Beauty

Our Favorite LA Salon Is Coming To A City Near You

Spoke&Weal

Spoke & Weal salon's cult following and swift expansion across the country testify to the effectiveness of of co-founder Jon Reyman's dry-cutting technique. So is his ability to somehow style my unruly mass of mane into something manageable. The man works miracles. Working to evolve the salon industry's traditional methodology of cutting hair while wet, Reyman and team are going against the grain and cutting hair while dry, as it falls. Which he feels is just a more logical, evolved way of cutting. Spoke & Weal cuts often take less than 45 minutes and Reyman is upfront about how he trains his team not to act as a client's therapist, but to give them 'the best haircut of their life.' Which, as I sort of mentioned above, is the truth. I had a chance to connect with him, while he chopped into my previously untamable locks, about his approach, the current expansion into new markets and how they've grown such a dedicated clientele. Read on for our discussion, below.

You started Spoke & Weal in San Francisco. Who is your clientele there, and why that city to start?

San Francisco was a good jumping-off point. We opened fresh without any roots or name in a city that none of us lived in. Christy Dylo, our master stylist and trainer, moved from Minneapolis on faith that we could do what I said we could. This happened pretty quickly. We did not, and have not, done "studies" or SWAT analysis. Its been more a Field of Dreams situation: if we build it, they will come.

I first heard about Spoke + Weal through a few influencer friends in the wellness space. What is it about the brand that is attracting so many beauty and wellness influencers, especially in Los Angeles? How does this ‘insider favorite’ status take form in other markets?

We don't “go after people” we let our work speak for itself. We want guests who genuinely want to see us and appreciate our work. I think our relaxed relationships (meaning no formal trade or sponsorships), but definitely appreciating the support influencers and social media provides for spreading our work and the word, helps create more intimate relationships with all our guests and especially those who have established themselves as influencers. We work hard to make it easy for people.

We are also not celebrity-driven. We just want to do excellent work for people who want it. We always want to understand our success and exposure comes from our talent and drive and not from a once-removed resource. Our attitude is try us, if you love us great, if you love another place better, great, we want you to be happy.

We are the go-to for people who are looking for alternatives in every market we are in.

Tell us about your dry cutting technique? Why haven’t other salons been doing this? Is this part of why you think you’ve been able to so successfully enter other markets

We believe wet haircutting is antiquated and inferior. I can spend fifteen minutes cutting hair dry and it will be better than a four hour wet haircut. Better meaning, the length and density of hair is managed more carefully, clearly and refined. Hair will be softer and more modern looking.

Wet cutting is the least important part of the haircut. It’s the gross-moves part. The initial chopping of the block. The actual refinement and definition takes place in the dry cutting.

Other salons have been trained under older methods. They are stuck in the past cutting small sections and blunt lines. They cut length to manage density (enter heavy layers). Cutting dry we can cut blunt lines, layers, manage length and density more perfectly.

Yes, we are successful because we give better haircuts in less time. Our haircuts “grow in” not out, they last longer. We have created a language that is simple, that helps us deliver what our guests are asking for. We are driven by giving guests the best haircuts in the world.

You started Spoke + Weal after working for years as a master trainer at Aveda. How have you woven clean beauty into your own brand and how are you still working with Aveda products?

We use Aveda in our salons. We want natural eco-concious products that still deliver the results we are looking for. We want performance, results, and environmental awareness to be embedded in our services.

As the ‘talent’ how have you so successfully been able to map out this beautiful growth strategy? Did you find and MBA to help you on a consulting basis, or take on a co-founder who has grown brands in the past?

I do not want to be the most important person in the room. The business is not built on my success but built on the success of the team and our ability to collaborate. We have created clear cutting, color, styling, and culture systems. We stay flexible and strong. I surround myself with people who are capable. My business partners compliment me, and one another, perfectly. Our master team members and educators, Dell Miller, Lindsay Victoria, Jay Braff to name a few have contributed in ways we would have a hard time quantifying. Building Spoke & Weal has always and will continue to depend on the entire teams commitment and sacrifice.

Does technique remain the same, regardless of place, or are your stylists taking different approaches in places like Los Angeles and Nashville, or New York and Chicago?

Everyone is trained on and required to master our techniques. How they use these is up to their individual creative process and consultation. Our pro’s have brands within our brand. We believe the diversity of what we offer, and our collaborative culture, makes us collectively the technically-strongest salon in the world. We are enormously committed to culture. We fail forward. We are constantly striving to challenge ourselves and each other. We communicate clearly and invest heavily in protecting and cultivating our culture. This is what our company retreats and monthly meetings are about. In our organization, culture is everything. Hence our mission.

