What attracted you to a career as stylists?
We were both in our second year of college and had undecided majors, so we took a year off. After the year was up, we both felt we were too creative to go back to college, so it was then that we decided to go to beauty school.
How long have you been in the industry?
Almost 25 years–that’s crazy!!!!
What has your professional journey been like?
Out of beauty school we worked at a salon on Michigan Ave and were in their cutting program. Yes, we worked at the same salon! Several years later the salon closed and Areta went on to do skincare at Mario Tricoci (we were the last graduating class that was grandfathered in to being able to do skincare with a cosmetology license in Illinois), and Daria began doing wedding hair, starting a company with a couple of makeup artist friends. From there, Areta realized skincare was not for her. She had an idea that hair extensions were on the verge of becoming huge, so after taking a few classes specializing in extensions the rest became history! It took Daria a few more years before the wedding business just wasn’t what she wanted to do anymore, so she soon followed in Areta’s footsteps and began doing extensions, too!
What is your favorite part about being cosmetologists?
Making people look and feel beautiful. So many people come to us that just don’t feel good about themselves because they are so unhappy with their hair. We’re talking about women with very fine, lifeless hair. We like to think that with a few extensions we are making them look like a better version of themselves. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve had clients hug us after their service because we made them feel beautiful.
Tell me about your salon, where it is located, the neighborhood, your average client.
Chicago Lashes and Hair at 3530 N. Ashland Ave in Chicago. Majority of our clients are business women that really care about their appearance and want to make sure that their hair looks amazing at all times.
How do you approach creating a style for your client?
Most of our clients already know what they are looking for. It is up to us to determine if that look is achievable, given the condition of their existing hair. It is very important that we ask what hair products they currently use and what type of styling they do on a daily basis.
What do you do to make sure your clients leave feeling happy and beautiful?
We make it very personal. Our clients become our friends simply because these services can take quite a bit of time, so you really get to know each other very well! They also know we genuinely care about the integrity of their own hair and wouldn’t do anything to compromise that. Every client has our cell phone numbers and they can call us at any time with any questions or concerns. This puts their mind at ease, especially if this is their first time getting extensions.
How long have you been offering extensions?
For over 15 years!
What are some of the reasons you offer extensions?
Extensions are no longer just for someone that wants long ‘mermaid-like’ hair. Most women just don’t have the great hair they once had, whether it’s due to age, stress, medication, illness or over-processing. Or maybe someone never had great hair to begin with due to heredity. We want women to know that there are plenty of options to add more fullness to their existing hair or that they can have the length that they never thought they’d have.
What type of extensions method do you prefer and why?
Probably the fusion method because it’s the one with the least amount of maintenance for the client, and is also an option for most hair types.
How have extensions impacted your business?
We are a specialty salon- extensions are what we do all day long. With that, we have made an impact in the salon world and have so many clients that prefer coming to someone that specializes in extensions, rather than going to a regular salon that offers all services. Due to our specialization, we have clients that fly in from all over the United States to get their hair done by one of us, which is a HUGE complement!
How do you encourage your clients to take care of their hair, including their extensions?
Brushing well is key when it comes to extensions! Also, making sure they use great products is so important.
What are some of your favorite “go-to” products?
We both love the Tony Odisho 3-in-1 Mist! We also love the Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner by Pureology.
How do you see the hair industry changing?
Well we have seen more salons opening up that specialize in extensions; we think that’s catching on!
What have you learned over the years about the industry?
There is room in this industry for everyone.
What advice would you offer to new stylists entering the industry?
Extensions are not meant for every stylist to do- it can be very hard on your body. There are times when you will spend an extended amount of time with just one client, and you will be standing in the same spot for hours, which can be hard on your feet and back. You get used to it- trust us! When it comes to doing extensions, be meticulous!!! Neatness really counts when it comes to the application process. Also, be very thorough when explaining after care and the importance of using great products.
Follow them on Instagram!
To book an appoitment with Areta or Daria, call 773-996-0533
For more information visit http://www.chicagohairextensionssalon.com