Lounge Act: Nevada City’s Hair Lounge is open for business
When just a small child, Dawnelle Casey had a Conair mirror suspended in her closet so that she could play beauty parlor at a moment’s notice.
She’d fantasize about curling and dying hair, and even taking appointments from her loyal — yet imaginary — clientele.
Casey’s determination to own her own hair salon has waned little since her childhood days. She opened The Hair Lounge nearly one year ago — on Oct. 1, to be precise — after months of diligent planning and extensive construction. The salon now resides in a storefront on Railroad Avenue in Nevada City.
Having grown up in Nevada County, Casey still is amazed that the salon she now calls her second residence was once home to Express Video, a VHS rental store she used to frequent in the 1980s and ‘90s. She’s transformed the place, with her taste for glamour and old-school antiques taking center stage.
Casey said she could not have opened her salon without the help of her two daughters and the community around her she lovingly calls her “tribe.”
“I can’t even begin to describe the amount of help I had from (everybody),” Casey said. “I had an incredible tribe help me raise my kids and they all came forward and helped me open the salon. It’s been so moving to have the support that I did come forward and say ‘yes, we believe in you. We see this dream also, let’s do it.’”
Casey said all of the hairdressers working in The Hair Lounge aren’t her staff. They are independent contractors working toward making their own dreams come true.
The Hair Lounge offers cuts, color, styling — pretty much anything a person could want to change their look. Casey had a brand-new barber chair installed and is currently seeking someone who may be able to put it to good use. Beginning Oct. 1, waxing services will be made available as well.
The salon serves complimentary beer and wine for those receiving services, and an upright piano is the centerpiece of the vintage décor.
Though she could easily have decked the space out in “bling” Casey decided to use the space to also pay homage to two important men in her life: her fiancee, Anthony, who works as a foreman for a steam fitting and rigging union in San Francisco (and who designed much of the space’s finishing touches) and her dad, the late chiropractor Michael Casey.
“He pulled me into his practice when I was a young child and allowed me to answer phones and book appointments,” Casey said. “He taught me everything I know about connecting with the individual in front of you and being grateful for the business. I thank him daily for everything he taught me. He was an incredible part of all of this.”
With 22 years experience in the hair business, and 17 spent as co-owner of another salon, Casey is ready to share her passion with those looking for a new ‘do in Nevada County.
“I am sole proprietor of the salon,” she said. “It is totally the epitome of what I have dreamed of ever since I was a little girl.”
The Hair Lounge is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 305 Railroad Avenue in Nevada City.
Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-477-4231.
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