A hair salon gets a new look
- Published: October 13, 2016
Hair style fads come and go, and while hair stylist Lori Deal takes note of the changes in fashion, she doesn’t let its vagaries dictate her work with clients. That’s up to the clients, she said recently from her longtime shop on Xenia Avenue, in the heart of downtown Yellow Springs.
Deal is celebrating a new “do” of sorts for her hair salon, along with a new shop name, after the recent completion of a full remodeling of the interior. She’ll show off the results to the public as part of the next Art Stroll, the evening of Friday, Oct. 14.
Her site opened as a beauty shop in the 1950s, and has operated as a hair parlor under various ownerships ever since, she said. The shop’s history, said Deal, starts with Olive Shook, who operated Olive’s until the 1970s, when “Jean Olds took it on.” Deal and Linda Lesher joined Olds’ operation — “Jeanie’s” — in “the late ’80s, early ’90s,” and then bought Olds out when she retired. Deal and Lesher renamed their establishment The Shop and ran it together “for about 20 years,” until Lesher retired about six years ago. Deal took the business over and works with another sytlist, Yasmin Dhamani, who rents chair space from her.
Deal kept The Shop name until a little over a year ago, when she changed it to Spring Shearing. But, she said, she never felt comfortable with the new name, and so she has now rechristened the studio the Blue Hairon Salon, based on her love for the majestic blue heron. An illustration of the bird adorns the salon’s new sign and serves as its talisman.
Deal appreciates that the site has been owned and operated continuously by women since the 1950s. She also values her long-term affiliation with the location, which has given her an intimate view into the lives of her clients and the changing life of the village.
There’s a “bartender” kind of phenomenon that often occurs in the sharing of personal information, Deal said. One of her goals is to offer an experience that feels safe, comfortable and relaxed. “We don’t talk politics, religion or how to raise their children,” she said.
Her clients range in age from children to elders, female and male. She said she is struck by the closeness that develops. “This business is one of the only businesses where you’re touched and talked to at the same time,” she said.
Her main goal, and the purpose of her business, however, is to style hair to her customers’ satisfaction. “I try to give people easy care hair styles that fit their lifestyle and personality,” she said. Head shape and face shape also play a part. One big consideration is how much time a client wants to spend on her or his hair each day; another is whether a customer wants to use hair care products to maintain the styling. “Most of my clients don’t use a lot of product,” she said.
A graduate of the Beauty and Barber College in Dayton, Deal offers a range of services. They include: “organic” color designs (using earth-friendly products); facial waxing; retro-style hot steam towel facials, facial hair shaping, straight razor shaves and edgework; help with wigs; and “compassionate help transitioning” through the hair loss of cancer treatments. She plans to add manicures in the near future. Cost for a basic hair cut ranges from $25–$35.
A longtime client, villager Linda Sikes, came into the shop last week in anticipation of an upcoming family wedding. She said that she has sometimes gone to other stylists over the years to see what they might do. “But I always come back to Lori.”
Deal said she is thrilled with the results of the renovation, which was completed in July by her husband, local builder Juan Rodriguez. The only fixtures that remain from before are two salon chairs, which still face out toward the street, giving customers a view of village life passing by.
The rest of the décor and fixtures are new. She calls the new look “vintage eclectic.” The space also features original art works by local artists. Deal is an artist herself and a musician and she loves being able to showcase original work. “A lot of my clients are artists,” she said, adding that she enjoys bartering hair cuts for art works, or other products and services, when able.
She sees a natural fit in opening the salon during this month’s Art Stroll. “I’m an artist, and this is my studio,” she said.