Lori Baumann, owner of Tangerine Hair Salon, and her experienced staff mold manes with products by Alterna, Redken, and Sojourn. The spacious salon achieves a trendy, urban feel with slate-blue walls, black polished floors, and track lighting. When guests arrive, plush zebra-print chairs greet their backsides while a coffee pot cheerfully percolates beneath an orange and gold floral painting. Stylists craft new 'dos at stations equipped with full-length mirrors and topped with exotic flowers. When they aren't performing haircuts, adding highlights, or curling locks, they subdue frizzy tresses with smoothing treatments and commands shouted in German.
Despite refining her skills in major metropolises like Chicago and New York, fourth-generation Sheboygan resident Lisa Schnell has always returned home to practice her craft. Along with occasional gigs at pageants and on MTV's Made, Lisa runs Groove Salon, which was named "salon of the year" by Salon Today in 2003. Lisa and her team sculpt hair into whatever style best suits each client's look, be it perms or updos, as well as artfully brighten strands with coloring treatments. While Groove's stylists focus on the tops of heads, the salon's resident licensed esthetician concentrates on everything else, from manicuring nails to waxing away unwanted hair or ill-advised glue-on mustaches.
The phrase, "Those who can't do, teach," doesn't really apply to the salon industry. In fact, it's quite the opposite—only the most exacting, skilled stylists are invited to be educators for professional haircare brands. In her more than 15 years in the beauty industry, Abby Ealy has been an educator twice: formerly in color for Scruples, and currently with Brazilian Blowout. Needless to say, color and texture services are two of her specialties at Now and Zen, the salon she recently joined upon relocating to Madison. But, being a former salon owner herself, Abby's range of expertise is much broader—she's a specialist in precision cuts, body waxing, and spray tanning, too.