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Mama Needs a New 'Do: Stylist Recommendations

Many of us splurge on different things, but nothing like a great haircut to add some freshness and spring in our steps.  We're reviving this old thread at the request of Kathryn who's stylist is on a well-deserved maternity leave.  She emails:

I was wondering if you could post a thread and help me find a new hair stylist.  Mine is on maternity leave, and I would love to find someone who can do a cut/color (preferably on the East side) for under $100, but not a Supercuts kind of place....I know there was a thread a few years ago about hair stylist recommendations, but it may be outdated.  I would venture to guess that there are other mamas out there who would love some great recommendations. 

And for those on a budget or open to being a subject of an up and coming stylist as well a fan of Aveda, they've opened up a new Institute in the NW.  Haircuts are $13!

Our original question was posed by Melia awhile back:

Anyone have any recommendations on a decent place to get a hip haircut? I'm looking for edgy riot grrl kinda do. I went to bishops for my first try but would like to find something a little more permanent and well established.


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My longtime friend, Katie, does great cuts at Sugar Laboratories on NE 15th & Broadway. If you go, tell her I sent you.

Also, I haven't been in awhile so I'm not sure she's still there, but at the same salon there's a woman by the name of Angela who does amazing bikini/Brazilian wax jobs. She made me feel so comfortable and knows just when to chat and when not to in order to distract you from any pain. I highly recommend her, which reminds me that I ought to call her myself...

the appointment is booked. thanks for the recommendation!

another recommendation:

Beth Anne at Arabella Salon (on MLK across from Nike). She's awesome, and I always come out looking hip (well, at least i think so!).

i may be booking an appointment with her in 6 weeks if things don't go so well on friday!

I see you have a couple of appointments already lined up, Melia, but I have to say that I love my salon: Belle Epoque (www.belleepoquesalon.com). Great space, great vision, great experience. Part of the process is: "Give three adjectives for what you want your hair to say." You can walk out looking like all three.

PLUS, owner Dayna Cakebread is a really cool, down-to-earth Mama of two young girls....

I love Valerium at Belle Epoque but man, it is expensive there. I'm hooked now though.

May I plug Leepin Lizards in NW? Frenchie has been giving me a fabulous cut for over a year now at what I think is a very reasonable price - much closer to SuperCuts range than mortgage payment range.

Since Betsy has brought up the question of cost, can I just ask about that? I'm a new Portlander, formerly of LA, and my hair guy there charged $60, which was on the cheap side for the city. Here then I expected to be able to find a more inexpensive haircut, but my first Portland haircut (which I liked a lot) set me back $55 (before tip). Is this typical? I realize there's a range, but just curious about what you all spend, if you're willing to share.

my haircuts at Arabella are about $30ish. I think for cut and color (highlights), it's around $100? (i could be way off base)

oh, and i should add that i often barter with my hairdresser. it's been great for us.

Just wanted to give another plug for Sugar Laboratories. I get my hair cut by Sue Murphy there, and I think that she is fabulous!

Frenchie charges $35 for a cut, and I paid $85 for cut and color last month. In Atlanta, I searched long and hard before I found a good stylist and she was $45, so I'm pleased to be paying a little less.

Just wanted to let you know I put a little deal ($$$) on the Mama Needs a New 'Do page. thanx again!

I just went to Frenchi at Leepin' Lizards this weekend for a cut and color and she was great! I can't say enough good things about her. We talked about what I wanted, she made some suggestions and I walked away 100% happy.

I'm moving to a new shop. Learn more at the Mamma Needs a New 'Do site.

It's been a long time since I've gotten a cut that I loved. I recently went to Lueria (lueria.com), and I walked away really happy. I like the fact that you can book online, and that she takes appointments as early as 6 am. It was nice getting a cut, and having it styled all day long. She's located on NW Marshall in the Pearl close to Jamison Square.

Some time ago I read a post about a hairdresser who does house calls. Does anyone have information on her? I can't seem to get out of the house child-free these days.

Jennifer, the house call stylist I've used is Susy Gallegos with Mama Mobile Hair Stylist. She had a baby a few months ago, though (or has it been longer now?) so I am not sure if she is still doing the housecalls. Last I heard she was also getting a station at Twisted Locks on Terwilliger... sorry I don't have a number for her.

