A mother of 6, a wife, and a thriving business owner changing the hair industry in Arizona one client at a time.
The above is the perfect synopsis of Michelle Anderson, owner of “Michelle and Hair” located in Tempe, Arizona. Michelle has been in the cosmetology industry for over 15 years, and when she moved to Arizona 9 years ago from East St. Louis she saw a need for not just affordable, but also high-quality hair care for women of color. As most of us know, the dry Arizona climate does a number on ethnic hair – so here in the Valley of the Sun especially, our hair requires extra love and attention to keep it moisturized and hydrated.
Each client that walks in the doors of Michelle’s Tempe salon is greeted with questions about their past hair care and current routine, and any concerns they have are reviewed before establishing an ongoing haircare and treatment plan. Michelle shares that she only uses high quality hair products like Olaplex, and she has even worked with a chemist to create her own hair growth serum and edge control cream. When you sit in the chair at Michelle’s salon you aren’t just getting a hairstyle, you are getting an education on how to care for your hair in the dry desert climate.
“Clients love to be educated,” says Michelle.
Michelle believes that each client deserves individual attention, and should leave with an understanding of not just which products went into their hair but also how to continue to care for their hair in-between visits. Michelle states that she wants clients to not only fall in love with the experience of going to the salon, but also with the care and attention they are each given at Michelle and Hair. “I want to make your hair care affordable and make you feel like Beyoncé for the day,” she beams when discussing her business philosophy.
So how does a busy mom of kiddos ranging in age from 4-17 keep on her grind? “Consistency and balance are vital,” Michelle shares. She states that she had to become an advocate for her own self-care, which includes therapy, a walk in the park, and unplugging for “me time.” She was clear that “I had to learn to say no to what didn’t serve me, and yes to what I really wanted.” In addition, she says that it is important that her family keeps on a routine so everyone knows exactly what’s happening from day to day.
Next up for Michelle is continuing to sell high-quality hair, working on getting her products into the hands of more moms in Arizona and beyond (as a side note, if you are worried about breakage and/or trying to grow your hair, DEFINITELY check out her bonnet and hair growth serum), and opening a cosmetology school with a special focus on ethnic hair care. When asked what sets her apart from other cosmetologists in town, her answer was simple but on point: “ I actually care about the product, the service, and how you feel when you leave me. That experience means more to me than (my clients) will ever know.”
As a busy mom myself, I asked Michelle what are some helpful tips for us moms when it comes to dealing with our daughters’ hair (especially if your daughter has some interesting curl patterns thanks to a healthy mix of Puerto Rican, Irish and African genes all mixed in like my own)? Her tips:
- Schedule their first trim between 5-7 years old;
- Any time you can’t run your fingers from root to tip it’s time to take them in for a trim;
- Maintenance is key: a child should get a trim a minimum of twice a year; and
- Educate yourself on your childs’ hair type, preferably with a trusted cosmetologist.
If you have questions about how to care for your child’s hair, no matter what their hair type, Michelle also offers one-on-one consultations to ensure the proper care is being taken to keep their hair healthy.
For more information or to schedule with Michelle be sure to check her out at www.michelleandhair.com.