When you find something you’re passionate about, you stick with it—that’s what Darren Wood has done throughout his career. Whether it’s as a mentor for stylists or a coach for high school football, Wood has a passion for developing people, which is something that’s only grown stronger in his role as owner of Ensemble Salon in West Linn, Oregon.
If you’re looking for a salon that cares about every person that walks through the door and where you can get any hair service under the sun, it might be time to give Ensemble Salon a call. Looking to learn more? You’ll want to keep reading.
In the hair industry, it’s not uncommon to find people from all backgrounds and walks of life. After receiving degrees in management and finance, Wood worked for a real estate development company before making his way into the hair world.
“I grew up in a household with a teacher and a football coach. For me, my passion has always been helping and developing people because that’s what I grew up around,” Wood says. “Managing projects wasn’t the same for me as working with people. I got in a long conversation with a friend from high school and his wife, who had been in the industry for 10 years...We got together and talked about taking over an existing salon, and that was the way Ensemble began.”
Three months later, Ensemble Salon was up and running. However, the business wasn’t always the thriving, eclectic salon it is today.
“We quickly found out that the company was bankrupt and falling apart. We were faced with a decision…Do we keep grinding away and make it work, or do we fold up shop?” Wood says. “We decided to make it work, and we basically turned the whole thing around.”
At the end of the day, the risk to keep Ensemble Salon going paid off. The salon has only grown since it acquired the space more than eight years ago.
Ensemble Salon is all about the client experience, which is why it partnered with L'Oréal for its Salon Emotion program.
“Salon Emotion is L'Oréal’s program to help people understand the emotional journey of the client as they go through their visit and we took a lot of the design elements from that program...Everything from our lounge area to our shampoo bar experience is based around it,” Wood says.
Wood replaced the old-school finishes and red walls from the previous salon with simple and modern design elements.
“We took what we envisioned L'Oréal’s style in the United States to look like, very simple with black, whites, and grays, clean-looking, and professional,” Wood says.
According to Wood, if it’s hair, Ensemble Salon can do it.
“One of the things that is incredibly special about our company is that we have a lot of different people that fit and function together extremely well. So we’re able to meet the needs of a lot of different types of clients,” Wood says.
Ensemble’s stylists are skilled in everything from balayage to hair extensions to chemical relaxers. If there’s one service the salon has become known for over the past few years, however, it’s fashion color. Whether you’re looking to try bubblegum pink or pastel blue, it might be time to give Ensemble a call.
“Fashion color is no longer the thing that the high school girl does just because she wants to stand out...It’s really become a high-end art,” Wood says “I think as people in their 30s and 40s see what can be done with fashion colors, more of those artistic types of people that are able to get away with that in the workplace and love to go down that route.”
Looking to get your hair done at Ensemble? A women’s haircut and style starts at $41, while all over color starts at $60. A special occasion hairstyle will run you $54 or more, while dimensional color begins at $69. If you’re looking to try hair extensions, you’ll need to book a consultation.
Ensemble’s mission statement is “helping people to be the best version of themselves,” so it’s no surprise that they stock up on only the best quality products. Choosing the products that line the shelves of your salon can be challenging—but Ensemble has been committed to L'Oréal from the very beginning.
“The Portland community really cares about sustainability, what’s in their products, how it’s sourced, and these are all things we know we can stand behind with all the L'Oréal brands,” Wood explains. “We don’t have to worry about putting our integrity in jeopardy. Everything is based on quality.”
While Ensemble isn’t an exclusively L'Oréal salon, the stylists don’t need to stray too far outside of the brand to find products they love.
“Just like the difference in attitudes and backgrounds of our stylists, the products are also different. We use products from all across the board,” Wood says. “Whether it’s L'Oréal Professionnel or Pureology, stylists will find things that they love within those lines and get attached to them for a lot of different reasons.”
Ensemble Salon is located at 21120 Salamo Road, West Linn, OR. To book an appointment, call 503-650-6000 or submit an appointment request online at www.ensemblesalon.com. Follow the salon on Facebook and Instagram @ensemblesalon.