Holly Armes didn’t know she wanted to be a hair stylist until her senior year of high school.
“Nothing I wanted to do was fitting in,” she said. “I was completely up in the air. But for prom, she helped a lot of her friends with their updos and special styling.
“Then my stepmom sat me down, and showed me how much money I could have made on prom day if I’d been doing hair professionally,” she smiled.
Next stop: Beauty school. And she’s been a stylist for 19 years.
“I’m a hair nerd,” Holly said. “I’m passionate about what I do, and every day is fun. Holly is a specialist in hair extensions, which she says can make dramatic changes for her clients.
“Extensions are super gentle. They don’t harm your natural hair. But they can completely change your look. And for some people that means a whole new level of confidence—they can have the hair they’ve always wanted,” she said.
Holly works closely with each client, stressing communications. “It’s a dance,” she said. “You have to listen carefully, and help the client interpret what she really wants. Even if we have pictures, we still have to talk, because we want hair to work and look great every day. That requires understanding the client and her life.”
Her favorite part of the business? “How you can make somebody’s day,” she said.
She once had a long-term client who moved to Michigan. The cosmetologist in Michigan didn’t believe the client when she told her Holly had permed her hair—she believed it was naturally curly. “How did you do it?” the Michigan salon asked.
Ultimately, the client moved back to Tennessee. She immediately found Holly to do her hair again.
“We don’t do perms anymore, because there are so many other styling options,” Holly said. “But it was very flattering that my client felt so good about her experience with me that I was one of the first people she called when she came back.”
“But that’s the way you should feel about your hair. It should make you feel good, and getting your hair styled should be a fun time.”