While salons were closed due to COVID-19, our co-founder James conducted interviews with some of our favorite salon owners and stylists to find out how they’re feeling and about the current conditions of their businesses amidst the pandemic. They also shared some insider advice on how to keep our hair healthy, stay connected to our communities, and most importantly take care of ourselves during turbulent times.
A common thread that he heard is how much they all missed being in the salon, working amongst their colleagues and taking care of their clients. Stylists definitely tend to be social people!
Following are some snippets and soundbites from each of his three conversations:
James had his first virtual chat with Brielle Goldschmidt, owner of Tamed Hair Salon, an organic, vegan salon located outside Philadelphia. Brielle discovered our Mekabu Shine Serum in her Vegancuts Beauty Box and was instantly “obsessed”. As her focus is on plant-based, clean beauty, she was very interested in the entire seaweed infused MASAMI line. This led to Tamed becoming the first salon to carry our products!
Brielle’s Best At-home Tips for Beautiful Hair
Don’t wash your hair daily! Put conditioner or oil on your ends and let your hair absorb all the nutrients.
Tamed’s Innovative Ways of Adapting to these Challenging Times
Brielle can’t stress enough how important natural, clean, safe products are for your hair and whole body, especially now. Since personal, one-on-one interactions with clients are vital to her business, she’ll take every precaution to make her clients feel more comfortable to come back. Spend more time to clean and disinfect. Continue to use air purifiers with essential oils in the salon. Whatever it takes, she’s willing and ready to make it happen.
Brielle’s Favorite Thing about Reopening her Salon
Tamed is a friendly, laid back atmosphere - so much so that Brielle brings one of her bunnies, dogs or ducks to work with her. Being in her salon feels like you’re on a bohemian island. And, she can’t wait to spread those good vibes with her clients again!
Next up, James interviewed master stylist Edward Tricomi from his property in upstate New York, where he and his wife have been isolating for seven weeks and counting. In 2008, Edward and his co-founder opened the luxurious Warren-Tricomi Salon flagship location in the Plaza Hotel, Manhattan. Today the thriving empire features 5 U.S. and 9 international salons, each designed uniquely to fit its geographic location with a modern twist.
Edward’s Best At-home Tips for Beautiful Hair
First of all, Edward DOES NOT recommend for anyone to cut their own hair. Most people don’t have the proper shears and would try it with paper or cuticle scissors, which would be a big mistake. He recently gave advice to a TV Anchor who needed help with her at-home hairstyle to look better on camera. He suggested to mix conditioner and gel together, then work it through wet hair to beef up the volume. We could all use that tip for our on-camera Zoom calls!
Warren Tricomi’s Innovative Ways of Tackling COVID-19
From the start of shut-down, Edward scheduled phone calls 3x a week to update and provide support to his 280 employees. It’s also important for his staff to stay engaged with their clients to keep mentally sharp. They held virtual consults over Zoom to teach clients how to touch up their hair color. Collaborated about different ways of making money to support the closed salons, which included selling color kits, clip-on hair extensions, Capillus hair caps and Nutrafol hair vitamins to address their clients’ color, volume and hair loss needs.
Their company is based on technology and embraced it early as one of the first salons in the country to have a website. They’re using their technical knowledge and social media savvy to engage with their clients and also help gain more new clients.
As there are many government restrictions, getting ready to reopen has to be a fluid situation. They’ve ordered face masks, paper robes instead of usual gowns and sterilization towers like hospitals use. All staff will have to be Barbicide COVID-19 certified. Salons will have to be at less capacity, but luckily they have large 4,000-7,000 sq foot shops to leave enough room for social distancing.
Edward’s Love for Work
In this crazy, unprecedented time, Edward is ready to get back to work. As he says, “I'm like the Rolling Stones, like Keith Richards and Mick who like to get out there and do their thing. I like to cut hair and I’ll be working until I physically can’t do it anymore.” Retiring is not a word in his vocabulary. He won't let these challenging times beat him. Always the optimist, Edward is trying to make lemonade out of lemons. And, as a former street kid from Brooklyn, he won’t go down easy!
James’ final interview in this first series was with Courtney Brennan of Spoke & Weal from her Boston apartment. Known for dry cutting and custom dimensional hair color, Spoke & Weal is a full-service hair salon with locations in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Chicago, Boston and Nashville. Courtney started in the NYC location and moved a year ago to Boston to get the salon up and running. She’s been trying to stay positive with her co-workers and find little pieces of joy in the day to keep her spirits up and get through this tough time.
Courtney’s Best At-home Tips for Beautiful Hair
As a colorist, her number 1 tip is DO NOT color your own hair! It’s the perfect time to stay away from the hairdryer heat, embrace your natural texture and play with different styles. Utilize YouTube and Instagram videos to try out new hairstyles, like a half-up, half-down bun.
Spoke & Weal’s Innovative Ways to Keep Connected
Staying engaged is super important to Courtney and her colleagues. They’ve participated in virtual mastery classes over Zoom with 120 of them spread out across the US. Another top priority is outreach to stay connected to their guests that they were used to seeing every 4-5 weeks. They’ve held virtual consultations with new and existing clients; facetime tutorials for cuts and advice for future color treatment options. Spoke & Weal also offered curbside pickup for retail products.
What Courtney Misses Most about Being in the Salon
She misses doing color, being creative in that way & using her hands every day. Misses hugging and catching up with her guests and connecting with co-workers. And, believe it or not, she misses feeling exhausted and her feet hurting at the end of the day. Although things will be slightly different, she’s more than ready to return to the salon!
Check out the full interviews of James' Salon Series on our lovemasamihair YouTube channel. And, stay tuned for Part Two with James interviewing different stylists from INSIDE their reopened salons!