Melanie Miller is the former owner of Aphrodite Salon and a full time hair stylist and colorist living here in Ashland. For the past 19 years she has supported her clients in looking and feeling great. She has a nuanced eye for coloring and enjoys all aspects of her profession. An appointment with Melanie is not just another trip to the hair salon. Melanie takes pride in taking the time to listen to her clients. Stepping into the roles of therapist, friend, advisor and hairstylist, she recounts and tells many stories including that of being a “hair detective”; someone who can understand what the client is wanting 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. Melanie and her husband Mark have been married for over 23 years and recently celeb rated the arrival of their first grandbaby, Emma. Stepping into the roles of therapist, friend, advisor and hairstylist, she recounts and tells many stories including that of being a “hair detective”; someone who can understand what the client is wanting 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.
Melanie thanks for speaking with me today and congratulations to you as you move towards your 20th year working here in Ashland.
Thank you, I’ve certainly had a full and eventful 20 years in Ashland. I’ve experienced the gamut of being a stylist. I worked as a stylist for 6 years, and always wanted my own salon. Then in December of 2000 my husband Mark and I opened Aphrodite’s Salon. Mark built the salon, with our boys and me assisting him. It was truly a family business. We had the salon for 10 years. We had to close unexpectedly, which was very difficult for us to do so suddenly. I want to thank my clients for all their support over the last 20 years!
When you reflect on your history as a hair stylist here in Ashland what are some sweet memories that come to mind that capture what the experience has been like for you?
I remember cutting a 2 year old’s hair as he watched a DVD to learn sign language. I was trying to sign right along with him. I also remember going to a teen client’s house to braid her hair before gymnastics meet. It became her good luck ritual! I remember my son Sinjin and me creating a Camouflage Mohawk in his hair for 5th grade school pictures. I especially remember styling a bride before her wedding and sharing in her bliss.
I loved hearing your analogy of being a “Hair Detective” but was curious to hear more about how you move in and out of the roles you play as therapist, friend, and advisor.
I ask many questions which leads clients to share with me about their lives. I ask about their job and lifestyle. That’s just the beginning. I want know about that new job or promotion they’re going for so I can polish and tailor their look. The mom that needs to be nurtured for a change and she really doesn’t want to have to think about her hair. I talk to them about what’s worrying them or exciting them. We all need to be heard!
You mention that you enjoy continually learning and staying on top of your game. What are some of the recent classes you have taken that you have enjoyed?
I recently hosted a Framesi Color Class. I learned the Hombre method. This technique allows you to have high lights with a more intense overlay color that creates an explosion of color with a minimal grow-out line. One of my Hombre clients says, “My color has random high lights that shine through in the sunlight. The red glaze created a beautiful shine and contrast. I walked out of the salon feeling like a queen with Beautiful Hair.”
I try my best to find compromises between my client’s hair desires and those of their parents. I think it’s important for kids to be empowered by their hair. I literally go through a section at a time and ask the client and parent their opinions then I meet both in the customizing along the way. The result is usually beneficial for everyone.
Can you share a recent testimonial or two with us?
“Melanie Miller was one of the first people I met 4 years ago when I relocated from San Jose. When sat in Melanie’s chair that’s when the MAGIC happened -it was her kindness, compassion and awesome cup of tea that won me over.”
“I was entering a divorce and she was my ear, she was supportive and got to know me. After a year and a half of being a loyal client I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Of course at this point she was like family to me. Melanie was the angel who listened to my up and my downs and we laughed too! Melanie was there with hugs and solid support for my daughter. My daughter loves Melanie! She made me look fantastic during the tough storms we walked through.”
“She’s the best stylist and colorist I’ve ever known! We will keep her till the end of time! I love how many compliments I get on my hair and it’s all Melanie’s doing…she walked me through the bottom of my life, how many stylist do that? The best is she is a true supporter during Relay for Life offering her services and incredible gift baskets for auction-it sold right away! We love her and this woman is from ABOVE-when you sit in Melanie’s chair, you get FAR MORE THAN HIGH LIGHTS AND A HAIRCUT; you get a woman who cares, heals and makes you laugh!”
“Melanie is part of our village. She has been cutting my hair as well as my two teenage sons for almost 10 years. My boys actually enjoy getting their hair cut. They can sense Melanie’s genuine interest and concern about their lives. I am grateful that it is so easy to keep up on the chore of hair maintenance (we all have lots of hair and it grows fast) and my kids have another trusted adult looking out for them.”
Families are also fun for you to work with and you have watched many of them grow up over the years.
I know how hard it can be to coordinate a family schedule. I’m very family oriented. I try to be flexible and accommodate family appointments. That way Mom can get her color done while the kids get their cuts while her color is processing.
Melanie, can you give us a quick overview of the services you provide?
COLOR, CUTS, CURLY HAIR, SCALP MASSAGE, STRAIGHTENERS, PERMS
What’s the best for someone to go about setting an appointment with you?
Call or text me @ 541-488-2339
I’m truly blessed to have such a wonderful family! Mark and I are celebrating 23 years of marriage! He’s my best friend and the love of my life. We recently learned to sail and love to go to concerts. Our oldest son Kyle is 22 loves the outdoors and is a cowboy through and through. Our youngest Sinjin is 19, working and planning to attend RCC, focusing on Automotive and Welding. Mark and I love being grandparents. Emma May Miller is 2 1/2 years old, and a pistol. She knows exactly what she wants!
Thanks again for doing this interview with us.
Thank you so much! I’ve really enjoyed this experience! I’m so fortunate to do what I love for a living! Hair to me is a Living Art Form! I want to say a huge Thank You to my clients for all their support! Thank you to my Ashland community; it’s been a joy raising my family here!