Messy Side Updo Tutorial

If you know me, there's no doubt that I have no problem striking up convo with a stranger or being extremely outgoing. Heck! I talk to fresh faces on a 45 minute rotation at the salon every day.

So why in the world has it taken me two years to make a video hair tutorial?


Now that I've crossed making my first vid off my career bucket list, I'm psyched to deliver a million more. I'm JUST getting started. I learned so much through this process: film during natural light- duh, don't say "like", slowww down and practice prior. But I can only get better from here, so get excited.

I hope you learned a new fun and super simple style to incorporate in your hair routine. Let me know know what you think!

What tutorials would you like to see next?



Women Who Rock // Megan Robertson

Meet Megan! This babe balances owning a business, being a hairdresser, wife, and as of this week- MOM! Megan took the leap to move across the country and open a salon in her happy place of Boulder, Colorado. She's a total go getter, amazing listener, and I can honestly say I've NEVER witnessed her have a single diva moment. (Which I of course envy because I'm crazy.) Z

Name:  Megan Robertson

Passions/ Occupations:  I've always had a passion in the creative arts.  As a former dancer I loved the creative side; Choreography.  Wanting more to my career than just dance I went to hair school and fell in love with creating beauty through hair.  I was able to combine the two while working for Van Michael Salons as their hair show choreographer.  A big creation came into my life over two years ago when I ventured into opening my very own Aveda Salon alongside my mom.  My occupation currently is a hairstylist / business owner. I'm loving the journey!

What success means to you: Success is when you find yourself making a living by doing something you love.  With this in place you never work a day in your life.

Something you're inspired by:  People that take risks and have powerful positive attitudes.

Something you're proud of:  My salon, Zinke Knoebel!


A piece of advice:  Go after your dreams, if they don't scare you they are not big enough.

Favorite quote: "Leap and a net will appear"

To be continually inspiried by Megan and gather hair tips, follow their blog and like them on facebook!


Growing Pains

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 9.42.30 PM Many of my clients have been with me for years, a handful fly in from other time zones, or drive from two states away. Most of my clients have become my closest friends. I've been with a few from their first date to their wedding day. I've been trusted to listen to their most personal stories, and some of them have listened to mine.

I've been struggling with the best problem an independent gal can have, being too busy. But while this is a "good problem" to have, it's still an issue.

When I started at Thomas West Salon, I was working six days a week, and passing out free haircut cards to get busy. Fast forward almost four years, and I'm down to three days a week, while owning a bridal business, maintaining a pulse on this blog, and fulfilling my role in our family business. It's a lot, and I LOVE the juggling act, but I also understand how that affects my salon clients.

Thank you so so much to my loyal regular clients who have stuck by me even though my schedule is harder to get into. I love and appreciate every single one of our visits together! I am not naive to the fact that it was once easy to get in with me the same day, and now you're asking to be "squeezed in" sometime in the next two weeks. Thank you to those who are understanding, and proud of me.

To those who are frustrated with my schedule and not being able to get in right away, please remember that I am a person. A super hard working girl who does what I do because I adore it. If you can't get in with me TODAY, please recognize that as a good thing. If I was still that available after years of building a clientele, it would speak volumes of my talent. I do the best I can to accommodate everyone, and will continue to come in early and stay late when necessary.

Thank you x10


photo by Emilia Jane



If Chris Angel had invented a brush, it'd be this. YOU GUYS, this brush is seriously incredible.

The Wet Brush can glide through even the tangliest, (yeah tangliest is a word), of hair. If you have fine hair, damaged hair, lots of hair... this is your new best friend. I know a lot of you are product junkies and love adding tools to your toolbox... I, am not.

Everyone in the salon was buzzing about this "Wet Brush" and I wanted nothing to do with such a gimmicky tool with a less than creative name. But after about two weeks of hearing about it, I tried it.

First I tried it on my client at Thomas West Salon, and we were both "wtf"ing. She purchased it on the spot. Fast forward to the next morning, I tried it on myself. I have extensions and my hair isn't unmanageable, but I spend a few minutes combing through it. THIS TOOK SECONDS. So I, like my client, purchased it.

I'm telling you guys, it works and it's cheap. Also great for kids with tender little noggins.


Girl Time



A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to collaborate with two of my favorites to play hair and makeup! Shannon perfected the makeup, and Emilia made these everyday girls look and feel like professional models!

Thank you to my dear friends for spending a few hours out of your comfort zone for us, you're all stunning!

XO AJ P.S. More of these shoots to come! If you're interested in being a model and letting us play dress up with you, please use the contact page to leave me a note!

Shannon O'Brien

Emilia Jane


There’s something about the word change that ignites me all over. The way it begins and ends with this strength against your tongue as you say it. Cchhaannggee.

Change is a neat thing, because we all have our own relationship with it. Some people love change- encourage it! Others fear change- get nervous about it.

Personally, I think change is healthy and empowering. (So much that I have it tattooed on my body.) For me it brings newness, which I associate with feeling fresh and rebooted!

This time of year everyone feels a little blah. The holidays are long gone, but Spring is nowhere to be found, in the midwest our skin+hair=DRY. We’re searching all depths for some sort of pick-me-up.

Maybe that’s why all my clients are eager to chop their locks. Whatever the reason, for the first time in my 7 years doing this, it seems like EVERYONE is looking to go short. Typically, I’m ultra conservative with length, and ask a zillion questions before proceeding… “How long have you been thinking about this?” “Did you guys just break up?” etc… but lately, everyone who wants this refreshment has brought in a printed photo or pulled up their Pinterest, eager to invite the newness. In that case, say no more… lets do it!

If you’re looking for a fresh start, I say go for it! What’s really stopping you? Just let go, it’s liberating!

Your Stylist, AJ

(sorry sis! couldn’t resist using these photos!)