January 2012

A Good Hair Day: Now That's KARMA

Author: Debbie Szpanka | Photographer: Photography by Anne

For many years, it has been Danielle Keasling’s dream to own her own salon. She had a location, a lease, her love of doing hair and a lunch date with karma.

In November, Danielle met her husband Jeff at Captain Woody’s Bar & Grill in downtown Bluffton to discuss her new location on Hilton Head Island. After lunch, they both noticed an industrial, urban-chic building caddy-corner to where they were eating. Danielle told her husband that building was exactly what she envisioned for her salon.

The rest is karmic history.

She knocked on the window and asked the man inside if he could get her in touch with the owner. He said she was speaking with him. She asked if she could rent the building for her new business, Salon Karma. Fast forward to early January, and Danielle is opening her new salon.

“The space is exactly what I wanted to recreate. Why recreate it when it is staring you in the face?” Keasling said. “I tried for three years to open my own salon, and then in a few months, I got exactly what I wanted as everything just fell into place.

“I listen to my clients all day long as I do their hair, and they have made me wiser. I realize through their stories that you can’t control life’s events; you just got to let them happen,” Keasling said. “And if it’s happening, you have to just go with it.” A 13-year veteran of the salon industry, Keasling is continually striving to be on the fashion frontlines. In the past decades, Keasling has attended special schools and obtained certifications such as Matrix, Logics color, Redken, and Pivot Point International. Keasling also travels to other salons to educate stylists about Matrix color and CRAFT techniques. She is also one of the only stylists from coastal South Carolina to Atlanta who is certified in hair extension systems with Great Lengths International, USA Hair Extension systems and Balmain human hair extension systems.

“Great Lengths is the Rolls Royce of hair extensions,” Keasling said. “The trend of hair extensions is exploding in this area. Women love how they can change their hair like they can change their clothes without the commitment or the scare of not liking it,” Keasling said.

“I have expanded the line to add in clip-in bangs, wigs and hairpieces,” Keasling said “I want women to have any look they want as well as to help women who are going through cancer treatments and want to have their hair back without waiting months for it to grow naturally.”

Linda Papa, a mother of two and grandmother of six, is a client and has recently experimented with hair extensions. She said she loves her new modern day Rapunzel-like locks.

“Danielle is not a hairdresser; she’s an artist,” Papa said. “She attached many different shades of extensions in my hair and blended them together. Everywhere I go people say something about my hair. The other day, my granddaughter was performing her ballroom dancing and someone couldn’t believe I was the grandmother.”

Clients have many questions about extensions, however, Keasling said, it’s all pretty simple. “Hair extensions are to hair as cosmetics are to skin,” she explained. “As with makeup, it is different things to different people; it can add volume, length and thickness. It all depends on what the client wants or needs.” The cost varies according to the application, ranging from $450-$3,000, and the extensions last anywhere from two to five months.

Keasling applies the extensions through both thermal and cold fusion techniques. She loves the Great Lengths brand because it is made from human hair. Great Lengths International also developed and patented the first synthesized keratin bond polymer. That bond is considered the best among hairdressers because it gives the extensions the ability to expand and contract with the client’s natural hair.

Keasling is continually on the cutting -edge of her profession as she learns, competes and experiments with new trends, all for the cause of style. That’s why Maggie Washo, the editor of CH2 said she is a personal and professional client. Washo said her extensions probably added six inches to her natural look.

“I am getting so many compliments about my hair, and yet no one has said ‘those must be extensions,’” Washo said.

Keasling is entering Washo’s before and after pictures into a national contest among hairdressers called the Great Lengths Challenge. Check out Keasling’s submissions at greatlenthschallenge.com. You can vote online for your favorite style transformation through January 31. Celebrity judges include Steven Tyler, rock and roll legend; Ted Gibson, hairstylist of the television show, What Not to Wear; and Kim Vo, co-host of the show, Shear Genius.

“Danielle has an innate sense of style,” Washo said. “We’ve worked with her on photo shoots for four out of the five years we have been in publishing. She has a great personality, she is easy to work with and she is artistically inspired. She can make everyone look great.”

A self-proclaimed workaholic, Keasling said she absolutely loves her job.

Mark your calendars for Salon Karma’s Grand Opening party, Thursday, February 2 from 5:30-8 p.m. so you can meet Keasling and discuss how good hair karma can come your way.

At press time we learned that Danielle’s entry of Christine Smith into the Socialite category made the finals!

Help her win by voting! To vote go to www.greatlengthschallenge.com. First you will need to register. The Register button is in the top left corner; you will receive a confirmation email and you can use that link to log in the first time.

After logging in(top right hand button) go to Judges Nominees.

Click on Socialite #283, middle row far right.

Click on the main picture to make it full screen, below the picture is a vote button. (This is the ONLY vote button that works!)

You can vote everyday between now and January 31.

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