For those without a Spoke + weal in their city yet, how do you advise customers ensure their stylists are taking the best care of their hair and giving them the best cut possible?

I would ask if the hairdresser is able to cut dry. Find a hairdresser that has committed to continued education. Communicate clearly and bring in pictures. We hope to be in your city soon!


Our Favorite Crystal-infused Beauty Products This Summer

Crystal Beauty Products

Holistic beauty has birthed a new luxury beauty trend that we've been all about this summer: crystal infused serums, oils and luxurious balms. While 2017 had seen an uptick in the use of jade rollers for massaging serums into the face, 2018 has gone full-on, with pieces of crystal included in and infused into products to imbue the user with healing properties. While no clinical trials back up claims of crystal healing, there are long traditions of using gemstones in beauty rituals for a variety of purposes. This new category of ‘crystal luxe’ beauty is growing with a set of up-and-coming indie product lines and major retailer releases. Below are some of the names to watch:

Los Angeles based, natural luxury skincare line Odacite, founded by Valerie Grandury, introduced its first crystal product on June 15, a Co-Q10 lip serum with a green aventurine roller applicator (ed. note: this is one of my absolute favorite new products out there - I am obsessed). Grandury, who remembers her French grandmother saying that she could not sleep without the calming energy of a piece of magnesite on her nightstand, has been a lifelong devotee of the power of crystals. Green aventurine, Grandury suggests, is ‘known to be the luckiest of all crystals. Healers believe that aventurine has the power to absorb electromagnetic pollution created by computers and cell phones, helping you sleep better and wake up with newfound energy.’

It’s not just the luxury-wellness frontier of Los Angeles that is hopping on the crystal bandwagon. Growing natural beauty retailer The Detox Market just launched an exclusive rollout of crystal-infused Nazan Schnapp products on May 15 that lasts through the summer throughout all North America locations. The Zurich-based Nazan Schnapp line has used gemstones as ingredients in its products since the company’s 2011 launch. A Sublime Hydrating Treatment Essence is made with rose quartz, intended to encourage ‘a natural renewal process’ of the skin, and a Regenerating Blue Clay Iris Amethyst & Peony mask uses amethyst for its ‘calming effect’.

More approachable brands are getting in on crystal-infused product, too.  Pacifica released an entire crystal collection called the Crystal Collection in March, available to purchase at Ulta.com, with a range of products containing powdered gemstones, including a Crystal Primer that contains powdered rose quartz and a Crystal Foam face wash that contains rose crystal extracts. Cult beauty brand Glossier’s crystal infused Haloscope highlighter regularly sells out. The most popular color? Quartz, naturally.

Juice Beauty's Founder is SF's Original Health Hacker

Juice Beauty has been popping up in the news a LOT recently due to the launch of its glorious new makeup line and new creative director, Gwyneth Paltrow. I first tried it after writing a story for Well + Good on celeb-backed wellness companies, and am now completely hooked. The colors are so rich, the textures luxurious and the ingredients are as clean as it gets. The brains behind the Bay Area-based operation is brilliant founder and CEO Karen Behnke.

Here is Karen's take on the best in the Bay and how she stays well when traveling:

How long have you been in the Bay Area?

I moved to Marin right after graduating from college in 1980 for about 5 years, then moved to San Francisco for about 15 years living on Telegraph Hill and then the Marina, then back to Marin for the last 16 years. I love the entire Bay Area but San Francisco and Marin County are my two favorite spots. When I arrived from the Midwest, I was astounded at how the Bay Area reinforced living a healthy lifestyle and loved the amazing micro-climates and that one could pick the temperature of where to live!! There are so many special things about the Bay Area including access to the city, the coast, the mountains, the wine country and Marin County hiking, biking and running in the hills.

I understand you're based in San Rafael. What are your favorite healthy haunts in the Marin area and in San Francisco?

Juice Beauty’s sustainable office is in San Rafael and my family lives in nearby San Anselmo. I am completely in love with the Marin hills and open space preserves that are adjacent to our house and go for hundreds of miles stretching to the coast. Waterfalls, Mt. Tamalpais, trails, lakes, the ocean, wildlife—it’s a fitness paradise for hiking, running, and mountain biking. You can usually find my husband and me on Bald Hill, Phoenix Lake trails or Yolanda trails in the open space preserve. The outdoor recreational areas are definitely my favorites spots In Marin.