Heather K - Thank you for the suggestions. Here are a couple of links to help you connect:

Mama Mobile Hair Stylist

Twisted Locks / Madeline

I love this thread - does anyone have a recommendation for someone who can work with CURLS? Maybe even someone who is willing to cut my hair dry, so we can see what's actually happening, rather than cutting it wet and straight, then waiting for it to dry and reveal itself? Ever since moving to Portland, I am all frizz, all the time. I wear my hair in a clip every single friggin' day. Hellllp meeeee!

I have two recommendations for you all - one is with Denyce Macmillian at Akemi Salon in North Portland on Williams (it's located the block before Pix on the east side of the street). The number is 503-542-5246. I have been seeing her for 8 years and can say she is one of the best. She is fantastic with color!! Every time I have ever seen someone else I have regretted it. She is a mama as well :)The other place I would go is Salon 220 at 220 SW Ankeny (sandwiched between 2nd and 3rd just off Burnside, across from Berbati's in the alley). This place is more expensive, but I have never heard of anyone being unhappy with a cut from there. Read their city search reviews. The staff is young and edgy and talented. They definitely know "hip" and everyone I know who goes there comes out happy and looking great.My friends see Andrea and Jodi.
Cheers!happy haircuts!

I got my hair cut at 77 salon in the Pearl by Deena (sp?). I had been looking for someone who would actually give me a style instead of just trimming. She did a fantastic job. They cut your hair first standing up so they can see how the length will really be, then again sitting, then dry it and finally cut and style again dry. Plus they don't load your hair with tons of products and all her cuts are wash and go so you know it won't be too high maintenance!

curl girls - go see amie zimmerman at dirty little secret salon on NE MLK. she's one of the owners and does an amazing job. the salon is 'edgy' and not super frou frou, but they just expanded and offer lots of great services.

Jodi Cue at Grace Hair Salon. She is the best.


Most of my non-mama friends go to Tina at Dirty Little Secret for cuts and a wide range of colors. :)


I have to put a plug in for 220 Salon in downtown Portland. It is an amazing salon with amazing stylists. I see Shaymus and he is AWESOME! $30 for a haircut and it is the best haircut I've ever had. He is highly trained and really knows what he is doing. He takes as much time as he needs to get it right and I love that! I have seen him 4 times now and each time I leave thinking it is the best cut ever! The salon doesn't advertize--they don't even have a web site...because they are THAT good! Good luck!

For curlies, i'll second Amie at Dirty Little Secret. She's got straight hair herself but has become a curly expert. And the place is the right blend of hip and comfy.

For curly locks, I highly, highly recommend Alisha at Valerium, whom I've been with for eight years or so. I've tried others, including a couple of efforts with Dirty Little Secret, but no one cuts as well as she does for my hair. She and I have very similar curl-type, but she's younger and hipper, so I often point at her in the mirror and say, "Do that!"

I still love Frenchi, she's at Burnside Proper now. She's given me some of my favorite haircuts over the last 2 years and she's easy on the budget.

Frenchi at Burnside Proper is an absolute dream - great stylist, wonderful low key personality, and reasonable prices. I'm in Seattle now, but boy, do I miss her.

Sarah, is there a trick to getting Akemi to answer the phone or return calls? I have tried to get an appointment with them several times and no one ever returns my calls.

I highly, highly recommend Akasu Hair Studio and Spa (503.287.3831) on North Williams--right by The Rose Garden. I have been a client since this jewel of a salon opened five-and-a-half years ago. As a busy mom of two, I view my trips to Akasu as my time to relax, unwind, and get beautiful. Before getting my hair cut/colored/styled, I relax with a glass of wine while leisurly flipping through their hip collection of reading material. While I usually see Tyra, (she's fabulous), I have also had my hair cut and colored by Krystal (equally spectacular)! I have such faith in these stylists, that I literally sit in their chairs and tell them "Make me look cute and hip" and leave the rest to them. Each and every time, I leave feeling GREAT. They are masters with curly hair and offer a lot of different top-of-the-line products for all types of hair. I can not say enough wonderful things about this salon. I promise you that you will love going there!

i've made the circuit over the past couple of years and certainly liked some of the cuts but i have found the hairstylist i'm stickin' with forever, or until she moves. which i hope never happens.

her name is carrie brewster and she's got her own one chair space in the ford building at 11th (or 12th?) and division (which, flooded with northern light, has this amazing, gritty view of the city from the 3rd floor). she's absolutely amazing with curly hair. though i have straightish hair, i can only attest to this because i've seen the results on curly headed friends. she cuts wet, she cuts dry, she cuts while you're in the chair and on your way out the door. she's a magician with color. and just all around awesome. besides, the last haircut i got from her is the one i think i'm going to marry for the rest of my life.

a bit more than 30 but less than 80, she charges 55 but it's worth it. it seems like the haircuts i get from her last over the course of 12 weeks rather than 6. it's like the haircut transitions into a new do as it grows out. and the color is so subtle that the growout is hardly noticeable. her number is 503 841 6353 and she is highly recommended.

