lived in color specialists, salon thoughts

Pandemic Beauty

Whew, y’all! It has been awhile since the last blog post.  SO much has happened since February.  I sat down to write a COVID post in March right after we decided to shut down, but our state governing body hadn’t officially shut salons down, so it didn’t feel right.  Then I started writing a blog about what was going on, and to be completely honest, it was REAL morose.  Not like us at all.  No one needed to hear our feelings because everyone was dealing with their own issues.  It didn’t feel right.

Then I sat down in April and tried to write another post.  It didn’t feel right either.  Chloe and I really struggled with what to say.  We didn’t know when they would allow us to open again. We didn’t know what that would look like.  We were working diligently behind the scenes to put a plan together for when we would reopen.  And I don’t know about y’all, but we were exhausted.  There was so much that was unknown.  The mental trauma of all of our lives being upended is just so… heavy.

And I feel so silly even typing “trauma,” but that is exactly why we have quarantine brain.  You know the thing where you forget what you were saying or you have a hard time prioritizing your list of things to do. I don’t know how many times I start walking one way, and then think, “No, I need to do that other thing first.” So I change directions and head the other way, only to stop and think, “But the other thing would make more sense.” So I change directions again.  Have y’all done this?  I’ve mentioned this to our clients, and they agree they have some form of this quarantine brain.

Fast forward to today.  We’ve gotten used to wearing masks in the salon.  We have made ourselves have a defined lunch break.  I stopped wearing makeup on the bottom half of my face.  Then Chloe mentioned she really only wears eye makeup. So I’ve gotten on board with that as well.  It does cut down on the morning routine/time.  And let me tell you something else: I miss lipstick. Wow do I miss lipstick!  I have 2 tabs open on my phone right now of nude lipsticks I keep staring at…but I can’t bring myself to click the purchase button.  Where would I wear it?

So where does that leave us for beauty in a pandemic?  Well, just as we’ve embraced going more natural with our makeup, so many of our beautiful clients decided it was time to embrace their natural hair color.   Before COVID, Chloe and I had perfected our grey blending methods.  We tailor each color formula and placement of that color to each of our very unique clients and her growth (read: grey) pattern.  Now that we’re back behind the chair, we are seeing more and more of a desire for this, and WE LOVE IT.

You don’t have to grow out permanent color in shame with the dreaded new growth line.  You don’t have to do the Sharon Osborne thing (red to grey in a day) and spend $1000+ and 10 hours in the salon.  On that same note, you don’t have to be afraid to start coloring your hair because you don’t want to face the growing out process one day.  There are SO MANY options now!  We can blend and smoothe and create a lovely livable look that won’t break the bank or require you to be in the salon every 4-6 weeks.

I’ll be posting a price breakdown comparison in the coming weeks as well as more informational posts about the many “lived in color” options such as root smudges, grey blending, demi-permanent color, and balayage.

Here’s a taste of an upcoming topic.

Three examples of what a grey blending service looks like:

Tailored specifically to each person’s coloring, natural grey placement, and budget, grey blending can be as simple as an all over demi-permanent color or as complex as these three lovely ladies who had gotten tired of the 4-6 week permanent color upkeep.  In each of these cases, Chloe and I used a combination of corrective toning to neutralize unwanted warmth (aka brassy yellow or orange pigment) from faded permanent color.  We highlighted with a very fine weaving technique that matched the grey growth pattern and low-lighted (also with a very fine weaving technique) to blend the natural color (the not grey hair).

I can’t wait to share more with you about this process!  You may be wondering, “What will it look like after a month?”  That’s what is so exciting!  Proper at-home maintenance has made it possible for a salon color service visit only every 3-6 months.  It really just depends on what YOU want.  Isn’t that nice to hear?  With so many things off-limit during a pandemic, it’s SO nice to know you can have control of your desired hair outcomes.


So here we are.

Still in the middle of this very different time of COVID.

We’re giving ourselves a little more grace.

And we hope you are, too.



I’ve tried to write this post three times now.  It’s a long story, and I don’t know where to start.  So I’m going to sit right in this moment and share it with y’all.  As stylists, we like to pride ourselves in our training and knowledge of science. We try to be very honest with our clients about their goals.  Sometimes that means brutal honesty.  I know that I would want someone to be brutally honest with me, so that’s how I approach things as well.  And I know Chloe feels the same way.  We like to cut right to chase, so to speak.  (My husband says I need to quit with the little “cutting” puns.  lol!  I digress.)

I could go into the background of this client experience with you, but as I was talking it out today in the salon, I realized it doesn’t matter.  The crux of the matter is this:  I am human, and I didn’t reach my client’s hair goals.  After I thought I could.

Whew!  It takes a lot to just say that.  We are human.  We have limitations, and we aren’t good at every single thing.  I know this.  You know this.  But it’s still hard.  So in going with this year’s “Word of the Year” theme, my word for this post is HUMBLE.  Ice cold brutal humility.

