“Hair brings one’s self-image into focus; it is vanity’s proving ground. Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices.” – Shana Alexander
A new haircut may be the fastest way to alter our appearance, and if we look back at some of the most pivotal moments of our lives, our haircuts seem to carry their own sub-plot to our whole story. (I can see an old photo and know practically which month of which year the photo was taken based on hairstyle alone.)
Hair is personal, and thats why finding a salon and stylist that suits you is so important. A few years ago, fliers began popping up all over town for Eskandalo! - cut + paste style, with images of coy pinup girls winking at me. If ads sell business, I was already sold. But my first visit to Eskandalo! proved even more than my rock n’ roll heart could handle: vintage barber chairs reupholstered with leopard print, orange walls covered with framed art, and hands down the cutest, sassiest staff around. (I’m still convinced it’s a prerequisite that you have to be quite attractive to work there.)
There is much to say about Eskandalo! and it’s owner, Alison Leigh – so check back for a feature in the near future. A shop this cool could seem intimidating, but the stylists quickly become friends and it’s almost disappointing when your haircut is finished. Who would ever want to leave?
Today, I’m highlighting the work of the stylist I was lucky enough to have on my first walk-in, Ashley Matlock. She’s sweet as strawberry pie, and incredibly talented. (She didn’t even bat an eyelash to years ago when I decided I wanted to have pink hair since I never lived out that dream in high school, even if I was 24.) As with the rest of the staff”s work, I’m always blown away when I see what new style and color Ashley has done next. And if, at the end of this post, you find yourself feeling less-than-impressed with your current look, book an appointment. You deserve to feel hot, and Eskandalo! and Ashley will deliver. “Hot” is what they do best!
Please sit back in your chair and enjoy a chat with stylist Ashley Matlock.
You work at one of the coolest salon’s around. How did you get the job at Eskandalo? (It’s because you’re cute and have tattoos, right?)
Wellll, maybe being cute has something to do with it! Haha. But really I found out about Eskandalo through a mutual friend of Alison and I. And mind you, this was the first time I was ever even in Bethlehem. I had no idea where I was, or where I was even going! As soon as I walked in, I knew that this is where I wanted my first job to be. Good people, great music, and lots of learning – that’s what I got from Eskandalo right away.
Where did you get your education?
I went to school at The Vision Paul Mitchell Academy. I loved every minute of it! School is always difficut the first time for anyone, especially something like cutting and coloring hair, because the last thing you want is to give someone with 13 inches of hair a “chemical haircut” bleaching out and have them look like Pink or something, haha. I had some of the most wonderful teachers, and met some of the most awesome people, ever.
When did you know you’d want to do hair for a living?
Some time in high school. I actually wanted to go to college to become a physical therapist. I don’t know how I even passed high school, haha. I worked at a salon in New Jersey when I realized that’s what I wanted to do. Making people happy is a pretty amazing feeling. To us ladies, hair is the one thing we’d love to be perfect every single day.
Do you remember giving your first really great haircut to someone?
The first haircut I did that could have gone better was my first clipper cut. The clippers we had barely cut the hair, and it kind of just ripped it out! So other than me yanking on his head for almost an hour, I cut it up so high he only really had bangs left. He said he didn’t mind, but I saw in his eyes that he wanted to throw my sciossors right away.
But, my first “woo-hoo!” haircut was in the shop. I cut about 10 inches off someones hair, and this was their first time coming to me, she was pretty pumped. Next time she came back she brought me flowers and thanked me with a huge hug. That was a pretty great feeling. (Thanks Liz!)
What was one of the best customers you ever had?
Well, the flowers were nice. Just people that thank you a hundred times and you catch them looking at themselves in their car mirros when they leave. They’re the best! It’s all about being thankful and seeing you in the next 6 – 8 weeks. That’s awesome. I do love the people that come in and have one color idea and possibly a hair cut, then I take it from there and try to make it the best they’ve ever had. Or some lady named Jaime K, who’s just the sweetest little thing, ever!
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Aww, shucks…)
Who is your ideal client? What are some of your favorite things to do (style of cut, colors you like, etc..)
I love to cut and color. I’ve learned so much in the last two years, and I’m trying to learn more. Bright colors and blondes! I love to do them both. So bring in your manic panic and let me go to town!
What are the most difficult and alternately, most rewarding parts of your job?
The most difficult thing for me is not coming down on myself when something isn’t totally right. Everyone makes mistakes and I’m still kind of fresh. The most rewarding is being told that something I did was awesome by the other girls in the shop. I’ve taken it all in from them and try to do the best I possibly can. They’re all huge influences on me and I love them all!
What is something about being a stylist that other people wouldn’t know?
We’re not all mean people that want to cut all your hair off if you make us a little uneasy! I heard that from someone the other day when she thought she was being difficult. I laughed at her a little for saying that, and I think that made her feel worse! I promise not to make you look like crazy cat lady when you leave my chair!
Do you have any advice for someone thinking about becoming a stylist?
Do it! It’s so much fun. I love meeting new people everday and seeing people come back. Learning something new everyday is also something I love. Everyone does everything different and you can be your own person doing it.
Why should people choose Eskandalo!?
Eskandalo is one of the best places in the Valley. It’s got so much to offer. We’re getting bigger each month, and it’s fantastic. We’re a bunch of friendly people wanting to make you happy! We care about your hair. Oh, and we are a whole lot of pretty girls in one room! OW ow owww!
- Location: 12 W. Fourth St.
- South Side Bethlehem, PA
- Sunday + Monday: Noon – 6:00pm
- Tuesday – Friday: 9:00am – 9:00pm
- Saturday: 10:00am – 7:00pm
- Phone: 610-625-9100
Stay updated with Ashley and Eskandalo! on FACEBOOK to learn about product sales, discount days, and to see what fun things the shop is doing (or what music they’re playing!) that day: Eskandalo! on Facebook
Go here to see the salon’s WEBSITE: Eskandalo Hair