Located in Dundas, Ontario, a whimsical salon and shop named Ellënoire is home to natural and organic skincare, haircare, and some of the best curly hair stylists in the province. Before adapting to the curiosity and demand for curly hair services, entrepreneur Noelle was handcrafting her all-natural personal care products.
Ellënoire began carrying DevaCurl products in 2003, a famous line of curly hair products that equally value natural ingredients and practices. She was ahead of the curve since the skincare industry had yet to embrace organic and non-toxic ingredients. However, as Noëlle began to sell her concoctions, people were even more fascinated by her naturally curly hair. “It became ironic how many hours I ended up spending talking about my hair, versus selling the products I spent all night making,” Noëlle admits.
This marked the start of the expansion into offering curly hair services. Now, Ellënoire’s hair salon is usually bustling with clients looking for the curl prescription that suits them best. Meanwhile, the shop is decked out in bottles of handmade potions that are kind to the skin and environment.
OnSide Media spoke to Noëlle about her journey as an entrepreneur, operating a business on the outskirts of Hamilton, and the one trend she avoids at all costs.
Why is Dundas, ON the right location for your salon to exist?
It just happens to be where I live and where I’m raising my child. It’s where I grew up and where I happened to move when I became a single parent. When I first started Ellënoire, curly hair was not a part of the company. We have been selling curly products for the last 20 years, but we only offered curly hair services 12 years ago. The location of the salon is good in regards to clients. However, it is tough for finding talent.
What made you decide to branch out of hairstyling and offer homemade personal care products?
It was the other way around. I have made handmade products for the last 30 years, which became my business 26 years ago. We added a few curly hair products, mostly because people didn’t want to talk about my skin products. They always wanted to talk about my hair. So, we added curly hair products, and because I always wore my hair natural (I had already had a stylist and specific products I was using), I developed this reputation where I would go to consumer-type shows and give live demos on how to use the products and how much.
The type of thing you would see on an Instagram post now, I was demonstrating 20 years ago. That helped them understand how their hair worked and why it would respond if they treated it differently.
Hair salons and services specializing in curly and wavy hair are few and far between. How has this influenced your journey as an entrepreneur?
When I started working with DevaCurl in 2003, the Curly Girl Method and the ingredient specifics tied closely to what I was already teaching with skincare. So, the DevaCurl/Curly Girl was close to that philosophy, and it was a seamless add-on. I had a tightly defined philosophy that was essential for me. It gave me different opportunities to speak to more people and sell products to a new audience.
How do you approach bringing out natural curls and waves in your clients?
When clients arrive at the store, we have them wear their natural hair texture to see exactly what is going on with their hair. Then, we ask many questions regarding their current hair care and what’s going on. That helps us identify their scalp type, porosity, hair type, and all the little details to figure out the best product mix.
A good haircut is essential, but excellent product choices and using the right product is almost more important. You could have a fantastic haircut, and if it’s not being taken care of properly, it will still be a frizzy mess.
As a curly-haired person, is there a style or trend you avoid at all costs?
Specifically, I currently have a little bit of reddish color in my hair. This is the first time I have put color in my hair in 10 years. It’s only a temporary color. Otherwise, I would not say I like putting color in my hair. I hate how it feels, so covering my grey hairs will never be a part of my regime. Personally, avoiding color is part of my mojo for sure.
For more information kindly visit: https://ellenoire.com/