Another shout out for Dirty Little Secret. I started seeing Rebecca there last summer after I nearly fainted from my bill at an Aveda salon ($300 for cut and color, OMG!). Rebecca's great, and I don't have to take out a home equity loan to pay for her services. Cut is $35, root color is around $60, highlights (I'm not sure, only get them every third time).

My criteria for a stylist, in addition to great cut & color, is I have to enjoy spending two to three hours with the person! The place is cool & hip in a casual way. I always feel way cooler than I actually am when I'm there! :-)

I've always had great luck at the NE Bishops (NE 28th and Davis) and currently see Betty- she is great and the price is right $20-25.

I'm late casting my vote...but if you've got curls, I say go to someone who has got them too! The only person I let cut my hair anymore is Evette. She just returned from Australia (thank goodness, I wore a hat for the year + that she was gone!) and is working down at Gypsy Rose. Thats on Lower East Burnside. She is the cutest little punk rock chick with crazy curls. With cuts and color, she seems to intuitively follow your own sense of style.

I'm late casting my vote...but if you've got curls, I say go to someone who has got them too! The only person I let cut my hair anymore is Evette. She just returned from Australia (thank goodness, I wore a hat for the year + that she was gone!) and is working down at Gypsy Rose. Thats on Lower East Burnside. She is the cutest little punk rock chick with crazy curls. With cuts and color, she seems to intuitively follow your own sense of style.

Just putting in another plug for Aime at Dirty Little Secret. I've got curly hair and have had a horrible time finding someone in this town who can handle my hair's quirks.
I've been through a handful of stylists who gave me one good haircut but then it all went downhill.
I've been seeing Aime for a couple years now and I couldn't be happier. She understands curls and listens to what you want!

Mandy Zelinka who owns 77 Salon in the Pearl is amazing! She is an artist, creative and very good at giving Mama's a new look and feeling! The salon is hip and very reasonably priced. I have gone to her for over three years

I can't believe nobody has recommended Paula yet. Nearly everybody I know goes to her. Or maybe I shouldn't be telling this little secret?
Villa Villa Kula, on NE Everett, just off of 28th. Paula is usually really busy, but I think all of the stylists there are the freakin' greatest, super-sweet, down-to-earth, and there's just a great friendly vibe in the place.

I have been going to Salon En Vogue on hawthrone for a while now and I really like it. The girl who cuts our hair now is named Kalli and she is really nice. I am pretty braindead when it comes to how I want my hair but she (and other stylists there) really know the right questions to ask and always give me a great haircut. Plus they have nice products that I use for my wavy-curly hair. They don't allow kids in their but there is a great park a few blocks away that is an added bonus. One of us usually takes the baby to the park while the other gets their haircut; we switch off and come out looking great!

A plug for Kylie Courtney at Salon 77. It's usually $110 for a cut and color- but that's usually with 2 colors for me.. I think it's less for 1 color. She has been doing my hair for 4 years now and I always get compliments from strangers on the street! They are in the Pearl...

Gilly's on SE Clinton and 26th- a Momma of a preschooler and fantastic stylist. Uses nontoxic- healthy coloring products.
ALL the Ladies in our neighborhood go there, as well as my 3 yr old!
Great prices too.

I love The Parlour in St. John's. Heather is a wonderful stylist and is an edgy riot grrl mama herself...she is also fun to talk with. AND...there is a tattoo artist in the loft there so you can get your whole riot grrl mama self worked on if you are so inclined.

7327 N Charleston Ave
Portland, OR 97203
(503) 289-0830

Another Curly Hair recommendation for Dirty Little Secret, but I see Chai. I have seen Aimee too. I am booking my appointments in advance for the first time in my life, that is how happy I am with Chai. Not to mention my hair actually looks great when I leave. She has curly hair and knows how to style it.

