Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert

Healthy, inspirational and meaningful. Motivated, promising and rewarding. These are just some of the adjectives this year’s stellar line-up of salon professionals use to describe their moods and goals for 2014. As we present the eighth installment of our popular “Ask the Expert” Salon and Spa Q&A series, we can’t help but notice that perceptions are changing in the beauty industry, both on the part of customers and practitioners. Massage is no longer considered a luxury, for instance, it’s increasingly considered therapeutic. Taking time for a cut and color, a facial or permanent makeup isn’t just pampering, it’s valuable and essential self-care. And, with a definite trend toward holistic health—especially natural and organic products—local practitioners are better poised than ever to help you achieve wellness in your own life. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a glimpse into the lives of the professionals we rely on to keep us looking and feeling our best.


Owner, Doll Eyes Lashes
Permanent Makeup Tech/Trainer, Lash Tech/Trainer

What don’t people realize about Doll Eyes?
We are Madison’s first lash-only spa. I’ve been doing eyelashes and permanent cosmetics for almost ten years, and all my staff has medical or beauty industry experience. I hear of expensive, short trainings with techs left by themselves; mine are always surrounded by other experienced professionals.

Love most about your job?
I never tire of seeing women who are constantly caring for others stop to take time for themselves here to relax, vent and spoil themselves. I love making clients feel gorgeous while saving them time. Waking up with thick long lashes and striking brows, or getting out of the shower with full makeup, can be life changing.

Most requested service this year?
Definitely lashes, but I’ve also seen an increase in permanent brows. You can only do so much with the brow hairs you have. In a matter of minutes you can change your look in a natural way, yet still look like yourself.

Favorite service?
Eyelash extensions. They look fabulous and natural, save tons of time getting ready, and they’re totally customized to different lengths and thicknesses.


Lush Hair Studio & Spa

Trends you’re most excited about this year?
Women are feeling more confident, sexy and comfortable with themselves than ever before—and ready for change—so they’re moving to shorter cuts. We’re also excited about our new product line, Euphora, and its commitment to natural ingredients.

What don’t people realize about Lush?
How laid back and fun we are. We offer an intimate, relaxing, personal atmosphere in an open salon concept, producing a welcoming experience. We also house other small businesses for eyelash extensions and permanent makeup.

Reasons clients give for returning to you?
They tell me I’m easy to talk to, a good listener. I take pride in that because it means so much to have my guest leave my chair and feel amazing.

Favorite service or technique?
Color. I love changing someone’s look for the better, and I never get bored brainstorming. I can get creative and imaginative, and the happiness on their faces melts my heart every time.

Service most worth paying someone else?
Again, color. Many women try doing their own, which is hard on the hair and brings unpredictable results. Taking the time and saving up extra cash is worth it.


Studio 924 Hair Designs

What do your clients love about Studio 924?
It’s a comfortable, welcoming, space for men and women equally—about half our clientele is men. The warm wood and natural light, the calming blues and browns, it just feels really good here.

What don’t people know about you?
We’ve been best friends since first grade, all the way up through twenty-five years in business together this October. We treat our employees well and work side by side with them. Communication is huge for us, as a team we go the extra mile, and it extends naturally to our clients. They can feel it.

Most requested celebrity look?
Jennifer Lawrence’s new short, sassy cut. Like a pixie, but softer and longer in the front. Short, disconnected, but very feminine.

Technique you can’t live without?
We’re doing more and more dry cutting. We cut, shampoo, then cut again—maybe even a third time—after the dryer. It makes for a far more personalized, individual cut.

New product you can’t live without?
Dry Remedy Daily Moisturizing Oil from Aveda’s recently reformulated Damage Remedy Line. It instantly brings forty percent more moisture to the hair.


Massage Therapist, Sundara

What don’t people realize about
Sundara until they experience it?

More than just spa treatments, we provide a full wellness experience in a fragrant pine forest setting. The purifying bath ritual clears the mind and cleanses the body, our Quiet Room is ideal for meditation or reading, and our outdoor infinity pool is heated year-round.

What role does “wellness” play?
If there’s one thing to remember about Sundara, it’s this: In everything we do, our mission is wellness. We provide a sanctuary, healing touch, kind words, a place to reconnect. We set an example of love and respect for the Earth, embracing the joy of wellness in our own lives.

What do clients love most?
From the moment guests arrive, they’ve escaped the “real world”—even if just for today. Tranquility, the chance to disconnect from technology, and personalized attention. They feel cared for, relaxed, and excited to return.

Love most about your job?
I’m one of the lucky few in the world who looks forward to going to work every morning. We not only help people de-stress, we foster healing by honoring the mind-body-spirit connection. It’s a wonderfully rewarding, motivating feeling.


Madison Hair Designers

Describe the Madison Hair Designers experience.
We consider our salon family-friendly, like the television show “Cheers”—where everybody knows your name!

Why do your clients say they keep coming back?
We pride ourselves on consistency, reliability, creativity and personal connection. They enjoy our excellent customer service, our semi-private work stations, and the relationships among our team-player staff. We believe this sets us apart
in the industry.

What don’t people know about you?
Mary and Sharon have owned Madison Hair Designers for fifteen years, worked together for twenty-four years, and still remain best friends!

Three trends for 2014?
For this year we predict short textured styles, classic blowouts, and dimensional color within similar tonal families. We keep current and up to date through education and training, but we customize a style to each individual client based on their hair texture, personality and lifestyle.

