TheSalon markets to college students

Ivy Christianson

After traveling all across the United States, Joshua Duchene has finally decided to settle down.

Duchene, owner of TheSalon, 323 Main St., is originally an Iowa resident, growing up in Newton. He said he never really knew what he wanted to do professionally, and ended up hopping into the hair business on a whim.

“I ended up going to hair school, and the first time I walked in the school, it was okay, but I still didn’t know if it was for me,” said Duchene.

He eventually did decide that hair was his passion and graduated from La James Cosmetology School in Des Moines. After graduation, he began working with Michael O’Rourke at Sexy Hair, a national hair styling and hair products company.

Attending hair shows in big cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles had given Duchene the experience he needed to open his own salon. In starting his business, he worked with one of his head stylists, Liz Howe, to formulate construction design and financing plans.

All of his traveling has allowed him to research other salons to see what worked and didn’t work for each place. By doing this he was able to incorporate new technology and styles.

Duchene’s salon has what he calls “free-styling” hair dryers that extend down from the ceiling, allowing for easier styling. Not only that, but he has a color “bar” assigned specifically for clients receiving coloring treatments and a completely closed off area designed just for hair washing.

“I’d say everything we’ve done in here has set us apart from anyone in town,” said Duchene.

TheSalon offers a vast array of services. Hair cuts, updos, hair conditioning treatments and coloring make up the hair-related services. However, they also wax and are bringing in Smashbox Cosmetics with which they will hold make-up sessions and lessons.

Prices vary according to the service. Hair cuts and styles typically range from $20 to $40 for women, with men and children cuts costing slightly less. Hair coloring costs anywhere from $52 to $73, depending on whether it’s a full-color or simply highlights.

Duchene said the most popular waxing service is eyebrow waxing. For that particular service, new customers pay $18 for their first session, but after that they only pay $13.

Duchene and Howe chose the location on Main Street after looking at different spaces in the Campustown area.

“With parking hassles, we began looking at other locations throughout Ames,” he said. “We wanted a location where college kids could be a part of the community; we wanted to attract people up to Main Street to let them know there’s restaurants up here, and a cool hair salon.”

Duchene and team are looking forward to being involved with ISU students. Not only do they offer a 10 percent discount off hair cuts for students who come in with a student ID, but they also want to get involved with fashion departments and campus publications as well.

TheSalon is on a referral system, so if a student sends three of their friends in and tells TheSalon team they were referred by that student, that student can receive a discount.

“I know there’s a lot of salon choices in Ames, but I just believe that if they could just come up here and experience this, take a tour, give us a chance, I think they’d be very happy and find a great spot to get their hair done,” he said.

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