Olive & Ivy Salon: Where Hair Dreams Come True

The Back Story: Big Hair Color Dreams

I always had the dream to dye my hair a vivid color. This felt like an impossible dream because I worked as a child actor and model. It wasn’t an option at the time to make my own “brand” via hair color–mostly I just needed to fit the part I was playing.

Fast forward a bunch of years (but not too many!), that little girl is grown and still yearning to live her 9th grade truth with a head full of color. Enter Olive & Ivy Salon, a magical female-owned small business in Madisonville, just block from the Cheesecakery. (What is the Cheesecakery? They have seasonal latte flights and mini cheesecakes. You’re welcome.)

Realizing the Dream with Olive & Ivy Salon

I saw on Instagram that Olive & Ivy Salon were looking for vivid hair color models who needed to have “virgin” hair, aka hair without color. Check. They wanted to color to the roots. Check. They wanted to train their new stylists. I like helping people. They listed a day I was available. Let’s do this. I took a deep breath and laughed at the ridiculousness of a 38-year-old professional living her midlife hair dreamscape….then I messaged one of the student stylists.

Night before status: nervous.

Day of status: super nervous.

Following an ill-timed dental appointment, I strolled into the salon like a faux-furred Cruella Deville (but fun!) with half her face numb. I met Emily and Paige, two of the student stylists that were going to convert me into a green goddess. Also, I met Meg, one of the owners and the OG hair mermaid. The vibe was welcoming and super cool. 

Emily and Paige swooshed the salon cape upon me and away we went. They were amazing and laughed at all my cheap jokes, calmed my nerves, and didn’t mind when I had to take business calls. They went beast mode for 6 hours with their brushes and curling wands. I was a darker brunette to start and in a matter of time along with a lot of foil and a ton of effort, I was lightened to a platinum blond.

I know what you’re thinking: “Wait? What? I thought she was going to be a vivid color of green?” Patience, friend. Just wait…

The stylists explained that for the color to really show, they must strip my base to catch as much color as possible. Once blond, I looked like my mom. When I sent a picture home at this stage, one of my kids thought I was Grandma Candy (aka my mom). Weird, but it was the truth.

Next up, colooooor. Not just a little, but a lot! The inspiration picture they offered as an example showed a curled emerald ‘do with highlights of teal and neon green. If you, too, want to live your color truth, bring pictures. Search out images online or on social that best represent the color effect that you most desire. Without pictures, your stylist is left to guess. You wouldn’t let a tattoo artist out there guessing so make your vision available and bring pictures.

Video: @emcaffey on Instagram

One of the owners of Olive & Ivy Salon, Meg Gilbert, would stop over throughout the process to guide her “baby stylists.” This was a term for new hires that she was training and educating. Meg taught them best methods and techniques to apply color, check foils, and hype their clients. Sidenote: Meg makes a mean iced latte. I let her pick her potions. It was also magic; I didn’t ask questions. 

Once I was rinsed, dried, trimmed and curled, my hair was big, bright hues of green. I couldn’t stop laughing, either from excitement or nerves. How would my clients take it? How would my real estate brokerage take it? Would I no longer be respected member of my profession?? More nervous laughter.

Photo: @emilymoserbeauty on Instagram

Upon arriving home, my new hair made one child cry and one express utter admiration. Everyone came around and I bravely shared my new color online. The response was overwhelmingly positive. My friends and family were very supportive of my hair transformation. I received lots of fire emojis. My work was positive about it, too! Why had I been so nervous? The process was fun and the hair pros, fantastic. If you want to dip your mane in color, I highly recommend heading to Olive & Ivy Salon. Tell them I sent you. Enjoy the journey and the latte!

Photo: @laurenashleyscallon on Instagram

Read more from Lauren Ashley Scallon here.