“You have a lot of hair.” This phrase or moment always begins my session at each hair salon appointment I schedule. Then, the grabbing begins. Fistfuls of hair are suddenly being talked to and either admired, experimented upon, or gazed at in disbelief. And, it is true. I have a LOT of hair. In fact, so much, half the time I have no idea what to do with it. (And, the other half of the time feeling terribly apologetic to the poor soul who didn’t know what she was getting into.)
Hair always does the opposite of what you want it to be doing. You want it to lie straight? The humidity is encouraging it to curl or that cowlick at the back of your head is just waking up. You want to rock glamorous curls? 10 shots of extra hold hair spray later, your stubborn strands are limp and lifeless.
I met Melissa and her salon at her weekly Sunday Blowout Event she held at her new salon, Swank Hair Studios in Lawrenceville, PA. Not only is she a smart and savvy entrepreneur, she knew hair…hair secrets…and lots of them. (Let’s have a Mean Girls moment. Good. Continuing…) This was my chance. My chance to ask her the one question every woman begs to hear the answer to… “So…what should I do with my hair?”
Meet Melissa Altenbaugh, owner of Swank Hair Studio, Hair Stylist and Color Specialist. Check out her exclusive interview below with GG as she shares her story, talks trends, and shares her best hair tips!
GG: Elegant blue walls, great people, and a perfect location…I am so happy to have found this place! When did you first open Swank Hair Studios?
MA: Thank you! We opened our doors in July 2012.
Where is your hometown?
Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh PA
How rewarding it must be to bring in a business to where you were raised. Where did your passion for entrepreneurship and your career first begin?
Since I’ve played with Barbie’s! I’ve always chopped my Barbie’s hair off, and my mom would buy me things to be able to color their hair. I’ve always had a passion for the industry for as long as I can remember.
I have always been curious. How big of a factor is face shape in haircutting? Should it be considered?
Being that this is only my professional opinion, haircuts are supposed to enhance your face, so that is why specific haircuts go with certain face shapes, so yes it should be considered. As far as if there is a style that I think looks good on everybody, I think everyone is unique and each style is beneficial differently to each client.
What haircuts are on trend right now?
Right now long hair with layers that are extremely blended seem to be most popular.
Let’s talk hair color. Complete this sentence, “Everyone right now is asking me to dye their hair…”
We don’t dye hair here, we color hair… :) But, at Swank we are still being asked for the ombre, or baylaged highlights.
Long, layered, ombre hair style.
What’s your secret for healthy hair?
Conditioning treatments are a must! And, consistent haircuts.
Do you have a go-to product or styling tool? Favorite conditioner or shampoo?
A Hot Tools curling wand is my go-to styling tool. My favorite shampoo and conditioner is Drench by Sebastian. It’s a close tie for my favorite product, but the first product I would recommend is Wella’s Velvet Amplifier. Second would be Rockaholic Dry Shampoo. I would even use it in clean hair because it gives you so much volume!
*Feverishly writing down products for shopping list* You have great ambition, do you have a role model?
My role model in life is my mom and my “hair” role model is Nancy Braun.
What quote do you live by?
“Without struggle, there is no progress.”
What is your proudest moment?
My proudest moment would be first and foremost, when I had my babies, and then when I opened my salon’s doors.
Thank you Melissa for such great tips and advice! Now, let’s see those transformed locks!
Note: The fierce smize came with the blowout.
What have you always wanted to do with your hair? Share below or tweet me @GlamandGraffiti. For more information about Swank Hair Studio visit their website. Talk soon!