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.
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
Mandy Zelinka, hairstylist
We understand that the right look is the uniform you wear into battle, and it better send the right message. We, just as much as you, don’t like being misunderstood. More importantly we want to make sure everybody has the opportunity to kill it, no matter the size of your assets.
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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.
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?)
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, 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!