Yo Mandy! Why do your cuts last so long?
In my younger years I would sit in the salon and watch my older, more accomplished co-workers do hair. It was mesmerizing, and inspiring; until I watched my co-worker cut the crap out of a bob. It was the most beautifully executed bob I had ever seen since Vidal worked his scissor magic. I instantly became enraged. And jealous. And enraged some more. I did not like to be out-talented.
I immediately asked her where she obtained her mad skills. Her answer laid in the RUSK cutting technique – a condensed cutting technique that utilized the VIDAL SASSOON cutting methods, but instead of a three-hour shindig it was merely a 15 minute affair. I was hooked, and immediately signed up to learn.
I had no idea what was in store for me. I had heard rumblings of this Miss Tatjanna who was quite aggressive and intimidating; who if she didn’t kill you would make you stronger. I bended until I finally broke after three years under her tutelage, but I am forever grateful for that training as I will never require another cutting class ever again, and the technique is so valuable I have die hard loyal fans/clients as a result.
LEGEND HAS IT that Irvine Rusk was sitting on a plane trying to figure out how to take VIDAL SASSOON’s haircuts and get them to come in under the typical three hour time period it took to execute his cuts. On a cocktail napkin he came up with a method that utilizes unique texturizing shears to create continuity within the shape, being able to take much bigger sectioning on the initial cut. It also takes all of that 80’s style weight from the shape as well.
One of the many things that drew me to this method is that I was growing tired of watching haircutters on stage at hair shows haphazardly chopping at hair with razors with no regard to how that was going to translate into a live client in your chair, whose needs are far different from a model that signed up to get a free haircut. The other issue was that many companies come out with *cutting collections* every year, whereas RUSK had five techniques. Five techniques, and from henceforth you can create ANY haircut you see in ANYWHERE. I no longer had to be mad that I was getting out-cut by my co-workers, and going to work was a joy now that I had some real, tangible skills to work with. My hair game was forever changed; all of that training catapulted me into the hairstylist I am today.
The blood, sweat, and tears that I put into the masochistic training is also why I seek out the best. I was trained by an incredibly talented, passionate, verbally abusive German (oh man, sounds like my mom – who was also a hairstylist – ha!) that would not allow for anything less than the best; and I strive to be able to bring that same passion and steadfastness, less the abuse, to you.
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Mandy Zelinka, hairstylist
YEARS IN THE HAIR BUSINESS: 18
Mandy Zelinka is the former First Lady of Milwaukie and former Digital Marketing Manager for KEVIN.MURPHY International. She also owned 77, one of the largest award-winning salons in Portland, Oregon.
A native of close-in Portland, Ms. Zelinka graduated from nationally acclaimed Mt. Hood School of Hair Design. Ms. Zelinka immediately went on to apprentice with renowned colorist, and NAHA Award Winner DeannaLynn Teal, studying the intense theory of hair color, using Goldwell Color. Under her watchful eye Ms. Zelinka was able to learn a multitude of coloring techniques, many of which she still uses today.
Her cutting training lies in having been a Rusk Designer, studying under Global Artist Tatjanna Czypionka. Ms. Zelinka has found Rusk techniques to be incredibly adaptable to all ranges of clients, providing a haircut that grows out extraordinarily, far surpassing any other technique. Rusk also allowed for travel working backstage at hair shows, flying out for training, and teaching on-location classes.
In 2004 Ms. Zelinka was given the incredible opportunity to start 77 with business partner Jessica Hedges. Together they grew it from an empty salon to be voted Portland’s Top Salon in 2007. Boasting 2,400 square feet, 77 is and was one of Portland’s largest and most prestigious salons, and has hosted classes given by the likes of John Sahag and Kevin Murphy.
2010 brought a career defining choice. Ms. Zelinka decided to retire from salon ownership. While making the right decisions for the salon, Ms. Zelinka felt her own personality and creativity has been stifled. Feeling that her creativity, personality, and drive is what makes her an incredible stylists, she decided to focus solely on working behind the chair, finding solace in a smaller, more intimate space. This is also where the 100k Hairstylist was born amidst a nasty recession.
In 2015 Ms. Zelinka ended her career working behind the chair at Ginger Salon, voted Portland’s Top Salon by Portland Monthly Magazine, Portland Fashion + Style Awards, and The Portland Mercury. Ginger is officially the first salon in North America, second in the world, to become a certified B corporation. B Corp certification is an independent, third-party assessment of a company’s business practices. It recognizes businesses that place as much value on taking care of their staff, the community and the environment as they do on growing and operating their business. It is to sustainable business as Fair Trade Certification is to coffee, or LEED is to buildings. Ms. Zelinka now runs THE ZELINKA AGENCY, educates for the COLOR.ME by KEVIN.MURPHY color line, and freelances.
MANDY ZELINKA, proprietress
Most people find themselves in Beauty School as a way to sidestep a traditional college education, so it’s no surprise that all of Ms. Zelinka’s business knowledge is self-taught. She dropped out at her second stint at University when enrolled in an online marketing class after having already put together a website and was utilizing it to promote her hair work. This was in 2000, which put her far ahead of her competition. She then went on to own and run one of the biggest most prestigious salons in the profitable zip code of Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District.
She was also one of the first in her industry to adopt Social Media as part of the marketing mix, utilizing this as on online PR tool. This spring boarded her into a career with Global Haircare company KEVIN.MURPHY. In her first six weeks on the job the www.LoveKevinMurphy.com blog, which she ran, shut down after it’s re-launch because of an overwhelming amount of traffic. The site simply crumbled under the weight of visitors, and was up and running again in 24 hours.
Australian CEO Peter McDonald, Kevin Murphy
Yes. That is Miss J from America’s Next Top Model!
Australian CEO Peter McDonald, Kevin Murphy, Luis Murphy
Photos by Mandy Zelinka
Read more from MSFW:
Initially posted in 2011
“Beauty is beauty. No matter who is wearing it.” -Kevin Murphy
“In May 2011, Andrej’s magazine cover for the New York-based magazine Dossier Journal – in which he is pictured taking off his shirt with his long blond locks in curlers – was ruled too risque by US bookstores Barnes & Noble and Borders, which covered the image with an opaque sleeve. Concerns were expressed that customers would mistake him for a topless woman.” – Theage.com.au
Why do you think people are so drawn to Andrej?
I think the androgynous thing is the last unexplored taboo in the last twenty years. When I was young it was all the rage for men to have long hair, wear makeup… there was the unisex movement and glam rock. Now it seems the divide between men and women has widened with the advent of the metro sexual. Andrej is a very unique person – he is one of a kind, he does not try and be feminine he just has the face and skin of a beautiful woman . That is very compelling. Because he is himself, he has never tried to be anybody but himself and that come through in his pictures.
When did you first see him [model], when were you first able to work with him?
I can’t remember, but he has been around for a few years – maybe 3 or 4 years.
In your approach to working with him, where do you start with that? (i.e. – the clothing, male vs. female look, etc. I assume the approach closely resembles any other shoot you do…..?)
In the shoot I took my reference to a band called Cheap Trick. The lead singer to that band (like many new wave bands of the late seventies and early eighties) always had pretty singers that were male and lots of the time they were sort of wearing women’s clothes, or looked like they were – and they wore makeup. I wanted to do this with Andrej make him look like he was in a band and show that he is a beautiful man.
And how does the androgyny change your approach?
It does not change my approach at all. Beauty is beauty no matter who is wearing it.