My dad was planning a three week road trip up the east coast when I was 14. We would start in Florida, drive all the way up to Niagara Falls, then back down through the center of the country. But all I heard was we were going to New York.
We drove into the city in the midst of a garbage strike and in the heat of the summer. The sidewalks were lined with piles of trash taller than we were, which presented an incredible contrast to the sharply dressed people charging down the streets. This was a city of extremes. Immediately, I knew I would live there someday.
It would be 19 years before I finally made the move, but we landed in NYC on Valentine’s Day 2009, right in the middle of fashion week. My alarm was set for 5am the next morning. I took a deep breath, packed my hair kit with more than I could possibly ever need and hit the ground running as I made my way to Bryant Park to do hair at my first big fashion show for Nanette Lepore.
Over the next few years I hit all the career highlights I’d dreamed about as a super shy, nerdy teenage girl growing up in what the east-coasters nonchalantly called “flyover country”. With a lot of hard work and a little luck, I was warmly welcomed into the fold by creative teams widely regarded as the best in the world, learning the most incredible tricks of the trade. But with each wisp of hair I tended to (so the team could get the perfect shot) I felt farther away from the people I really wanted to be sharing conversations with: my clients from back home.
For years, I thought it would be so exciting to travel to beautiful places, working with exceptionally talented teams of people to create shots that would grace magazine covers and influence the way people would dress, wear their makeup and style their hair. It wasn’t long, though, before I realized what really lit me up was that moment when I finished working with a client in the salon who would then beam with giddiness as they told me they never knew it would be possible to love their hair so much. During our consultation, I would hear what the client wanted to look like, but also I would listen for insight into what their lifestyles were really like and how much time they could give, or skill they had, to recreate the desired look at home. Then I would guide them towards an option that would feel effortless and easy to maintain, teaching simple solutions for days when there was no time to spare. For days when more time was available, I would share what was in my bag of tricks, so they could recreate those head-turning looks on their own. I realized that making clients happy was what made me happy. The actresses and models I worked with on set didn’t care what the styles I created looked like. Getting their hair done was just part of the job. All they wanted at the end of the day was to wash all of the shit out of their hair and get back to looking like themselves.
So we packed our bags and headed back to Tulsa, where we opened the salon on a total whim.
I have massive respect for all of my friends who work in the fashion side of the industry. Working with them changed the way I think about hair when I’m behind the chair at the salon. Prior to working with these trendsetters, I placed so much value on appearance. But after working in that world, I remembered that style is first and foremost about having fun! Our value has nothing to do with the way we look, but aesthetics/grooming give us an opportunity to express ourselves in a visual way and can boost confidence.
After years of resisting finding my niche, I’ve finally realized I had one all along. I want to help you find your unique style. If you consider yourself strong, confident, curious, a leader, etc, and maybe you’re too busy to commit to regular salon visits, or high maintenance daily routines, I’m here to give you guidance and simple solutions to help you fall in love with your hair every single day. If you have the time, skill and are ready to elevate your look, I’m here for you, too. Let’s see what we can create!
Follow us on Instagram, TikTok and/or YouTube for easy styling tricks, product info and lifestyle tips (because beauty starts on the inside). Shop for your favorite Davines products right here, on our website. You no longer need to wait until your next salon visit to pick up your hair goodies, we’ll ship directly to you. We appreciate every sale! And send us an email if you have any questions about services, or if you need help finding the right products/tools for you.
Photo Credit (still shot from video): Ryan McGinley