Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Falling Leaves...Falling Strands?

Robin Wright
Are you feeling like a change with your hair as the weather outside shifts to cooler temps and stronger winds? With the season changing and leaves falling it is always a good time to inspire a new look for the cooler months. From cuts to colors, layers or waves there is something for everyone in the latest fall hair trends. See which one works for you!

The Pixie with Fringe - Its time to accentuate your best feature...your face! Take this edgy cut to the next step...take it from edgy and funky to sophisticated with side-swept bangs like Robin Wright.

Sarah Paulson
The Angled Bob - Take it to the chin with this fall bob with a center part. Keep it sleek and straight with a little texture at the tips. This is a perfect look for someone who wants to make a change from long locks without going all the way to the Pixie style. 

Jessica Alba


The Long Lob - This long choppy layered look works for so many types of people and styles. Stay warm with a little more length and play with waves and texture to keep it fresh, fun, and casual while still looking pulled together.

Mermaid Waves -I know we can't all look like Gisele but maybe we can aim for mimicking her cool beachy mermaid waves. For those of you who want to keep your length or spend your fall and winter growing out your locks try this flowy light weight style. Bring a little "beachy vibe" with you even in the cooler seasons. 

Click here for more details on these looks and others as well as styling tips.

Are you looking for some new color this season? Check out the 10 best hair colors for Fall 2014! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Where Were You A Year Ago??

Story of the Month

Entry View - Before
I truly cannot believe that it has been a year since I opened the doors to Swans Studios in Old Oakland. As I celebrate the one year anniversary of my business, I am humbly aware this business would not be possible without the support and loyalty of my clients, friends, family, and community. I feel it is always important to pause when arriving at milestones such as this one and soak in all the positives!  Life can surprise us at times.

Entry View - After

One day you are walking along and you see an opportunity and the next thing you know you have taken a new risk and made some sort of dramatic change and you've arrived at where you had always wanted to be, but perhaps you had taken the long way around to get there. I'm so excited to celebrate this milestone and can't wait to see what the future years will bring for me at Swans Studios.

My new work space
Building Swans Studios was a whirlwind and certainly not something I had planned on doing a year ago, but walking along and finding this space right under my nose (literally) was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. After signing the lease on August 14th, I had a lot of work to do before the space was ready for me to have clients there, but after sixteen years of owning my previous salons, I knew the who, what, why, when, where and how to get it done; so as you may know I did. 

Our welcome area

Here are some gallery pictures to show the before and gives me a lot of appreciation for all the people that helped with the renovations and upgrades! Like I said, I could not have done this without you, my trusted community and clients. Thank you so much for your continued support!

My "before" hair

Hair Queen News 

Along with Swans Studios growing and thriving...I did some growing of my own, my hair that is! For the first time in quite a few years I decided to grow out my hair. I'm very excited about my long, short haircut and it is fun to have some locks and length on my head. It will be fun to style my hair for the holidays with a curl or two….

My "after" hair

It is not too soon for you to be thinking about holiday hair.  Are you ready for a change, a little fall color, maybe some texture?  Let’s talk the next time you are in the chair. Visit to book your next appointment!

Runs Businesses With Scissors

Swans Studios didn't just happen overnight, but almost! I used all my past industry experiences to successfully build Swans Studios from the ground up. My years in the trenches taught me a lot about the who, what, why, when, where and how to get it done.

In the salon industry, boutique salons are all the rage and for me, at this juncture in my career, it made sense to adopt this model for my latest venture.  I love having my studio associates as colleagues and I love having my privacy. With this business model I am able to serve my salon clients and my consulting clients in one location; it makes good mental, spiritual, creative, and financial sense.

Are you ready for your next move?  If so, I am at your service. I would love to apply my years of experience in helping you transition to a new space if that is the next step in your business. For more information check out the website and my blog at I look forward to helping you find your new business path this fall.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Right Tools Make All the Difference

HairQueen News

Before I rush off for some R&R on vacation, I wanted to let you all know about a really exciting retail rewards program that I’ve started at Swan's Studios. For every $100 you spend on salon retail product, you will receive $5.00 off your next purchase. I firmly believe in the products that I carry in my salon. These products include Framesi Color Lover products, Framesi BY and Crew styling products, and more. 

