Hairstylists are the new bartenders. People open up sitting in the chair, telling all kinds of stories about themselves and their neighbours while they are pampered and getting their hair cut.
For Krystal Strauss, owner of Generations Salon in Elmira, the gossip and small talk are just part of the job. Strauss opened her new salon, located at 63 Arthur St. S., Unit 3, on Feb.1 after working for over eight years in the industry at different salons.
With help from her family she renovated and redesigned the space to make it a more welcoming atmosphere.
Strauss attended the Voila Institute for hairstylists and after graduation started working at Voila until she realized she was better suited in a small-town rather than as a big city stylist. Four years ago she moved into Elmira and began working at a local salon.
“I just decided it was time for me to get out and do it on my own. It is really the only way a hairstylist can make money,” said Strauss.
In this current economic climate it would seem a difficult task to open a business in a town with so many salons already established, but Strauss knows the key to a successful venture: people seek beauty, and are constantly looking to improve what they have or give themselves a whole new look.
People enjoy being pampered by stylists as they cut their hair or shape their eyebrows, all for a few bucks.
An hour in a chair in a salon and one emerges confident and ready to take on the world.
“Everyone needs their hair done. Everyone feels good about themselves after their hair is done. A lot of people get their hair cuts before vacations so they look nice and of course there are a lot of wedding parties that need their hair done as well,” said Strauss, adding hairstylists have an advantage over estheticians because esthetics are a want whereas a haircut is something that you need.
Strauss admits she can’t just depend on the vanity of people and believes being a young entrepreneur is an advantage as she is willing to go that extra mile for her clients.
“I open early and stay late and work around their schedules. I have a big clientele base already from my previous work at a salon, and I am willing to grow. I also offer modern looks and use up-to-date technology in colouring hair.”
She frequently attends seminars to keep on different styles and techniques used in the industry.
“Long hair is coming back again, but instead of it being long and straight it is long with the Hollywood curl that is fashionable for women in the area. A year or two ago the bob was very popular and I see that coming back around again. It really never goes away, it just gets tweaked a little for every generation,” said Strauss. “For men I find that they are growing their hair a little bit longer and I am seeing a lot more side parts even with styles like the faux hawk, everything is off to the side.”
At her salon Strauss uses MoroccanOil products and she is pleased to be a vendor of the product. The company has decided to only select a few salons to sell their products, which will be known as Elite salons.
“It is quite the honour. I do have to follow their price structure, but it is a great seller for me,” she said. “They thought I would be beneficial as I am a new salon.”
Currently the business has a mixture of clients’ young and old, men and women, hence the name of the salon: Generations. With haircuts starting at $29 for women and $18 for men – with children’s prices ranging from $5 to $15 depending on their age – Strauss said she is staying very competitive in the market.
Although she works alone she is looking to hire another stylist very soon to keep up with the demand of her current customer base and new walk-in clients
The salon also sells accessories as well, including scarves and feather hair extensions.
“You have to be able to offer whatever new trends are in fashion to stay on top.”
Today (Saturday) the salon is holding an open house for anyone wishing to drop in. Wine and cheese and cake are being served and tours of the salon being offered. Each client will also receive a 10 per cent discount coupon and their names will be put into a draw to win MoroccanOil gift.