I highly recommend Stacy at Platform Salon. She's absolutely incredible -- and I'm picky. I want a style that works with my hair (fine), gives me flexibility (in case I decide I want to style it), is super easy (when I don't have time to style) and grows out without looking like I've encountered a weedwacker. No small thing and yet she's consistently been able to give me what I need even when I don't have any suggestions. She listens and double checks before making a cut when I say "let's go short!".

In addition, she's a SUPERB colorist. Best I've ever had -- and that's saying a lot since I've had some pretty impressive names do my hair.

Plus, she's a single mom and I love giving my business to another mom.

I can't speak highly enough of Jikaiah at Pulse Salon across from the downtown (central) library. She cuts my unruly wavy hair dry so she can see texture, then washes it and touches up. It looks better now wash and go than it ever did with hours on the flatiron, curling iron, etc. I'm not sure her coloring price (I don't color), but she does great work--I've seen other clients.

I also have to recommend the ladies at Akemi Salon on N. Williams. Cruelty-free haircare, mimosa Saturdays, awesome cuts and colors at very reasonable prices.

I'm pondering having my hair colored or at least highlighted. This is something I have never done and wouldn't have even considered doing during my pregnancies (too paranoid, even though it was supposedly "safe" to do, just didn't want to risk any harm to my babes), but I am unsure. Is anyone else a bit worried about coloring their hair--even though "they" say it's safe? I am amazed at how many people in the comments above have indicated that they color their hair. Given all the recent info coming out about plastics, household items, cleaners, etc. that "they" said were perfectly safe, I can't help but be a little worried...yet this still may be something I'd consider doing, just don't want to do myself or others any harm in the name of, well, "vain"... :)
For so many of you above who color your hair, are there "safe" (or at least kinda' safe) options readily available that you'd suggest? Am I silly to worry about this?

worried, of course you are not silly to worry about this. We had a previous conversation regarding highlights, hair color, and pregnancy, and hopefully it will offer some suggestions for you:


Here is a link to an article about this. Although many people (wisely, in my opinion) won't color/highlight at all during pregnancy/breast-feeding (possibly the effects on babies may not be known until many years from now--even though we think it's fine), even afterward it appears there may be still be some risks involved. Maybe soon our society will embrace the aging/ageing process and start to think "gray is beautiful!" http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20040126/hair-dye-linked-to-blood-cancer

Hey Mamas, I got this promotion via email yesterday. Not that too many of us are probably routinely footloose and fancy free during these hours, but for these prices, I just might try to make myself available! $5 haircuts and $15 color at the Aveda Institute--wow!


Mamas, Any additional recommendations to share? A mama recently emailed:

"I cut my hair off when I had my baby and now it is growing back but man the in between stage is torture! Any recommendations for a stylist who might have saved your hair day. I need someone who will work with me to get it into a longer style without going mullet. Thanks soooo much!"

M'Linda Glawe at Sugar Laboratories on NE 15th and Broadway. She's a little bit more expensive than I'd like to pay, but is completely worth it! I've seen her for several years now, and I trust her enough to go in and say "do whatever you think would look good." It's about the only true luxury that I treat myself to and I look forward to it every time.

Hey ladies! Mama Mobile hairstylist is back and is also working at an upscale salon! I have 12 yrs experience at one of the top 10 hair salons in Los Angeles. My husband and I moved up to portland after having our 1st baby, I took some time off and moved around a little after having baby #2. I am working 3 days a week and offer special mommy discounts to all you beautiful mamas! you can contact me at 760-636-2226 or email bonbongallegos@hotmail.com I have worked with urban mamas, and portland mamas inc in the past it's a great way to get back into the community and meet fellow mamas. I look forward to meeting you!

Susy Gallegos

Hello ladies!
Hairdresser and mother Susy Gallegos here, of Mama mobile! I am doing some Holiday specials for all the Urban mamas! I also work at Twisted Locks Hair Salon.
Feel free to call or email me, I have changed my number.

Susy Gallegos

505-360-5052 Mama mobile hairdresser

503-246-1930 Twisted Locks

She is way south west but Aubrey at "The Ritz" Salon is fantastic. Especially with thick curls! She is also a color goddess.

I just have to say that Lueria at FYI Salon is truley AWESOME! I love the fact that I can take my kids to her on a Sunday. Her hours are very easy to fit into a busy mom's schedule.

