Melissa Taylor, never planned to open a salon—until someone presented her with an opportunity she just could not refuse. Since 2011, the Mizani brand ambassador, and owner of Beauty Lounge hair salon in Minneapolis, Taylor has transformed Beauty Lounge into one of Minneapolis’s premier hair salons that specializes in absolutely everything—and we mean everything.
Taylor got her start in the hair world braiding and coloring her doll’s hair with makeup when she was just a toddler. Although she always had a passion for hair care and styling, she decided to attend a traditional four-year college with hopes of making it in the corporate world. Once Taylor graduated and made her way to the corporate sector, however, she quickly realized it wasn’t the career path for her. Not exactly sure what to do next, she packed up and moved from Tucker, Georgia to Minneapolis, MN, and begin attending hair school while she worked full time.
After graduating from hair school, Taylor promptly quit her corporate job and began working as a hairstylist full time. Just one week later, the owner of the salon decided to sell her business and no longer had any need for the salon space. Taylor—who had just started working as a full-time hairdresser the week before—decided to take over the location.
“Looking back, it probably wasn’t the greatest idea,” she confesses. “I think it made my entrepreneurship path a little harder than it needed to be, but I actually learned a lot of really valuable lessons along the way just kind of jumping into it feet first.”
Since its opening in 2011, Beauty Lounge has established itself as a welcoming and inclusive hair salon that specializes in all hair types and textures.
While Taylor has always strived to to be inclusive to all hair types and textures, she is happy to see the hair industry following suit and embracing all hair textures.
“Texture is the future. I think that there are a lot of people who are closet curlies. People who have texture to their hair and we had no idea they had texture because they just became comfortable wearing their texture,” she says. “And now there are a lot of brands and spaces that are texture specific. People who are not open to learning about texture, are going to be missing out in the next two to five years.”
Beauty Lounge remained at its original location on 20 University Avenue for three years before relocating to its current location inside an old warehouse in the arts district of northeast Minneapolis. While Beauty Lounge is equipped with all of the trappings of a regular hair salon and chicly decorated to match the industrial warehouse, her priority it to make her clients feel comfortable at her salon more than anything else.
“My biggest thing for the space was just for it to feel welcoming and inviting. I’ve found that in my space because we have such an interesting cross-section of clientele—we have corporate people sit in our chairs, we have artists that sit in our chairs—people really take a lot away from their salon experience,” she says proudly. “Members of the LGBTQ community will feel welcome, anybody from any walk of life. Kids, grandmas, whoever it is feels welcome.”
Taylor’s wide range of services reflects the inclusive nature of her salon. While Taylor suggests everyone begin with a Beauty Lounge Cut ($45+), there are several other services to choose from including the Beauty Lounge Sleek ($60+), all over color ($85+), dimensional color ($85+), and keratin treatments ($230+).
Taylor knows that many women avoid getting a hair cut like the plague, but she has some advice for anyone who thinks skipping one trim is no big deal.
“You have to get your hair trimmed. I know it’s scary for a lot of people, people say they’re growing their hair out and ask, ‘I want my hair to be longer, why should I cut it?’ But everybody needs a trim on a schedule. Don’t get a trim when your hair is unmanageable and you can’t comb through the ends. Get a trim every 10 weeks and you’ll never need a trim,” she explains.
The Beauty Lounge also offers several braid and extension services including sew-in extensions ($130+), fusion extensions ($250), and crochet braids ($100+).
When Taylor began looking to stock her salon with products, she wanted to work with brands that carry products for every hair type and texture. Taylor started stocking her salon with Mizani products long before she had a working relationship with the brand. In fact, it was Taylor who reached out to Mizani to begin their collaboration.
“I’ve always used the [Mizani] products in salon, but when I would go to distributors and ask questions, nobody was able to answer my questions. So I thought, obviously there needs to be some type of educator in my area and the distributors and salons in the area need more education on how to use the products,” she explains.
As for her best selling products, Taylor recommends Mizani’s new True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Gel for a flawless wash-and-go and Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk because it works for all hair types and textures.
Beauty Lounge is located at 1224 Quincy St, Minneapolis, MN. To book an appointment, call (612) 227-9363. You can also book online by visiting www.mplsbeautylounge.com.