For dining, we like to eat locally at San Anselmo’s Insalata’s and Phil Lesh from Grateful Dead's Terrapin Restaurant on the Canal in San Rafael. Of course most of the time you can find me at one of the multiple Marin or SF Whole Foods’ salad bars eating organic salads. I also love San Francisco’s The Market at 10th and Market Street which is a very hip place to eat and hang out at all the various purveyors of local food.

Any favorite spas in the area?

Ha—I will again, be patronizing spas someday but given running our high growth Juice Beauty business and that my husband and I have two very active teenagers at home, I don’t have much time; however, I receive regular facials from Juice Beauty’s amazing field team that service our Bay Area Retailers including amazing events at Credo Beauty on Fillmore Street and in our ULTA Beauty stores; and I visit Rancho La Puerta in Mexico as much as I can (a Juice Beauty retailer). My favorite home spa treatment is, of course, our Full Strength Green Apple Peel for a powerful facial exfoliation. Juice Beauty uses a massage service for our office who I also have at our house as often as I remember to book her.

Where do you take out of town guests?

We generally take guests on hikes on the open space trails next to our house. We then head up to Sonoma’s Ramsgate—a beautiful winery experience owned by one of Juice Beauty’s original investors where you can have a picnic prepared to relax and take time to breathe in the fresh air and beautiful vineyard views; then we head to Sonoma Square and visit another Juice Beauty investor’s winery, Three Sticks Adobe—a stunningly beautifully restored adobe original built in 1842. Both wineries have amazing wines to taste. Of course the Sonoma Square is fun to roam around.

Then back to Marin and the best way to get to the city is to hop on the ferry for a day in San Francisco to dine or exercise. My favorite fitness trek is to run from the Marina Green to the Golden Gate Bridge looping through the Presidio and back. If you don’t mind grabbing food in a sweaty state—it’s a short, but often foggy, walk to Chestnut Street for an organic tea latte at Peet’s where you can sit inside sipping organic tea next to the living green wall.

Where do you go to recharge? 

Anywhere in Italy and preferably Lake Como but most likely our house in Marin County. Our house is such a relaxing retreat with panoramic views of the Bay Area.

What does an ideal weekend look like?

Well, preferably I have somehow knocked off all my zillions of Juice Beauty emails then…the best case is that various teenage friends of our son or daughter are at our house Friday night. We’re fortunate that our kids have terrific and nice friends and we love it when our house is filled with activity and the need for lots of food.

Saturday morning is for cooking for our daughter's soccer team that may have slept over and then running in the hills with my husband ending with a dip in our salt water, solar powered lap pool and hot tub. Saturday nights are with friends cooking organic food or dining out and Sundays are generally filled with following one of our kids’ mountain biking competitions.

When you're traveling, what products do you take in your carry-on?

On the airplane I use Juice Beauty's Hydrating Mist constantly to keep refreshed on the plane, our Organic Lip Moisturizer for dry lips and our Green Apple Age Defy Hand Cream as I try to wash my hands every time I get up. The best way to get off the plane looking fabulous is after at least 10-20 minutes with our Stem Cellular Instant Algae Eye Lift treatment. You’ll get off the plane looking refreshed and lifted!!

Do you have an airport routine when you're traveling through SFO? 

Grabbing a protein/almond coconut smoothie from the Plant Café in Terminal 2 or often an organic tea latte from Peet’s. I don’t think I’ve ever had enough time to check out a lounge at SFO!!

When on the road, do you have any hotel room rituals to make it more relaxing or like home?

Well, I can’t make it through the day without getting up in the morning to workout. I only stay in hotels that have great workout centers, healthful food and windows that actually open so I can get real air circulation. When the kids were younger, my husband always set up Skype sessions (including special appearances by our Labradoodle) but I can’t say that as teenagers, we get them in front of the computer much. I think I better start Facetiming at this point because I like to see their faces!!

Any particular habits or tips for eating healthfully on the road?

Try to have an organic bag of nuts in your purse just in case hunger hits and it will help avoid gorging on sweets! Always, always start the day with your workout as you might never get to it later in the day, followed by a healthful breakfast and drink enough water that you feel like your eyeballs are floating so your skin stays hydrated!

 

Have you tried any of Karen's favorite Bay Area spots? Let's hear about it in the comments below!