On the Cutting Edge

By Sandra Zunino

Chic, sassy or sophisticated, great hair can make or break your appearance. At Oliver Michaels Salon in Easton Plaza, clients are assured of up-to-date, trendy looks that rival anything big-city salons turn out.

Owned by Bill Shortall and Michael Patrick, Oliver Michaels Salon just celebrated three years of business on April 1. Both stylists worked at another salon in the area but decided to branch out on their own to bring Easton clientele a more modern, urban approach to cosmetology.

“We were both fairly new to the industry,” says Bill, “but we shared an artistic vision that we could only fulfill if we went out on our own.”

The move required remodeling a space that was once a doctor’s office. Soft pastels and carpeting were immediately discarded in favor of a dramatic black, red and silver color scheme. Angled doorways, geometric mirrors and bold artwork complete the hip, urban image.

Bill admits the prospect of going into business was intimidating. “When doing something out of the ordinary, you never know how people are going to react to it,” he says. “It’s proven to do very well and our clients love it.”

“We’ve had people come in from out of town and compare us to salons in the city,” he adds.

Despite the economy, business for Oliver Michaels has increased exponentially. What started with both owners and one nail technician providing services now supports an employee base of 13. Last year, Bill had to stop accepting new clients because he was booked months in advance.

What keeps Oliver Michaels’ stylists on the cutting edge, is the salon’s commitment to continued education. Oliver Michaels frequently hosts cutting and coloring classes for staff members as well as for stylists from other salons. Bringing in educators from New York to Atlanta provides a broader global aspect of hair styling including new trends and up-to-date styles and colors. Additionally, Bill runs contests, sending his stylists to a New York studio for classes.

“We really have a lot of fresh talent here,” says Bill. “My stylists have the creativity to rock it out.”

Ultimately, clients want to know they can trust their stylist to make them look their best. “We are extremely honest with our clients about what is going to look good on them with their face shape, coloring, etc.,” says Bill. “People want to have a fresh style and to know when they go somewhere they can get good advice.”

Using state-of-the-art technology, Oliver Michaels Salon employs the use of Climazons, color processors that ensure hair color processes evenly and consistently. Some clients had never seen these expensive contraptions before, but the investment is well worth the results Bill assures. “We do everything we can to accommodate our clients.”

A full-service salon, Oliver Michaels offers all the traditional hair, makeup and nail services as well as aesthetician services including facials, waxing and air brush tanning through Skin Studio, which operates out of the salon. The most recent addition is massage services. Bill says he would like to expand the salon to include a complete physical and aesthetic wellness spa and full-service salon. That is a couple years down the line, however.

For more information about Oliver Michaels Salon services, or to make an appointment, call 410-770-5400.