe, then you will succeed”? Meagan and I watch that all the time. Dreams take long hours, sacrifice, and hard work but it is all worth it. Believe in yourself because it is really easy to give up but if you don’t give up you can go really far. Megan gave that advice to me a long time ago and it has gotten me really far. That is it.

You can find the LOVE Salon at 11025 and 82nd Avenue, on Facebook here and on their website here!

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  • Colleen Hazzard

    I am a client and friend of Love’s and it is the GREATEST Salon I have ever been to. Meagan helped me realize that I didn’t need to keep hiding behind my hair. What a difference a haircut can make to your life. So many positive changes in my life just by changing my hair. Thanks Meagan, Cassie and Scott.