So we didn’t get where we wanted.  It wasn’t bad hair.  The condition wasn’t compromised.  (My number one priority is maintaining the integrity of the client’s hair.)  It just didn’t get to that icy cold platinum blonde we wanted.  It looked like it had.  But it definitely had not.  There were several factors that went into this , and it would take all day to type them.  It was a total bummer.  So I took a step back, I did some research, I made a plan, and I called my client.  We had an honest conversation about where she was, where she wanted to be, and what my plan was for finally getting us there.

She trusted me, she came back in, and y’all know what?  It turned out amazing!  I was SOOOO happy with our end result, and she was, too.  She even trusted me to do a little root smudge to blur out her regrowth even though she was very unsure about putting anything dark on her very platinum blonde hair.

Here’s the thing.  We are confident in our abilities and our knowledge, but we are also human.  We can miss the mark.  But I can guarantee you this.  We will do everything in our power to get you to your goals while keeping your hair healthy.  We will make a plan with you and explain all the steps involved in each one.  We want to make hair knowledge accessible to you because we want you to be empowered in your beauty.  We want you be happy.  It makes US so happy to make all your hair dreams come true.

And so with this start of a new decade, our focus becomes more finely tuned.

Accessible beauty.
Empowering women with beauty knowledge.
Real beauty for real women.

salon thoughts

Welcome to the New Decade, Y’all!

What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been!  Thanksgiving came late, and that seemed to push everyone into a sprint to Christmas.  It’s nice to be back in the regular ebb and flow of our routines again.

We started a Facebook business page in November because it really is the marketing wave of the future.  And present.  We were really iffy about it for a long time, and then one day I told Chloe, “We’re doing it.  And we’re going to do lives everyday this week!”  She was less than enthused.  Our first video was NOT a Live.  We had to feel it out first. And it’s been great!  I truly feel that this industry is headed in a positive and beautiful direction, and we want to be a part of every second of that.

If you know us, then you probably already know that we make fun of each other.  And ourselves.  We like to laugh.  We like to have a good time.  We love our clients.  And we LOVE this industry and all the new and exciting techniques out there.  I hope that comes across in our videos and our online presence.

I wanted to do a Live about this, but I didn’t want to get verklempt on camera.  I recently read something about setting an intention for the day.  I’ve been practicing this for awhile now.  I schedule time in the mornings- sometimes just 10 minutes- to sit and drink my coffee in peace and quiet.  Look out the window.  Picture my day in a positive light.  Then I can get up and pack the lunches, set out the clothes, get the girl ready for school, allll the things, with a clear mind and heart.

This post about setting an intention mentioned specifically focusing on a word.  Something that will shape the day.  A favorite yoga class that I went to YEARS ago had us all do this at the beginning of our practice that hour. It really helped me focus on what I wanted to get out of each class and what I could breathe back into the world. (Soooo much breathing in the yoga.)

Today, really the past few days, I’ve been zeroing in on the word “grateful.”  It’s so easy to get caught up in the little things and get overwhelmed.  If you know me, you know I can buzz around like a little bee sometimes with the little things.  But this week’s intention, this special WORD of the day, has brought me back so many times.

I am grateful for this career.
I am grateful for both of my suite mates.
I am grateful for the opportunity that was given to me all those years ago.
I am grateful for this beautiful new workspace where we can create.
I am grateful for you.

salon thoughts

So many things can change in a year.

This time last year, my husband and I were in Colorado with my best friend from college and her husband.  I had originally picked August for our trip because we usually slow down a little after school starts.  Last year, after I made those plans and blocked the days on my calendar at work, we got the news that there would be changes.  A new boss, a renovation, a transition to booth rent, open salon to suites– we didn’t even know where we would be moving during the renovation.  There were so many unknowns.

Today, we are moved into our suite, booth rent is awesome, we’ve added new services, and Chloe has added a new member to her family.  This time last year, she wasn’t even pregnant yet, and I had no desire for another dog.  Now she has her precious daughter Stella, and I have my standard poodle puppy,  Fletcher.  My daughter started Kindergarten, and I started going in to work earlier.  And, sadly, our amazing Mindy has moved on to another job.

Mindy was our receptionist extraordinaire.  She held us all together during that renovation.  She has helped us all move furniture into our suites.  She went with me into the demolition area to save my old salon chair– in a dress and cowboy boots, too, I might add.  She has cleaned and cleaned.  She even fixed our shampoo bowl leak.  And last week, she helped me reconnect a button on our pedicure chair!  Do you have a coworker who would get on the floor with you and look up under a pedicure chair, just to help you out because she loves you so?

