Hair Here: From Roots to Tips
It’s no secret that western Colorado does things a little differently, mixing our easy lifestyle and local traditions with trends that trickle in from bigger cities. We see this in everything from clothing to cuisine, and our hairstyles are no exception. S+B interviewed three local stylists about what makes Western Slope hair unique. We found that, for the most part, locals are in line with wider trends — but with their own laid-back twist.
Low maintenance is key here, with stylists using words like loose, wavy, soft, natural, and free to describe what’s in demand. For an on-trend take on this look, stylists recommend a bob or its longer sister, the lob (long bob). Erin Collins from Urban Girls Salon says, “This is fun, because it looks great sleek and straight, or messy and curly.”
Warm, natural colors are also big in western Colorado. Meg Marakis, owner of Revolution Salon, is excited about “the subtleness and natural patterns” of current color. Sarah Leary from Trio Salon also loves the natural look. “You can go longer between colors, which is definitely healthier for your hair,” she says. She notes that larger urban areas tend to have a greater mix of colors, some more radical than you might find here.
After doing hair in L.A., Collins observes that working in western Colorado is a completely different experience. For one thing, Saturday is not her busiest day. “I noticed here that people embrace weekends and all the outdoor activities the West Slope has to offer... People here are down-to-earth, easy, and lovely to work on!”
Marakis, who came to the Grand Valley from Las Vegas, appreciates its sense of community. “Here, my clientele are more than clients to me. They have become more like family.”
All three stylists agree that finding a look that works for you is crucial. Says Collins, “Know what you love and what you hate about your hair, and be realistic.” Marakis echoes this sentiment. “You don’t have to follow the trends. Follow what fits you.” Leary says, “I always tell my clients that confidence is key in pulling off any hairstyle. If you walk with confidence, people will love your look.”
Want more style tips and insights? Read the full interview with the stylists below.
S+B Style Interview
S+B: What are your most popular styles or services (for men and women), and what new hair trends are you excited about?
Erin Collins: Styles and trends seem to change year after year and season after season. For women, we are seeing a lot of mid-length long layers, styled with texture and beachy waves. People love low-maintenance, easy styling. This haircut can be paired perfectly with a soft color melt or balayage highlight. Come fall and winter months, brunettes want to be darker, richer, and red. Blondes can change for season by adding a warmer honey tone rather than that cool summer blonde. You can add these tones by simply finishing color services with a gloss or toner.
You can’t go wrong with the timeless bob! Right now, blunt, chin-length bobs are trending industry-wide. This is fun because it looks great sleek and straight, or messy and curly! It is one of the most particular cuts. It takes focus and precision. Bangs/fringe are a great way to change up your look. That ‘70s curtain bang looks fantastic with a wavy and textured style.
Meg Marakis: The trend that I am loving most right now is the subtleness and natural patterns of hair color. My personal favorite are the color melts that so seamlessly start to lighten toward the ends, then adding in small ribbons of honey around the face to add lightness, like the sun would naturally. I am seeing women getting away from structured styles and wearing their hair more soft and free. They are also more aware of hair damage and conscious of the products they are using.
Sarah Leary: The majority of my clients are women. I specialize in color. Currently, the hottest color trends are a variety of balayage techniques. Balayage is a technique for highlighting the hair in which the lightener is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect. In addition to balayage, many clients request a shadowed root effect. Both of these trends work well for clients who are into a natural low-maintenance look. As far as haircuts go, the most popular trends in haircuts are a lob (a long bob) or long, loosely curled hair. I like to call it “Bachelorette” hair. I do a fair amount of men’s haircuts mostly using clipper or barbershop techniques.
S+B: Is there anything unique about your clientele here in western Colorado, compared to other areas?
Erin Collins: I love the Western Colorado clientele. I have worked in the Midwest for most of my career and have also worked a short time in L.A. Colorado people are amazing. I noticed here, that people embrace weekends and all the outdoor activities the West Slope has to offer. Therefore, Saturdays are usually one of my slowest days working. This is unusual in other salons I have worked. People here are down to earth, easy, and lovely to work on!
Meg Marakis: I have had the pleasure to work in big cities and now in a smaller town. My clientele has always meant so much to me. However, here my clientele are more than clients to me -- they have become more like family. I see them at my kid’s school, at the grocery store, or out for a walk. They know my family and I know theirs. You don’t have that sense of community in a bigger city like we do here.
Sarah Leary: I think stylists attract a clientele based on personality, common interests, and who we are. Our clientele in Grand Junction would look different than clientele in a place like New York. Trends are, perhaps, slower to come here. I don’t think the local clientele would be willing to pay the prices in the cities like Austin, New York, San Diego, or even Denver. From my own research, I have found that the average cost of a cut and color in Grand Junction is about half the cost of a cut and color in Denver.
S+B: We’ve noticed more people embracing their natural color, texture, etc. Is this a trend you are seeing industry-wide? If so, what are your thoughts and recommendations?
Erin Collins: Absolutely more people are embracing natural! But I am a bit biased as an Aveda stylist… the hair color we use is naturally derived and delivers natural-looking results. I love enhancing natural beauty and that has always been something I stand behind. Industry-wide, fashion colors (brights and pastels) have been trending for a few years now. In my opinion, although beautiful, these colors aren’t very realistic in an everyday world. They take commitment and upkeep.
Meg Marakis: Seeing women embrace their natural hair is empowering. I don’t think that women should be a slave to the salon. I am seeing more and more women wanting to go gray, and have always been to afraid of the “grow out” but now we are able to help them do this gracefully, beautifully, and slowly so it’s not such a shock.
Sarah Leary: Natural color and texture are an industry-wide trend. The trends in color, balayage and shadowed root, support that trend. Girls are curling their hair to resemble the natural look as if they have just left the beach. I personally like this color and style trend. You can go longer between colors, which is definitely healthier for your hair. But I do recommend coming in between colors for a gloss/toner, a shine treatment, or for a deep conditioning. The extreme cold in the winter can dry out your hair, so it is important if you want to maintain a healthy natural look, that you are using the proper professional products and treatments. There are also many styling products that help you get that beach wave effect, or enhance your natural curl.
S+B: If you could share any words of wisdom to people desiring a great look, what would they be?
Erin Collins: Anyone who is desiring great hair should start by finding a stylist with a vision and someone you trust. A thorough consultation is necessary to make sure the guest and stylist are on the same page! Plenty of pictures and inspiration can help communicate. Know what you love and what you hate about your hair, and be realistic.
Meg Marakis: What I tell all my clients is be realistic when choosing your style. You don’t have to follow the trends, follow what fits you. Lastly, products truly are your friends, even if you don’t want to blow dry.
Sarah Leary: When you are looking for a style that will look best for you, embrace the texture of hair that you have. Whether your hair is thick, thin, straight, or curly -- work with it. Don’t fight against your natural hair qualities. Get regular trims and use high-quality professional products and styling tools on your hair. Definitely do not color your hair at home. It will cost you so much more in the long run to repair the damage. Overall as humans, I would like to see us embrace and love our God-given beauty rather than always desiring to look like someone else. I always tell my clients that confidence is key in pulling off any hairstyle. If you walk with confidence, people will love your look.
Erin Collins, Aveda Senior Stylist
Urban Girls Salon, Grand Junction
(970) 241-1422, @erincollins_hair, @urbangirlssalon
Sarah Leary, Hairstylist/Color Specialist
Trio Salon, Grand Junction
Meg Marakis, Owner and Stylist
Revolution Salon, Grand Junction