Longtime stylist with new home says listening is key to beautiful hair

Published 7:36 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Stylist Tina Falor says it’s not just about the hair; it’s about the whole body, mind and soul. “Everybody has a story, and I try to be very in-tune with listening to people,” she says.

She recently moved her salon — Reflections —  from McGrath Street, where she operated for the last six years, to a brand new location on Hustonville Road.

Before that, she owned Escape on Broadway.

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The move was quite the undertaking, she says, but she was ready for a permanent home.

“This is a dream come true for me. I’ve never had new stuff, or a team of people who see things the way I see them — they have the same vision I do,” she says.

Falor has been a stylist since she graduated in 1983. After doing a six-month apprenticeship for the former Lexington department store, McAlpins, “I’ve been on my own, pretty much, since then.”

And she soaked all she could up from other experienced stylists at the time — trendsetters, they were called. Those stylists she looked up to, when she was straight out of beauty school, had waiting lists for their services and a loyal following — and the passion for working with people that Falor says rubbed off on her, too.

Photos by Bobbie Curd
Stylist Tina Falor, right, poses with client Lisa Morrow for an after-picture.

“I really do learn from people. Everybody has a story, and I try to be very in-tune to listening,” she says. As a hairdresser, you learn to figure people out on a certain level as soon as you see them, Falor says; she can tell if someone’s high- or low-maintenance, usually as soon as they walk through her door.

“But in seeing all of this, I have to listen to what you say to me, too, so I can provide a service just for them.” Falor stops and rubs her arms, laughs a bit. “It gives me cold chills just to talk about it. It’s my passion, I love what I do.”

And it shows. It’s hard to find her without a wide smile across her face, and her enthusiasm is infectious.

On Saturday, Falor was working on Pam Taylor’s hair. She consults with her first, over what would work best with her face shape, how much time she wants to put into styling her hair daily and other information she says is critical to giving people what they want.

Falor says honesty is imperative; if someone comes in with a photo of a style they want but she knows it won’t work on them for one reason or another, she will tell them, “I can give you this cut, but it’s not going to look like this on you …”

Falor talks about a seminar she listened to by a psychiatrist who only works with hairdressers. “He gave up his practice to only work with them, because he said he’d give his clients advice on what to do. When they came back, he’d ask them if they did what he said, and they’d say ‘No, my hairdresser told me that’s just the worst thing I could do.’”

Falor always finds it strange when she hears about stylists who won’t work with the elderly. “Oh my gosh, they’re my best clients. They get perms, colors, cuts,” she said — and she has a lineup of them with standing monthly appointments. She also keeps up with the latest trends and newest processes by continuing her education, attending hair shows and workshops.

Client Lisa Morrow comes in for her appointment; her hair has grown back after chemotherapy treatments. Morrow talks about what she’s gone through in her life, several life-changing events while also treating her own stage four cancer.

Falor works with many survivors. In the bathroom of the shop, there’s a photo of Falor and client Michelle Smothers — they both have shaved heads.

“She had to shave her head due to treatments. So before I did it, I let her shave mine.”

Photos by Bobbie Curd

Falor would like to do some work with some area women’s shelters and other organizations, in an attempt to give back to the community she says has given to her.

She has four new stylists who’ve joined the team at Reflections. “I’m so excited now, because we have someone who does airbrush makeup and facials, someone who’s experienced in hair restoration, waxing, lash extensions and microblading,” she says. Microblading is an eyebrow tattoo process which can last up to a year.

Falor says she doesn’t necessarily specialize in any one thing — she works with children, men — everyone on everything.

“The hardest part of my job? Hm …” Falor pauses for a second. “Difficult people, who you can’t please. Those who are demanding and never happy with what you give them. I’ve fired clients before. Just like servers, we are human beings, too. We’re here to please you, but if you can’t be pleased …”

She has to think on any hair horror stories; luckily, she hasn’t had many. Falor tells of one client, many years ago who came in for color.

“We always did a blonde on her. I put the color on and looked over after 10 minutes — her hair was almost ashy black,” Falor says. After the fact, they figured out it was due to a medical procedure the client had recently underwent.

“There are things that people don’t really think to tell their hair person, but they should,” she says. Such as if they’ve been through any surgical procedure, changed their medicines, etc. She says depending on what other services you are getting, it can change the outcome of your hair appointment.

“She was there with me all day long. I won’t let anyone leave unless they are 100 percent happy.”