Understanding the intricacies of hair is only part of what makes a successful stylist. Alli Hayes ought to know. Not only is she an experienced hairstylist herself, but she's the owner of Waylon Salon & Boutique in Bird Rock where she employs seven other stylists possessing the skills she deems most important in addition to technique.
"You have to have skill and you have to have that eagerness to always learn," said Hayes, the California Central Valley native whose La Jolla Boulevard salon recently marked its first year in business. "One of the most important things is listening — really listening to clients, not only when it comes to the consultation, but also getting to know them. We're fortunate to have the honor of these people sitting in our chairs, sometimes for hours.
"I don't think hair is a business. You build relationships with your clients, and that is huge."
Hayes kept that in mind when she chose the stylists who work for and with her. "I really wanted to pick very special, warm, loving people, and it took a little while to get that. Now that the is salon full, every day I feel so lucky and so thankful."
In addition to styling, coloring and other hair services (for men as well as women, by the way), Waylon Salon & Boutique carries three different haircare product lines and also sells a beauty line for skin and even jewelry made by local artisans.
As for her first year in business, Hayes reflected: "I knew it was going to be a lot of hard work, and it is. It's a constant. You're always going, always on. Sometimes I look around and it amazes me what has transpired in just a year."
The dedication comes with a price, of course. "I don't have much free time," Hayes admitted. "I had a plan going into all of this and knew I was going to have to sacrifice a bit of my personal life. That actually helped me. Starting next year, I'm cutting down to four days a week, which is pretty big for me."
There's no cutting down during the holiday season. Just a lot of cutting, as in hair. These are busy days at Waylon Salon & Boutique.
"It's crazy for every hairstylist," said Hayes.
But once the new year is here, expect Hayes to be looking down the road to grow and enhance her business.
"I have goals for myself and for all of the girls," she said. "And I'm always thinking about the future of the salon. You can't shut my brain off."
Waylon Salon & Boutique is at 5726 La Jolla Blvd., Suite 105. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. (858) 230-7992. waylonsalon.com
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