the man behind the brand

Michael began his hairdressing career 47 years ago and continues to create beautiful hair every day. He is a master hair colourist and is known for his precision haircuts and styles. He has won numerous haircutting and colouring competitions in New York, Toronto, Minneapolis, and Winnipeg. He has sat on the panel of judges for national hair competitions including the Contessa Beauty Awards. Michael has also been featured in Canadian Hairdresser magazine. Over the years, Michael’s has won the Canadian Spa of the Year Award, the Global Excellence Elite Luxe Magazine Award, West Jet’s Up Award for Best Spa, the Chamber of Commerce Looking Good and Quality Service Award.

Every year (pre-covid) Michael is invited to attend the Wella International Trend Vision Awards, an event exclusively for top salons and spas throughout North America, and Europe. This is where he collaborates with industry leaders and brings back the latest and newest trends to share with his staff and clients. He has mentored many hair stylists throughout his career, and is focused on giving them the opportunity and support to grow and achieve their own dreams.

Michael opened his first salon in 1983, right across the street from his current location. He recalls looking across at, what was then, someone’s family home, and envision his dream salon and spa. That dream became a reality in 1998, when he opened Michael’s Hair Design and Day Spa in that very location.

His vision was to create a place that would unite all your hair, beauty and skincare needs. An atmosphere where mind, beauty and soul come together.

Michael has always believed in giving back to the community. In 2014, just after surviving surgery and during treatment for tongue cancer, he organized a fundraiser/hair show and raised over one hundred thousand dollars for Regional Cancer Care.  Over two thousand people attended, and over 60 local hair salons participated and rallied alongside Michael and his staff. He is forever grateful for the overwhelming support of his colleagues and community. (See the 40 in 40 section on the website). Later that year he was awarded the Wella Hair Dressers at Heart Award.

Another endeavour close to his heart was the Michael’s Hair Design and Day Spa’s Memorial Golf Tournament, which Michael organized for many years in memory of his father inlaw and raised over 60 thousand dollars for Regional Cancer Care.

Several other community events included the Big Bike Charity Ride, and an unforgettable event where he played the role of Marilyn Monroe for a heart and stroke fundraiser.

Michael thanks his loyal clients, community, staff, family and friends for their support, in good times and in the not so good times. “At the end of the day, all we have are the memories and the relationships that we create along the way.”

Michael Muia

Best Hair Salon & Spa 2017 from prestigious luxury publication Lux Magazine

“These awards are a stamp of excellence, and all our award winners are part of an exclusive and illustrious group comprising of some of the most influential names in the luxury markets. It is therefore my honour to be able to wish them congratulations on this success- here’s to a great future.” – Sophie Milner, Awards Coordinator

The Walleye – Thunder Bay’s Arts & Culture Magazine, 2016

The Walleye chose Michael’s Hair Design & Day Spa as the #1 Hair Salon & Barbershop of the year in Thunder Bay.

The Walleye – Thunder Bay’s Arts & Culture Magazine, 2016

The Walleye chose Michael’s Hair Design & Day Spa as the #2 Day spa of the year in Thunder Bay.

The Chronicle Journal Reader’s Choice Award 2015

Readers chose Michael’s Hair Design & Day Spa as the #1 Hair Salon and Spa in Thunder Bay.

The Chronicle Journal Reader’s Choice Award 2014

Readers chose Michael’s Hair Design & Day Spa as the #1 Hair Salon and Spa in Thunder Bay.

The Chronicle Journal Reader’s Choice Award 2012

Readers chose Michael’s Hair Design & Day Spa as the #1 Spa in Thunder Bay.

Contessa Award

A Contessa award is the highest accolade a beauty professional can achieve in Canada. Michael’s is proud to be the only Thunder Bay Salon to be nominated for the Salon of the Year Contessa award. The salon was a finalist for this award.

Best Spa 2008

The people have spoken! Michael’s Hair Design & Day Spa has been chosen as one of Canada’s Best Value Spa through Westjet’s Up! Value Awards.

People across Canada were asked to name the businesses with the best value and why they rule. After all the votes were in, Michael’s came out on top. Michael’s is one of only 200 businesses across Canada to receive this award.

Canadian Spa of the Year

In 2000 Canadian Hairdresser & Beauty Beat magazines finally rewarded Michael’s vision when his spa won the prestigious “Canadian Spa of the Year” award.

WELLA Charity Challenge

WELLA 2014 Winner - Michael Muia for Forty in Forty, Michael's Hair Design and Day Spa

In 2014, after oral cancer surgery, and while on chemo and radiation treatments, Michael started the 40 in 40 fundraiser, to raise money and awareness for head and neck cancer. 

His efforts were supported by family, friends, & over 60 hair salons. They helped sell tickets, as well as gathered donations from many local businesses.

17 of those salons graciously participated in a Finale Hair Show Event, which was held at the CLE on April 25th, 2014, and was attended by over 2000 people. There were various entertainers, and our colleague & friend from Wella (@wellacanadawest), Stephen Lomas, flew all the way from Vancouver to volunteer as the MC. 

Each salon represented an Era and showcased hairstyles and fashions from each Era. Michael and his team closed the show with futuristic styles. It was fitting for Michael to represent the future, given that his goal was to provide hope for those who were going through, or will go through this type of cancer in the future.  

Michael aimed to raise $40,000 in the 40 days leading up to and including the final event. This goal was surpassed & more than doubled! Almost $90,000 was raised and donated to our local Cancer Centre, and was enough to open a Head and Neck Cancer Treatment Room in the Cancer Centre. Donations continued, even past the event, and now total over $100,000. 

Later that year, Michael was honoured to receive the Hairdressers at Heart, @hairatheart, Wella Charity Challenge Award. 

Michael was grateful & overwhelmed, but not surprised, by how our community of hairdressers and other businesses came together to support a local effort.

Donations are still accepted at Your contribution will continue the work of 7 years ago, giving hope and improving cancer care for your loved ones, here in Thunder Bay and across Northwestern Ontario.