Her customer service is the best I’ve ever seen in my life, and it kind of spoiled me. When I go to other businesses, their people just can’t compare to her level of awesome.  She also gives the best hugs.  Friday was her last day, and it’s bittersweet because she is going to be awesome at her new job as well.  She can’t not be.  She’ll still come for lunch and to get her hair and nails done.  But still.  I’m a little verklempt about it.  *Talk amongst yourselves.  I’ll give you a topic…*

In the summer of 2013, I started working the front desk at the salon. I had quit teaching and needed a paycheck while I studied for my cosmetology exam.  Shawna bought the salon in October of that year.  She started advertising and growing the business.  One of my husband’s cousins had married another stylist, and we talked about it a lot that Thanksgiving.  I was pregnant by then, and I just didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I wanted to work there, but I was unsure if the clientele would grow.  It seemed that all the other stylists had such a great client base.  How could I ever grow like that?  Tasha, the fellow family stylist, was working at her mom’s salon in Kentucky, and I’ll never forget what she said.  “If you have a boss who supports you and truly has your back, then that’s where you want to be.  The clients will come.”

So after my pregnancy brain fog cleared, I took the first part of my cosmetology exam before Christmas.  And then I took the second part of the exam in January.  Shawna put me behind a chair almost immediately.  Then, 2 weeks later, she hired Chloe.  And 2 weeks after that, she hired Joena.  I was really worried then.  How could we all gain clients?  But Jessie, another stylist, assured me that Shawna knew what she was doing.  We’ve all been at the salon ever since.  And you know what?  Tasha and Jessie were right.  The salon grew.  The clients came.  And Shawna knew what she was doing.  Especially when she hired her friend Mindy to help with the front desk a couple of years later.

How could I ever have known that Shawna buying the salon allll those years ago would lead me to adding to my family?  We’re going to miss our sister, Mindy, that’s for sure.  She has taught me so much.  And for that, I am forever grateful.  And y’all better know that if she doesn’t come to lunch every week, we will be tracking her down!  🙂

This picture is from the year she started.  This was the Christmas party that year (2015!), and we all had a BLAST. We laughed and laughed.  She and I got there early because I had a toddler at home and needed some girl time.  We sat at the bar and waited for everyone to arrive.  That’s when I knew she would be my friend for life. I can’t thank her enough for that.



Here’s another reason we love her.  That’s Chloe’s little girl Lena.  And some nostalgia from before the renovation!  Everything about this photo makes me laugh.  IMG_8379

new beginnings, salon renovation

We moved! (back into our main space)

It’s been awhile, lovelies.  Things have been BUSY, let me tell y’all. The renovation started to go very quickly, and then it stalled again in March.  We were thinking we would be in the renovated space in March, but then that came and went.  It was going to be March 15.  And then March 27 or 29.  But that didn’t happen, and we had to reschedule our State Board inspector.

We had hoped for April 1, giving us the weekend to move.  But that didn’t happen.  So we came to work that Tuesday, April 2, and everything seemed like the usual.  Things in the renovated space looked complete, but there were a couple more things that needed to be done.  Our pedicure chair had been moved and looked good in the corner.  I left work Tuesday, thinking it would be the weekend for the move.  We knew we were all set up for the State Board inspections the next day with the trash can and the barbacide and the nail drill sign and the dirty towel hamper and the UV sanitizer and ALLLLLL the licenses.

Then Chloe called me and told me we had to move right after the inspections the next day.  We still hadn’t decided on the cabinets we were going to get for the space in front of the mirrors.  And we desperately needed those for storage.  She rushed around town looking at cabinets we had thought about. We knew what the space was like now, and we had measurements, so we could make the final decision.  I fed my family dinner and then rushed out to meet her at Home Goods.  Then we ran over to Target and took some pics of other things we would need, just to compare to the wall areas.  And we got a cute little letter board for fun messages.

The next few days were a blur of actvity and excitement.  We passed our inspections, and we started moving our stuff.  SO. MUCH. STUFF.  We still had clients booked because we never did know when to be able to block time off for the move.  My lovely neighbor helped me with my puppy so I could have an extended block of time to get things organized.  Our husbands even came to help us that weekend.  Chloe’s husband hung up our nail polish racks and our coat rack while my husband followed our children around.

Now that we’ve been in the space for 2 months, I can finally say I know where everything is.  Our manicure table was delivered, and it folds up so nicely.  We have figured out how to have our clients sit in the shampoo bowl.  “Sit your bottom ALL the way back!” (It is an adjustable bowl.)  And we can move around each other in the tighter spaces pretty well.

Chloe is out on maternity leave as I type this.  She is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her second child.  I am so thankful she is sharing her chair with Sherry, another coworker of ours, or it would be so lonely.  It feels like old times in a way since Sherry, Chloe, and I all worked in the same room for 4 years or so.  It just happened to be a bigger room.  She’s helping with some of Chloe’s clients while she is out.  She has 20+ years experience, and she has great red hair.  I know there’s a joke there somewhere… a brunette, a blonde, and a redhead? 🙂

Here’s a pic of the space right after we moved everything.