Mandy Zelinka // Hairstylist

Portland || Seattle

Fall Make-Overs

Fall Make-Overs













Wendy, age 50

“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

― Maya Angelou

There’s no denying that there is a lot of emotion and self-esteem tied up in women’s appearances.

Typically I talk with the client about their lifestyle and maintenance requirements before formulating a plan. I am very much into subtle but impactful make-overs. For me the *wow* factor comes when I am able to really showcase someone’s already beautiful personality by enhancing it – not by showing them their endless flaws with an complete overhaul. I don’t want people to lose their identity while they are in my chair, I want them to build upon the good stuff that is already there.

I also keep word-of-mouth marketing at the root of most everything I do – If I make you feel good about yourself you are going to want all of your friends to come to me as well. And if I have empowered you, then I feel better!

Skin tone and wrinkles also play a part in the direction I choose. Dark shades against aging skin can be add years depending on who it is. One of my main focuses as a hairstylist is keeping people look as youthful as possible for as long as possible. Conversely, hair that is too light can add years as well.

Overwhelmed yet?

Hormones change as we age and women tend to lose hair right along with their male counterparts. A thick head of hair keeps you looking youthful – but what do you do if you don’t have those thick tresses any longer? For finer hair types a blunt shape creates a strong line which gives the appearance of thicker hair. Color also can be used to create dimension and give the appearance of denser hair. It’s really a case-by-case basis. So really, at the end of the day, you just need a good hairstylist to keep your look fresh and youthful. (And doesn’t my client Wendy shown above look like she’s having a blast?)


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Liz, age 31

Liz has been having a rough go of it. Off work due to a wrist injury, her hair was looking as tired as she felt about her predicament. A big hair transformation can be the spark that leads to real life change – there’s substantial power in the added self esteem boost. I vibed Liz out to see just how up for that change she was, and Liz was indeed ready.

I’m not instantly compelled to chop a person’s locks off, but judging from her Instagram photos I felt like she could use some length removed. She also seemed hella cool and I really wanted her hair to embody that. I wanted to lighten her dark natural color a bit to add enough warmth to bring out the pink in her cheeks as well as showcase better her adorable freckles!

Liz’s lifestyle is very low maintenance, so I kept that at the forefront of our time together. I made sure not to lighten her color too far from her natural so that she wouldn’t have to refresh her color often. The baby hilites I did are hidden within the bangs and sides of her hair for added dimension, and to alleviate grow-out as well. And her cut will easily be air-dryed and still look fly. I think we did good here – I have already witnessed her smiling in pictures again.  Job well done!

Lisa Hill PR

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Lisa, age 50

I was blown away by Lisa when I met her in person; youthful, energetic, cute as hell – I was surprised only because I didn’t catch that from her above bio picture on her company page. I immediately wanted to transform her hair into something that was as youthful and cool as she was.

I started by cutting the perimeter shorter. Spending your 5th decade with a youthful profile should be advertised! I was able to do this by adjusting the weight she had at the nape. Lisa actually has quite a full head of hair which is great for keeping her looking younger. By tweaking the length a bit and adjusting the layers I was able to really accent the nape of her neck for a sexier, more youthful profile. I then added dimension by weaving 3 different blondes into her hair. I did this instead of an all over base color because I want there to be a bit of a shadow at her roots. Depending on the client, a full base re-touch can be ageing, and even though we didn’t entirely cover her greys it will still keep her looking younger with a darker base. We opted for air-drying to bring out her natural texture. Lisa now looks as spunky as she is!

The Oregonian // Makeover Freshens Hair, Makeup and Clothes for Spring: Your Personal Stylist

The Oregonian // Makeover Freshens Hair, Makeup and Clothes for Spring: Your Personal Stylist

oregonlive-dahlstyle (20160311)





I had no doubt in my mind that KEVIN.MURPHY coming out with a color line would be one of the the best things that ever happened in my 18 year hair career. My work behind the chair was transformed when Felicity Blake sashayed into my salon shlepping his product line almost a decade ago; but I have to admit I didn’t expect it to be THIS good.

Admittedly, I have always had a problem formulating reds, and frankly, I had pretty much given up, which is very unlike me. I don’t tend to let things rule me, but I had so much trouble over the years I had grown tired of redos and had taken to motivating clients that sought out that color to go to one of my trusty co-workers. So you can imagine how astonished I was when I nailed not one but TWO absolutely stunning copper reds in ONE WEEK with this color line.

Alright Kevin. You got me. But let’s see how your color performs on absolutely thrashed hair with the most uneven porosity I have seen in all my years of working behind the chair. I brought in my darling client Addie (I had never colored her hair before – only trims. Her mom being a former stylist who has worked her kitchen hair magic on Addie over the years with bleach and 30 volume root to end.) I hilited the 2 foot long virgin hair on the underneath with 30 volume and HL 108, mashing the hair into one foil. MASHING. This is typically not something I would do, but I legitimately wanted to see how far I could push this color. Throughout the top I foiled root to end a level 8, 9, and 10 neutral – just waiting to see if it picked up a green base, gold base, or left splotch marks. (I had NO training in this color line – I picked up a bunch of shades and went for it. I wanted to see what happened should I go for it with no training in the color line. I wanted to see just how good Kevin made this stuff.) In my experience with Goldwell I would have expected a muddy color having not pre-filled the hair, hot roots on the underneath with the Hilift and just a myriad of problems. Goldwell, even their neutrals, love to pull gold, and the reds, well, they tend to have a mind of their own. Needless to say, I was full on expecting I was heading to redo-ville. But like I said, I wanted to see what this bad boy can do.


Let’s start with the hilift on the two feet of hair on the underneath.

There is no way in hell this color should have been the same tone root to end after processing. But it was. I told Addie’s mom. ‘I am good at color, don’t get me wrong, but this stuff makes me look like a goddamn genius!” This color had transformed my hilighting brush into a literal magic wand – and I want to wave it on everyone I meet now. After 18 years of working behind the chair I am excited about doing hair again.

So the top portion. How did that go?

Even again; root to end. Not only was it even, but it was shiny as all get out. Every single person I have had the opportunity to put this color on has left asking, ‘Is something wrong with my color? You are staring at me.” To which I respond, “I’m sorry. I am just so astounded by this color line. Your hair was dry and not reflecting shine when you came in and now your thrashed blonde is soft, shiny, and absolutely stunning.”

And don’t even get me started on the chocolate browns – so yummy I want to take a bite out of them. Straight up chocolate with no overriding red tones. Just delicious.

Now I am a goddamn genius. Thanks Kev. You’ve saved my hair career yet again. XO, MZ



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