BY  Framesi - Refined in both formulation and presentation, BY Framesi products are the perfect combination of a search for the most exclusive look and targeted hair care treatment. Click here for more information on the BY product line. 

Framesi Color Lover is a highly protective line of shampoos and conditioners, formulated to combat fading and prolong cosmetic coloring, deeply moisturizing, to keep the hair feeling soft, shiny, and radiant. Effectively specific to give the best result on every type of color-treated hair: fine (Color Lover Volumizing), coarse (Color Lover Moisture Rich ), curly (Color Lover Curl) or straight (Color Lover Smooth Shine).

American Crew - my great men's hair product line. Click here for more information. 
Kendra - dandruff shampoo, clarifying shampoo, dry shampoo
Framesi ID - click here for more information on these great styling products.

Please let me know the next time you are in the salon if you need to restock on any product or feel you need to try something new. I’d be happy to make a recommendation.

Story of the Month - Product Diversion

There is a very important issue happening in the hair industry currently and I think as a business
consultant and hair stylist it is important for me to educate my clients on what product diversion is and how it impacts you as a consumer and me as a hairstylist.

What exactly is product diversion? 
By definition, diversion is when products designed and meant for exclusive distribution at a specific store end up on the shelves of an unintended store. In terms of the beauty industry, diversion occurs when professional salon products like Matrix or American Crew are sold at non-salon locations.

Is product diversion illegal?
Unfortunately, no. There are breaches in contracts between manufacturers and distributors as a result of the diversion, but a vendor cannot demand the removal of their product from an unauthorized store.

How do I spot diverted products?
The next time you are at your local retail store, look at the labels of the products in the “Professional Hair Care” section. Products that have the phrase “for sale in professional salons only” or “guaranteed only when purchased in a salon” have been diverted. Any professional product you find outside of a salon is diverted and thus not guaranteed to be at the same level of quality as those found in the salon.

Why should I care about product diversion?
Diverted professional products are obtained through the “gray” or “black” market. In many instances these products have been found to be old, counterfeit, or containing harmful bacteria. These products may not be safe to use and are not guaranteed by the manufacturer.

Aren’t the products at the store cheaper than at my salon?
This is a common misconception. Diverted products tend to go through many channels during the black market process. In the end, this makes the prices higher and allows the diverters to make more money. Sometimes the product can cost up to twice as much as you would pay in a salon! For example:
            Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum
                     Manufacturer suggested retail price: $16.95
                     Mass retail price:                               $28.99

Why not make hair-care products available everywhere?
Professional salon products have been specially developed for your individual hair type. These products need recommendations by a professional stylist who has been trained to do so. Your stylist can make educated product recommendations for your specific situation and show you exactly how to use it. You can’t find this expert advice in a drug store.

How can I help fight against diversion?
Buy professional hair-care products ONLY at your salon. Make sure your support goes to companies that are part of the solution, not part of the problem. Purchase non-diverted lines as opposed to heavily diverted products.

For more information on product diversion click here. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Lovin'

Story of the Month 

I'm so excited for Swans Studios very own Tim Piper for being named one of the Best of the Bay Barbers! Check out page 97 in the San Francisco Magazine Best of the Bay issue! Tim is known for his amazing ability to re-create classic looks as well as giving clients the royal treatment. I'm so excited and proud of our amazing Swans Studios team!


Hair Queen News

With so many people coming and going on vacation I wanted to remind everyone of a few easy summer hair care tips to keep your locks looking great by the pool, on the beach, or being active on a bike ride or hike.

Summer Hair Care Tips
  • Wear a cute hat or cap to protect your hair and scalp from too much sun.
  • Let your hair air dry instead of a heated hair dryer.
  • Put a little conditioner and water in a spray bottle and wet your hair before getting into the pool to help your hair absorb less chlorine or salt water.
  • Use leave in conditioner on the ends of your hair after shampooing to keep moisture in.
  • Rinse your hair with COLD water to make your hair shinier! (yup, COLD! brrr!)
  • Use a chlorine-removing shampoo after swimming in a chlorinated pool  
  • Get your hair trimmed every 6 weeks to promote growth and to keep the ends healthy.
  • Drink water often to keep yourself hydrated — when you drink enough water, your hair looks its best. So make sure you don’t let yourself feel thirsty. That’s a sure sign you need a few glasses of water!

