Photos by Lauren and Alexis Photography

Meet Brandi Churchill, owner and stylist at Canvas Salon! I got to chat with Brandi about her connection to Hattiesburg and all her best hair care tips for this season.

How and why did you arrive in Hattiesburg?

I grew up in Meridian but I have family in Laurel, so I spent a lot of time in Hattiesburg growing up with Laurel being so close.  I had no idea what I wanted to do after high school, so when selecting a university, I chose to attend Southern Miss simply because I liked Hattiesburg and it was close to my extended family. I ended up really making Hattiesburg home, but moved out of state after I graduated from USM with my Accounting degree.  I had every intention of moving back to Hattiesburg after starting my family and did just that in 2011.

How and why did you start your business here?

I come from a family of small business owners, so I think it was ingrained in me to start a business and I knew from an early age that,  deep down, I really wanted to open a salon.  The opportunity presented itself, and after praying about it, I decided to go all in on a tiny space.  I had no idea that God’s plan would lead me to opening up a much larger place within a year, working with stylists that I love and respect so much. Transforming the bottom of the historic America Building into a salon space was a project that was started on blind faith with God leading the way.  I’m positive this is exactly where we’re supposed to be.  Downtown Hattiesburg is and always has been one of my favorite places so knowing I get to put roots here is such a blessing.  Our salon brings hundreds of people per month to downtown Hattiesburg that wouldn’t normally visit downtown, so it really fulfills me to know that we play a part in showing others how great our city is. 

What are the top hair trends you’re seeing for spring and summer?

We’re still seeing a lot of the low maintenance blonde that’s been around for a few years now (with a few updates), which allows our guests to add strategically placed highlights that grow out super blended, so an every 4-8 week maintenance commitment isn’t always necessary.  We’re seeing more blended “money pieces” (bright highlights around the face/hairline) as opposed to dramatic ones.  We’ve been able to incorporate these as part of a low maintenance blonding session or even as an express/mini service.

Canvas is seeing a ton of extension clients as well.  Unexplained, significant hair loss has been a problem for women, specifically, over the last 3 years.  Extensions have been a wonderful way to add volume and/or length while the new growth comes in.  We have stylists trained and certified in several different methods who are able to healthily restore confidence in women who’ve experienced this hair loss, while nurturing the new growth.  Extensions aren’t just for length anymore and have been a game changer for women all over the region.  

What are your best hair care tips?

Use a water filter in your shower to protect your color and health of your hair and scalp.  Naturally occurring minerals in the water and from old pipes plus added chlorine can cause hair color fade, buildup on hair and scalp, and unnecessary dryness/brittleness that leads to breakage.

UV protection and heat protection – The sun can damage your hair like it can damage your skin.  During months where you’ll be outside, consider wearing a hat and using UV protection spray on your hair.  And always limit heat and use heat protection.

Keratin smoothing treatments – a MUST during the humid summer.  We have treatments that vary from simply reducing frizz and maintaining curl to ones that will seal and straighten hair temporarily. These will reduce drying time as well and by reducing frizz, you’ll be less tempted to use heat.  A win-win!

Monthly strengthening/masks – Hydration is super important year round but required for healthy hair after being in the sun, salt water, and chlorine!

Now for a list of your local favorites!

  1. Community: I have to say downtown.  I love the community, the food, the events, and the creativity and innovation of the people here.
  2. Shop: Lucky Rabbit
  3. Lunch Spot: Salad Station or The Porter 
  4. Night out:  Sully’s or Keg West, been dying to try Bourbon on Front, though
  5. Comfort food: Blujazz Crab Cake Pasta
  6. International Cuisine: I’ve been on a Pho Saigon kick lately, but Sakura never disappoints
  7. Hangout: I’ve got 3 active kids, so during the school year, we’re either at work/school, home or The Oakes watching them play soccer several nights a week.
  8. Coffee Shop/Order: Equinox’s Iced Matcha with Oat milk and honey.
  9. Event: Spring or Fall Art Walk, First Saturday
  10. Day trip: New Orleans
  11. Outdoor adventure: The zoo
  12. Place to get pampered: Canvas, of course.  There’s nothing better than fresh hair, a spray tan, and some new lashes.  Or professionally applied makeup and blowout for a night out!
  13. Place for a drink: At home with my husband, with a bottle of red from Twin Forks or Little Wine Shoppe

Book your next appointment at Canvas Salon Downtown! Visit their website HERE to get started and follow along on Instagram HERE.