Introducing Melanie Miller, a local hair stylist and colorist with over 24 years of experience. As a hair stylist and colorist Melanie has a nuanced eye for color and detail. An appointment with Melanie is not just another trip to the salon. Melanie takes pride in taking the time to listen to her clients. Stepping into the roles of stylist, adviser, and friend, she shares with us many stories including what being a “hair detective” is – someone who can understand what the client wants, even though they may not be able to accurately describe it themselves. She also excels at diplomacy – being able to bridge the gap to find a happy medium between her teenage clients and their parents.
Hi Melanie. Thanks for taking the time today to speak with us. I really love the idea of being a hair detective. Can you tell us more about what this entails?
Yes, thank you, I’m always glad to reach out to our community. A hair detective asks key questions about what the client wants to achieve.
Sometimes I’ve clients that have no clue how they want to wear their hair. That’s where my experience aids me. I start by creating a certain length to find a comfortable guideline, then talk about each section as I go through the cut, to ensure the desired length is achieved. If I’m creating a color, I look at several examples of color to ensure the client and I have a meeting of minds to reach our target color.
Hair can be complex and especially for people with fine, curly hair. I work with my client to reveal their best style and promote easy and healthy options to accomplish a polished natural look. A conditioning clear coat can help calm and nourish frizzy hair, enriched with jojoba extract and vitamins, and it will not alter your natural color. An added bonus is that gives your hair an extra layer of sun protection that last for 8-10 weeks.
Melanie, your initial appointment with new clients usually entails quite a lot of listening and also asking of questions. Please let us know more about your process.
I ask my client what their lifestyle involves; I want to see a picture to have a guide for both of us to have a meeting of minds. Do they want to have versatility in their hair? Do they need to be exact about where they wear and part every hair? Do you want to wear product in your hair or change texture with thermal styling? I essentially customize my consultation to each client.
It’s interesting to hear about your process. I love hearing how much time you take to listen to your clients.
Thanks, I’m invested in my clients and my career. I love watching my clients grow into adults and see a shy client receive that look that makes them exude confidence. Literally jumping for joy with my client when they receive the news, YOU got the JOB! I’m all about connection to my clients, families, and community. I’ve been married for over 27 years to Mark, the Love of my life. I feel blessed to have shared our lives in Southern Oregon.
Consistency in choosing a long-term hair stylist is key. How do you provide and maintain consistency for your clients?
I need to be very organized, especially now that I’m working in two salons. I value time – the clients time as well as mine. I try to always be on time for my clients, but “Life” will happen, and that’s where my adaptability engages. Communication is key, to let my client know I’m running late or even early. I consult with my client with each service to ensure their needs for that moment. I value detail in my cuts and colors, I can recognize my work from across the room. I’m only happy, if my clients happy.
Melanie, you are often cutting and styling the entire families hair. Please say more.
Yes, I enjoy having the whole family come in for services. Mom can still get her color, while I cut or style the kids. I always listen to the client in my chair, whatever their age, trying to achieve a balance for all involved.
Tell us about your new certification in the Balayage color technique.
Yes, it’s beautiful! This application gives your color so much dimension, whatever color palette you draw from. It allows me to have more creative freedom to achieve either a subtle or dramatic highlight .You can start with a baby balayage, which is applied around your face and crown of the head, that give your color a lot of impact.
I also am featuring a flat iron color. It can give your existing color a boost in little time, is applied on dry hair, and you can have highlights in minutes without damaging your hair.
Melanie, what are some of the most important details to pay attention when working with color correction?
I first examine the integrity of their hair, if it’s healthy they will have options with highlights, etc. In the worst case scenario, if the hair is breaking off, it then becomes about damage control. I feed the hair protein and conditioners to strengthen it so the cuticle and cortex can hold onto color. Then I examine their remaining color (existing color). Is it gold, orange or green? Sometimes it’s several colors and you have to address each part of the hair with its own formula. If their hair has no existing color, (bleached out), then you must pre-pygmentize their hair. It’s like priming a wall before you paint a rich color. If you don’t layer the color on, it will be dull and fade. Finally, using my post color products ensure that the color has stopped processing and returns the hair back to its proper PH level, leaving the hair full of shine and richness.
Something new for you is that you are now available in Medford and Ashland! Please tell us more.
Yes, I’m very excited to announce that I’m offering a second salon location at Xpressions salon in the Rogue Regency Inn. It’s located on Biddle Rd. near the Airport. My current clients that live in Medford are thrilled. I’m looking forward to branching out, having more availability and meeting new people. It’s been great to see all the support we are receiving from our wonderful visiting firefighters and first responders.
By providing a hair service for a client, it’s a way of being a guest to their enjoyment of Southern Oregon.
So far I’ve done hair services for guests celebrating their sweet 16 birthday, grandparents witnessing their grandchildren get married, a guest having a fun photo shoot, and baseball teams revved up for their game.
I will continue to work at Strands salon in Ashland for all of my clientele who need me there. My coworkers are great people and I’m so grateful to have their support.
Can you share some recent testimonials with us?
Yes, of course. One of my clients latest comments are:
Wow, that’s amazing the difference in color ! I’m crazy about this color! I Love my haircut ! Thank you for making me smile when I look into the mirror! I can’t believe how many colors are in my hair from the balayage you did a month ago, I still Absolutely Love my hair!
You are now selling essential oils and natural products. Tell us more.
I really excited to use and recommend essential oils to clients, friends, and family. It can be as simple as applying a proprietary oil (a blend of several oils) to help with aching muscles, or relieve bruising. It’s amazing how you can replace a lot of chemicals with an essential oil option for such things as disinfectants and bug repellants. The list goes on and on; I also enjoy creating my own beauty products (bath fizzies, lotions, body scrubs, etc.) I feel like the essential oils add another healthy layer to my business.
Melanie, how is your family doing, how are your grandkids?
They’re all doing great! I’m so proud of both of my sons Kyle and Sinjin. It’s been a joy to watch them grow into men. Kyle’s oldest daughter Emma just turned seven and is going into second grade. Kyle is getting married to a wonderful lady named Mary, they have two children together Lane who’s two and half and Heilyn whose one and a half. My youngest son Sinjin is engaged to an amazing, strong woman named Kylie. She’s getting her biology degree. They love the outdoors and gardening.
Do you have a favorite activity you like doing or sharing together?
Our family enjoys the outdoors. We also love to cook with each other. We enjoy going to concerts and listening to music.
Finally, what is the secret to your long-term relationships with clients, friends and family?
Honesty, Sincerity, and Love!
Melanie Miller Hair Stylist & Colorist
Strands Salon 683 A St. Ashland
Xpressions Salon 2300 Biddle Rd. Medford