Runs Businesses With Scissors

Whether you are a business owner, a hard working professional, or an even harder working parent, vacation is always essential to take a mental break from the day-to-day. Taking “down time” nurtures creativity and brings your mind, body, and soul back into alignment to really come back and attack your business, career, and family with the positivity that is necessary. Check out this great article that highlights the health benefits of taking vacation and stepping away from work.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Let's Hear it For the Boys!

Story of the Month - Men's Hair 

Last month I honored my mum and my salon client mom’s, so this month it is only fitting that this month I share with you something very important to me…hairstyling men! Actually, I want to answer a question I get so often from both male and female clients, which is, “What is the difference between a barber and a hairstylist? And which one should I (my husband/boyfriend) go to?”

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether to go to a barber or to a salon and see a hairstylist. Here is a quick breakdown to help you in this tricky decision.

You should go to a barber if: 

  •  you want a short, traditional cut (i.e. buzz cut, flat top, fade, military style trim)
  • you’re on a budget, barbers are typically less expensive than hairstylists
  • you want a simple style that doesn’t require a lot of product, has a natural look
  • you want a shave…most upscale barbers offer hot lather face shaves
  • you don’t want a change, barbers will typically ask what you want and provide you that same service each time

You should go to a salon/hairstylist if: 

  • you're going longer, stylist have more experience cutting and styling longer men’s hair
  • you want color, typically barbers don’t provide any coloring services
  • you're looking for a more fashion forward style, hairstylists tend to stay up on the latest trends more so than barbers
  • you want a change. During the consultation, a stylist will often make suggestions for a style that will flatter your features better.
  • you need/want product. Salons frequently carry a greater selection of hairstyling products than barbershops. Stylists are more likely to be well-trained on the types and use of the products as well.

Of course, these are generalized bullets and don’t apply to each and every situation, but these guidelines should be able to help you or your male counterpart in deciding the best place to go to get the best look for you/them. If you are looking for a hairstylist, I’m very skilled in cutting and styling male hair so please let me know if you have a friend or male partner who would like to make an appointment.

Hair Queen News

Some of you may not know about my experience with styling and coloring mens hair but I've had several male clients for several years, some over 20 years. They are a great group of men and I'm proud and honored they continue to trust me with their hair. Here are a few gentlemen that were kind enough to send me testimonials to share with you.

"Suzanne's the only one who gets it right every time.  When once or twice I snuck behind her back to another chair, it looked like Holy Heck* less than three weeks later!” ~Chuck Rosene

“I have been a client of Suzanne's since her daughter was a little girl. Ottilia has now graduated from college.  My hair has changed in the passing years, but Suzanne's talent with cut and color has kept me looking great.” ~ Dirk Epperson

"For nearly twenty years now, I have had confidence in how my hair looks.  I know I can trust Suzanne to handle my cut and color with both subtlety and style" ~ John Russo (pictured right)

Cheers to the men out there especially my Dad clients! Happy Father's Day to all! 

Runs Businesses with Scissors 

May was graduation month and it got me thinking about education and how time and time again, it has been my commitment to educate and improve both my business knowhow and my skills in the art of hairdressing that reignited my passion and confidence time and time again.

For business improvement and success I worked with salon industry coaches and consultants. Their advice and guidance challenged me and helped me make smart, informed business decisions.  On the creative side I have attended numerous advanced classes at hair shows and academies here and abroad. Finding the time to commit to education and making the financial commitment has paid off immeasurably for my career and business.

Last year my coach and I worked on my plan for my boutique salons in the Swans Market.  Our vision was for me to have a studio where I could see both my hair clients and my consulting clients in a comfortable environment. What is your latest vision for your business?  I would love to help you make your dreams come to true.  Do you want to grow your business, downsize, or diversify?

Let’s make a plan together. Please visit my website or email me directly at