With a name like Amanda Hair (yes, her last name is actually hair), it’s hard to imagine a career in anything other than salons. While she’s not an artist behind the chair, her management skills, leadership, and passion for the industry led her to become the owner of Bob Steele Salons and expand the business from a standalone space to a five salon franchise across the Atlanta Metro area.
During one of the most challenging times the salon industry (and the world) has ever had to face, Bob Steele Salons were some of the first salons to reopen. We spoke with Hair to learn more about Bob Steele Salons, including the salons’ history, services, and what she’s done to ensure a successful and safe reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hair had always loved the salon atmosphere—in fact, her break into the business came after being a client at Bob Steele Salon herself.
“I was in my stylist’s chair talking about doing something different, and I was considering possibly doing hair or something else. And my stylist was like, ‘Well, hold on, I think that something might be going on here,’” Hair says. “So she went back and talked to the owner of the salon at the time, who was Bob Steele, and he asked me if I would come in for an interview.”
Hair climbed the ladder from there, starting as a manager of the single Atlanta location in 2001. Then, Hair completely bought Bob Steele out after his retirement in 2009 and expanded the business to the five locations that are open today.
When it comes to her passion for the industry, Hair says she’s most driven to inspire and educate fellow women.
I’ve always loved the fun and youthfulness of the industry, but my main drive has always been women, Hair explains. I'm a woman, my company is 95 percent or more made up of women. I really enjoy seeing somebody coming fresh out of high school, going into cosmetology school or apprenticeship programs, and starting from the ground up, and then being able to provide for themselves and their family, too.
With the tagline “so chic,” you can imagine what you’re going to see when you walk through the doors of any Bob Steele location. As a self-proclaimed minimalist, Hair wanted to keep the look and feel of the salons simple and inviting. Each space features white walls with black, gold, and blush accents. The walls are lined with products from some of the L'Oréal professional division’s top brands, including Redken, Pureology, Kérastase, Mizani, and Baxter Of California.
Due to the pandemic, Center For Disease Control And Prevention guidelines have forced salons across the country to make changes to their spaces and how they run their businesses. When it came to creating a reopening strategy, however, Hair went above and beyond to ensure the safety of clients and a staff of over 100 stylists.
Knowing that clients and stylists might be hesitant to head back into salons. So, in addition to implementing safety protocols like sanitizing each station between clients and taking temperatures upon arrival, Hair partnered with a company called Synexis to install an air filtration system in every location.
“What the system does is it puts out dry hydrogen peroxide into the air, and that dry hydrogen peroxide kills airborne threats, Hair says. “That gave me a little bit of peace of mind because the well being of my team was number one. And then number two, you know, was that we need to make sure that our clients are feeling safe in the salon.”
Every salon has its niche, and Hair says that when clients head to Bob Steele Salons, the majority are booking color and haircut services.
Want to get a feel for Bob Steele’s prices before calling for an appointment? The team consists of Verge, Elite, and Luxe Level stylists, and the price of your service is determined by the level of your stylist. Verge level stylists must complete a graduate course to master their skills before becoming Elite, with Luxe being the highest level a Bob Steele stylist can achieve with years of experience in the industry.
“We have a very extensive education program that each and every one of our stylists goes through before they're on the floor...So they are trained on our methods for cutting, coloring, texture, styling, and any service that we provide,” Hair explains.
While these are unprecedented times, Hair wants clients to know that once you step into any Bob Steele Salon location, the staff will be dedicated to making your experience as normal as possible.
“Everything that we follow is within our core values, which are caring, community, continuous improvement, having fun, integrity, and celebrated, and every one of our stylists are going to listen to the needs of the client,” Hair says. “Especially during these times, we want to go above and beyond and make sure we’re taking care of the client.”
- Bob Steele Salon Atlanta is located at 4403 Northside Parkway, Suite 160
- The Marietta location is located at 2960 Shallowford Road, Suite 202
- The Alpharetta location is located at 2500 Old Milton Parkway, Suite 130
- The Smyrna location is located at 1265 West Spring Street, Suite C
- The Roswell location is located at 625 West Crossville Road, Suite 122