What is your favorite service or technique and why?
Our spa haircut is the perfect way to relieve stress and unwind, with a fifteen-minute essential oil head, neck and shoulder massage, then a full style.
Our favorite technique is razor cutting—accomplishes many desired effects and personalizes any haircut.


Renu Massage & Day Spa

What don’t people realize about Renu?
How Asian bodywork and energy work make such a difference. Each Renu therapist is trained in Asian bodywork, Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory, as well as acupressure and specific Chinese techniques. Incorporating energy work in every massage relieves pain and releases soft tissue constrictions.

Three things you can’t work without?
My team of wonderful therapists—we enjoy each other’s company, see eye-to-eye on treatment methods, and each bring different strengths; cupping therapy—so uniquely effective at releasing fascia, muscle constriction, and relieving chronic pain; therapeutic-grade essential oils to relieve pain or headaches, or loosen muscles.

Three things you can’t live without at home?
A set of cups—I often use cupping on myself on the couch; peppermint and lemon essential oils for digestive issues or to detoxify and boost my immune system; Chinese medicine reference books.

Things people don’t know about you?
I’m also a CPA—I spent twelve years working in a California public accounting firm and now teach accounting part-time at Edgewood College. I teach some business classes for East-West Healing Arts Institute, and I’ve been a Jazzercise fitness instructor for eleven years!


Aesthetician, Evensong Spa at Heidel House Resort

What don’t people realize about Evensong?
We offer so many amenities: whirlpool, steam room, relaxation room, and café where guests can order a healthy meal.

What role does “wellness” play?
Massages and facials every four weeks help maintain overall wellness. We have also started carrying Eminence skincare, a natural line with products derived from fruits and plant extracts.

Reasons your clients give for coming back?
My passion for skin care and how I listen to their concerns. First-time clients often expect to be sold a million products. Instead, I take the time to ask about their current routine and if they’re open to recommendations. There’s no use giving someone something they won’t use.

Favorite service?
Seven Circuit Facial because it’s customized. Clients fill out a form telling me what they expect, then I mix products that best benefit their skin.

Love most about your job?
I love to educate people and help them feel happy, beautiful and relaxed. In Aesthetic school I did a lot of my own research to understand different skin types. If I don’t know the answer to a question, I take time outside of work to find out.


Massage Therapist,
Evensong Spa at Heidel House Resort

What don’t people realize about Evensong until they experience it?
I don’t think guests fully realize just how tranquil, peaceful and beautiful the spa is, inside and out, until they make the drive here. It’s not until they’ve made their way slowly down this winding road, through the preserved wooded area that surrounds our spa, and through Evensong’s doors, that they fully realize how truly amazing it is here.

What do clients love most about Evensong?
Our guests love the atmosphere created by our beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired building, particularly in this quiet, natural setting.

What reasons do your clients give for visiting you personally throughout the years?
Guests return to me because of my hospitality, excellent customer service and, most of all, the gift that my hands give them: a relaxed body and mind; a state of peacefulness.

Three products or techniques you can’t work without?
Massage oil, my hands, and peaceful music.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the art of massage itself. I love to be able to help people relax and forget about their stress, even if only for an hour.


Owner, Divine Body & Style
Certified Organic Hair Colorist

What role does wellness play at Divine?
Your outside reflects your insides. We encourage supplements, skin and body care products that are safe, effective, natural and organic.

What do clients love most about Divine?
The smell—or maybe I should say, how it doesn’t smell. Air here is filled with the scents of organic products. Lavender and citrus pure essential oils, no chemicals!

Three things we don’t know about you?
I’m Madison’s first Certified Organic Hair Colorist, won an Isthmus Indie Award last year for Market Spark, and love to create my own skincare products!

Favorite service or technique?
Color! I love changing someone’s look or enhancing their beauty. I’ve always been interested in drawing and painting and I portray this through my color applications.

Love most about your job?
Making people feel wonderful about themselves. There’s no better feeling than watching a customer admiring new style or color!

Service worth paying someone else to do?
Color! So many don’t realize the poisonous, toxic chemicals leaching into your body, especially with at-home kits and even some salons. Use ammonia-free and organic color, and have someone apply it.


Salon Manager,
Divine Body & Styles

Organic Salon and Spa
Organic Colorist, Hair Stylist

Trends for 2014?
Shorter cuts and bangs are still here. Natural textures, styles and up-do’s—a little undone, not too contrived. Sun-kissed, hidden gold and copper highlights.

Products you can’t work without?
Natural boar bristle brushes; Argan oil in Organic Salon Systems Moroccan Organics Oil; Organic Salon Systems Glaze, the best ever product I’ve ever used for shiny, bouncy, natural looking curls or waves.

What don’t people know about you?
My favorite thing is gardening with my favorite people in the world—my husband and daughter!—and taking care of our plethora of indoor plants.

What surprised your clients this year?
Organic Color completely covers grays! It has a light scent of natural essential oils, gives perfectly toned highlights, and rich, natural color—or vibrant, unnatural color, if you want!

Inventive home remedy tip?
I use organic coconut oil on my face and body every night as a makeup remover, then rinse with warm water, then I reapply more and leave it on overnight to fight acne and wrinkles. Mix it with raw sugar and fresh lemon juice to exfoliate and fade sun spots.