With social media bringing awareness of fashion and trends to a younger demographic and, alternately, extending the upper age of maidenhood, a salon’s client roster can span three generations …
With social media bringing awareness of fashion and trends to a younger demographic and, alternately, extending the upper age of maidenhood, a salon’s client roster can span three generations of a family.
“We’ve had girls as young as middle school come in for full-color treatment. Kids as young as 7 or 8, for the fun, color tips,” said Jen Glover, owner of the popular and effortlessly chic Parlour Hair Boutique in Oakdale. “But we’ve also seen a more mature crowd ask for candy pink or lush purple.”
A full-service salon with waxing, makeup and eyelash extensions also part of the menu, Parlour Hair Boutique is a one-stop shop for all things beauty, especially for the modern woman, who is expected to look Instagram-ready through all the hats she wears: mother, wife, friend, corporate raider, crafting goddess, feminist icon and Gwyneth Paltrow-fabulous-PTA-mom. But how do you cultivate an atmosphere to draw upon the beauty of everyone in an industry known for claws?
“When I started Parlour Hair Boutique in June 2015, I had 20 years in the profession and I was determined to make my salon a place people wanted to stay and grow,” explained Glover about the inception of her dream. “Actually, since I was 18, I had passed by this building and thought of it as the perfect spot for my future salon. It just finally worked one day when I was looking and the place was for rent.”
And indeed, Glover has turned the once tattoo shop into a place of whimsical, understated glamour, with all the warmth and color of everyone’s favorite Pinterest board. With turquoise as an undertone for all the décor, Glover even had burlap-beach Christmas stockings for all in the beloved #parlourgirlgang, with the oh-so-close-to-Tiffany-blue color personalizing each colleague’s name. The camaraderie, purposely nurtured by Glover, was borne out of both business acumen and heart.
“Everyone I’ve hired has been someone I saw great talent in and whose abilities I wanted to nurture. I’m always sure to compliment their work as colleagues, not as my ‘employees,’ because we all work together to gain our skills,” she said of her mission to retain the best.
Her stylists are expected and encouraged to take classes on cutting, color and styling, and she has partnered with industry leaders like Eufora and Goldwell to provide clients and stylists with the best available products. Classes are typically two to four days, with each session being 9 to 5, making this professional development akin to the CLE classes of attorneys.
But expertise is something she expects from her stylists. “We know our clients want what’s trending now, so we owe it to them to know how to get there,” said Glover.
Recently, stylist Bryn Taylor-Masem has become certified in hand-tied extensions, an application that alone can take up to six hours. Heather Easley, who has been with Parlour since 2016, successfully brought her darkest, raven-haired client to her preferred ashy, Targaryen blonde, an accomplishment made only after moving to Parlour with their more innovative and client-centric approach to hair.
“We will always work with a client to give them what they want, but we’ll dissect a style to find out what aspects they love to make sure the overall look is one that brings out their best features,” Glover added about collaboration with clients.
But what about maintaining that great cut or that to-die-for color?
“We are stylists foremost, but also teachers. It is our job to make sure we understand our clients’ lifestyle and needs so we know how to make a sustainable care routine for them,” she continued.
With mermaid-length hair and sumptuous beach waves being all the rage, Glover and her stylists have been hard at work to make sure clients realize that the so-called “effortless” look is actually quite laborious to attain. Regular blowouts and curled blowouts are priced separately to indicate the skill level associated with these popular looks, and Glover’s team is keen to train their clients to be able to replicate their “chair” look as closely as possible at home.
“It’s about preserving that line of beauty throughout your life,” she said. “We don’t just want to make you feel beautiful for the day; we want to make you feel beautiful in your life.”