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3 Inspiring (And Heartwarming) Stories from Pro Stylists

3 Inspiring (And Heartwarming) Stories from Pro Stylists

We asked a group of virtuoso stylists for their most memorable hair transformation stories. Their tales are rich with the kind of inspiration that just may spark your next beauty self- discovery!

When you visit your favorite salon…

...what is it you’re really searching for?

You might be tempted to say “I need a trim” or “I’m looking to try out a new color.”

But when you get right down to it, the salon experience is about one thing:


Of course, you know how much you’ve put into your own hairstyle over the years.

All that time, effort, creativity...and sometimes, literal blood, sweat, and tears!

But the pride and self-esteem that a transformed hairstyle can provide is nothing short of miraculous.

It’s sheer bliss…


“Sometimes, a new style is all it takes to unlock the beauty that’s always been inside you!”

And no one understands that feeling quite like a professional stylist.

After all, they perform hundreds of hairstyles a year…

...which means every single day, they have the chance to bask in the joy and reborn confidence of a newly energized woman.

So, we asked a group of virtuoso stylists for their most memorable hair transformation stories.

Their tales are rich with the kind of inspiration that just may spark your next beauty self- discovery!


Kayley Olsson is a new face on the hairstyling scene, having recently completed her training at Capri College in Waterloo, Iowa.

But based on the story she shared, she’s going to rise to the ranks of top stylists in no time!

You see, last summer, Olsson found a very special 16-year-old client in her chair.

Class pictures were coming up, but this young lady wasn’t ready for them...or for anything.

She’d been suffering from intense depression for several years. “She felt so down and so worthless,” Olsson says, “she couldn’t even brush her hair.”

As a result, the teen’s head was a matted nest of knots, tangles, and dirt.

Her request to Olsson:  Just cut it all off.

But Olsson took a different approach.

“We tried everything we could to keep this child’s hair for her,” she says. “We just kept combing and combing and combing.”

Olsson’s style rescue effort took two days...a combined thirteen hours in the chair.

But at the end, under all that tangle, this teen found soft, gently wavy shoulder-length locks.

And what’s more...she found herself.

Olsson says the teen told her: “I will actually smile for my school’s pictures today. You made me feel like me again.”

“The smile a gorgeous new hairstyle puts on your face just can’t be faked!”

A new lease on happiness for a troubled teen...

...thanks to a stylist with skill, imagination, and patience...when her client needed it most.1


Over the course of their careers, hairstylists find people of all sizes, shapes, and personalities in their salon chairs.

But Kaylen Barker, a stylist in Charleston, West Virginia, will never forget one little client.

That day, Barker was asked to give a trim to a 4-year-old boy on the autism spectrum.

And for this young man, many parts of life we take for granted are a serious challenge… including haircuts.

He hated anything near his ears, and the buzzing of the clippers made him severely agitated.

But Barker saw this potentially taxing guest as a real opportunity.

She cut his hair not in the standard booster-seat chair...but on the floor, with the boy in her lap.

She took his inevitable screams in stride, and calmed him by chatting about Christmas and his favorite character, Dory from Finding Nemo (a special-needs individual herself).

And in the process, she made what could have been a frustrating ordeal for the boy into a positive and enriching experience.

 “There’s so many different types of people in the world...and they all benefit from a bit of hair TLC!”

The boy’s mother shared this heart-soaring story on Facebook, and people took notice… the tune of over 27,000 shares and over 95,000 likes!

But, if you ask Barker, her remarkable and insightful service was all in a day’s work.

“I am so honored and humbled,” she says, “to have received so much attention and recognition simply for doing my job.”2


Think back for a minute, and ask yourself:

What’s the furthest you’ve ever traveled to a salon?

A ten-minute drive?

A half-hour? order to achieve the hairstyle of their dreams, some women are going the extra mile...literally!

Gregorio Ruggeri is a celebrity stylist and colorist whose work has been seen in the pages of W, Allure, and Vanity Fair.3

His salon is based in New York...but his client list includes women from London, Paris, Zurich, South America, even Istanbul.

By his estimation, at least a fifth of Ruggeri’s clients need a passport to visit his salon…

...and some fly in for his hairstyling services every four to six weeks!

“Some women will travel the globe for a touch of runway-ready glamour!”

Of course, Ruggeri recognizes the effort these clients expend to see him...and he makes it worth their while.

He will commonly mix his hand-crafted color treatments for clients to take back to their countries for home styling use.

He’s also counseled stylists in other parts of the world on the best techniques for his guests.

“One client moved from New York to L.A.,” Ruggeri says, “so I packed up her color formulation, and gave her new salon step-by-step instructions.”

Now, you may not have the ability to hop an international flight to visit a hair salon…

...but a stylist like Ruggeri certainly makes you understand why women would be willing to book that ticket!4


So, when you look at the three stories these stylists shared...what do they all have in common?

In all three cases, it’s clear that what these stylists give their guests is about so much more than a chic new cut or a dash of fresh color.

It’s about creating peace of mind…a sense of comfort and security.

It’s about putting a new spring in your step...a smile back on your face...and joy in your heart.

And it’s about a sense of self-worth so powerful and’d cross an ocean just to savor that feeling.

These brilliant stylists all understand how a revitalized hairstyle can truly transform you.

And whether you’re visiting your favorite salon, or giving yourself an exciting new style at home…never forget:

YOU deserve that feeling, too.



  1. TodayShow. “Hairstylist Gives Teen Struggling with Depression an Amazing Makeover.”, Contributor,
  1. Endicott, Rebecca. “Little Boy With Autism Panics At The Barber's, Then Stylist Suddenly Drops To The Floor.”, LittleThings, 5 Jan. 2017,
  1. “Gregorio Ruggeri.” Salon Ruggeri,
  1. Pai, Deanna. “Meet the Women Willing to Travel Thousands of Miles for Perfect Hair.”Glamour, Glamour Magazine, 4 Jan. 2018,