By Kim Wickerham
Being a hairstylist during a virus has been quite colorful – no pun intended. I have learnt to think outside of the box as a colorist and roll with the punches as they come along.
Before COVID-19 hit, I had a great job. I was working at Zig Zag Salon in Matthews with an amazing team of talented, like-minded stylists. We took pride in our five-star reviews and the way we served our clients. The art of sharing fresh new ideas over a cup of coffee was an everyday occurrence and one I had grown to love.
When the governor’s orders required the salons to shut down in March, my heart sank. I knew that hairstyling was going to look very different in the not-so-distant future. You see, I was accustomed to double booking my clients and the regulations set before us didn’t allow for this in smaller salons with multiple stylists. I knew I had to make a change. I decided to relocate to the Salon Lofts at Windsor Square and secured a double loft. The double loft allows my clients flexibility when booking and the larger room maintains social distancing standards as needed. My clients have loved it! Their color is being maintained as scheduled and kept spirits high during an otherwise difficult time. And just like that, one lazy day during a virus, Parasol Salon was created.
I have always had a fondness for the French, wine croissants, crepes … well, you get the point. When creating my little loft, I wanted the overall vibe to be a chic, French-inspired space that was a clever mix of old and new. Old world brick, twinkle lights and armoires would cozy up the space making it feel warm and inviting. The name Parasol was meant to pay homage to something that was feminine and beautiful. The tagline L’ Atelier is French for “a workshop of a professional artist.” The name seemed appropriate for the vision I had set in place.
But my love for French design extended well beyond decorating. A few years back, I attended a color workshop in Florida. In one afternoon, I was schooled on a French free-hand painting technique called Balayage. In fact, this is where I coined my Instagram name, The Balayage Belle. The handle was a perfect fit, a Southern girl with a flair for painting.
From the moment I finished my first paint, I was smitten. Like an artist with a fresh canvas, Balayage gave me the creative license to paint hair without limits. Unlike traditional highlighting where foils are needed, Balayage required only a paint brush, clay and a steady hand. As beautiful as it sounds, Balayage is not a one size fits all technique and it’s important to evaluate this during the consultation. Often times, I will encounter clients who love the look of Balayage, but need grey coverage or don’t want to set through sessions to achieve maximum brightness. No need to be disheartened, I keep an arsenal of techniques on hand for these very occasions. So, whether it’s Balayage, foilyage, babylights, or glazing you desire, it’s my job as a colorist to evaluate your needs and offer a technique to help meet your hair goals.
This is something I have honed over the past 30 years behind the chair. I’ve been fortunate to train under some of the industry’s most respected educators and am grateful for the opportunities to learn and share with my clients. After all, that is what great hairdressing is all about. The opportunity to learn something new, master it, then pass it along to your clients.
Hairdressing is an incredible career that is tasked with incredible opportunities. Every day, I get to empower women by making them feel as beautiful on the outside as they do on the inside.
This is something I don’t take lightly.
Want to learn more?
Parasol Salon is located at 9949 E. Independence Blvd. In Matthews. Visit www.instagram.com/thebalayagebelle or call 704-608-7594 or for details.