Don't know if anyone checks these older thread. I tried to schedule an appointment with Frenchi at the Burnside Proper phone number I found via google. The number keeps coming back as disconnected, does anyone know if Burnside Proper has closed or where Frenchi may have moved to?

Does anyone have a fabulous stylist who they could recommend is great at the latest hair makeovers (and willing to work with someone who doesn't quite know exactly what hairstyle she wants nor appropriate for face shape?) Mine hasn't been cut for 9 months (a little too busy), and I think it's about time for a fresh, new Spring look. I would prefer someone on the westside; however, willing to travel to the eastside. I'm terrified of just going into any ol' salon, so any suggestions from Mamas here would be greatly appreciated.

Also looking for updated recs. I have wavy hair and lots of gray. Need someone who is great with curls and color.

FYI - you need to try out the super-dooper urban mama hair stylist LUERIA at FYI Salon in NW on 11th & Marshall. So reasonably priced and completely up to date on fun & fabulous cuts, color, & styles for moms to wear their hair with out having to spend all day working to make it look good. Lueria is amazing and her prices are affordably competitive for the pearl. I got a color weave last visit...I love it!

Based on the recommendations here, I scheduled an appointment at Burnside Proper this past weekend. (They moved locations two months ago for those who were wondering). I made an appt. with Frenchi as she was the one that everyone recommended. I asked for the available time slots on any Saturday and was told that 2PM and 6PM were available this past weekend...so I took 6PM as my son naps during the 2PM time slot. What a huge mistake. I walked into the salon, and even though Frenchi was present, she had swapped my appointment over to a stylist named Galen. It was obvious from the get-go that both Frenchi and Galen were anxious to get out of there. They immediately started talking up their plans for going to a Dolly Parton show and to Holocene. They were hungry for veggie burgers. And my haircut? Well...I am used to having the full treatment for a $50 hair cut...you know...wash the hair, cut the hair, style and dry the hair. I had not cut my hair since October of 2008 due to the fact that I had a horrific appointment with my prior stylist...who left me with a mullet! I explained this to Galen and let her know I wanted the dead ends cut off, to get some shape and volume to my hair. Let me tell you that my hair was not washed (she cuts hair dry), and basically my bangs were made heavier and she took a lot of time fondling/snipping the ends of my hair. She STRAIGHTENED my hair (did you not hear the words "please add volume" come out of my mouth?!?) and after I told her I was looking for volume...proceeded to curl my hair. She spent MAYBE 1/2 hour on my hair, and the whole time Frenchi was just sitting there asking Galen if she would be ready to leave with them. Excuse me??? I didn't wait this many months to cut my hair and be treated like this! How about acting like a professional stylist and giving a good hair cut? Sorry...this was glorified Supercuts without the customer service that you would actually expect from a Supercuts. Shame on you for taking a 6PM appointment if you didn't really feel like working that late! Shame on you for switching me out for another stylist with no explanation! Shame on you for not providing any customer service and really not giving a damn about the work you did! Word of mouth is key in your business. You need to send your customers out the door feeling refreshed and glamorous...not greasy (what other heads have touched those brushes you run through hair all day...UNWASHED HAIR) and horrified. So...to temper all of the great posts, I THINK BURNSIDE PROPER SUCKS! Now excuse me while I go look for my voodoo doll...

I have very straight blond hair...the kind stylists hate to cut because you can see every scissor mark (which means every mistake). I LOVE Jen at Transform Salon at 17th & Raleigh. It's just her in her own little shop. I think she's also an instructor for Paul Mitchell. Anyway, I'm picky and I've been happy every time. Her number is 503-890-6631.

Tiffany at Bliss Day Salon on SE Division is amazing. You can book online as well, what a bonus for a busy mom!!

Just moved to the area and popped into FYI since I live in the building. Lucky for me Lueria was in that day. I made an appt, and came back the next day. She was fantastic. She really took her time with me, and listened to what I wanted. She never made me feel rushed, or in a hurry to finish. The cut and color were perfect. She suggested I try Kerastase products. I was a little hesitant due to the price, but after using it just once I could tell the difference. My hair is shinier and healthier than it's ever been, just like Lueria said it would be. Very much looking forward to my next appt.

After several years of bad hair dressers that kept wanting to bleach my already blond hair...I found Ward Stroud of the Art of Hair (in NW Portland). I love, love, love the way he does my hair and he has never once suggested we bleach it!!

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