THE SALON U MANAGEMENT TEAM
Salon U’s management team serves to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality products and services when visiting our salon, and our chairs are staffed with Alabama’s most talented top-level stylists so that our clients will achieve optimum satisfaction. Let it be Salon U’s pleasure to offer a most complete and unique range of salon/spa services in the greater Birmingham area.
Call Center Director • Joined in 2015 • Industry Professional since 2015
Alix is a radical, self-loving, vegan lifestyle enthusiast, and aspiring food truck owner. She is passionate about feeding loved ones and strangers alike with delicious food that will nourish the body and soul. She also enjoys spending time with her two dogs outdoors, staying active, and growing sunflowers. Since she joined the U team in February 2015, she has been most in awe by the air of positivity exuded by the staff, and the level of artistry that is present in their work.
Business Operations Specialist • Joined in 2015
Born and raised in Birmingham, Elizabeth joined the U after a career in management, and we have loved her since! She will strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger, and will leave with a best friend. She is most passionate about her relationships with people, especially children, and looks forward to summertime when she can volunteer at her favorite day camp – Sawyerville. When she's not at work, she can be found near a body of water, or watching Game of Thrones, Real Housewives, or The Walking Dead with her boyfriend, Sean.
Stylist • Joined in 2003 • Industry Professional since 1990
Leza Duncan transitioned into a new craft when she moved back home from Hawaii, where she was a professional photographer and makeup artist. Her exposure to photo shoots, interest in transformation through hair and makeup, and belief in the Aveda philosophy motivated her to experience a new direction. She joined Salon U when it first opened, and in the journey, has trained under Aveda makeup and hair artists and gained her cosmetology license as Salon U’s first apprentice.
Specialties: Color, Cut, Updos, Makeup, Facials and Skin Care
Stylist • Joined in 2005 • Industry Professional since 1999
After a soul-sucking career in the corporate world, Kristie was in desperate need of reviving. She has always had an flair for the arts, so a friend suggested that she hone her creative side with an apprenticeship in styling, thus launching her into a successful 15+ year career in the beauty industry. She loves the people and faces that she encounters on a day to day basis, and particularly enjoys working with curly hair and color. Just a visit with her will show you that she is a master of her craft, and she approaches fashion and life in a daring and unique way. Beyond styling, Kristie can be found spending time with her two children, Molly and Jack, traveling, or getting lost in a good book.
Stylist • Joined in 2005 • Industry Professional since 2005
Originally from Atlanta, Mandy has lived in Birmingham for over 20 years, and considers it home. She has always had a love of fashion, makeup, and art, so naturally she was drawn to a career where she could use all three! After joining the Salon U family in 2005, Mandy quickly became one of the salon's most in-demand stylists. Though she loves all facets of cutting and coloring, her favorite part of each day is interacting with her guests and coworkers. Aside from hair, her greatest passion is her family. Her husband Cal, and her two children Cami and Christian, have been absolute blessings in her life, and she would spend every moment with them if she could. Her other loves include her four cats, and her bunny!
Stylist• Joined in 2009 • Industry Professional since 2008
Christy is an artist. As a child, she created table art with a squeeze bottle of mustard- and now, she's one of Birmingham's most well-known artists. She has graced the cover of Black & White Magazine with her signature works, and can be seen annually at Magic City Art Connection, a downtown art festival. It was only fitting that she chose a career where her natural talent as an artist can be applied to changing the lives of every guest that sits in her chair. She has the ability to create multi-dimensional color in hair just as she does on canvas. She also loves to create short, creative cuts, and often invents a new way to style long hair. Once you meet her, you'll quickly see why "magical" is one of her favorite words
Specialties: Short women's cuts and blondes
Stylist • Joined in 2010 • Industry Professional since 1986
Doing hair has been a passion of mine since I was 5. I have spent my life playing with hair-from color to cut, straightening to curling, with every texture imaginable. Because of my extensive experience, continued education, proficiency in color cuts and trends and cuts, you’ll find that my level of expertise is second to none. My next goal is to become a licensed educator so I can pass on my gift and love for this industry.
Specialties: Natural Full Body Sugar Hair Removal, Natural Eyebrows, Razor cuts, Men’s Cuts, Custom Cuts (short haircuts and long layered cuts) Dimensional Color, Updos
Stylist • Joined in 2011 • Industry Professional since 1995
I have always had a passion for the salon industry. I love to create the juxtaposition between achieving a very feminine look through a short hair cut. While I specialize in short hair, I’ve had great success in helping clients transition from a short to a long hair style. I am good at what I do because I have a true passion for what I do.
Specialties: Color (especially reds), Long hair and Very Short Women’s Haircuts
Stylist • Joined in 2011 • Industry Professional since 2011
After sitting behind a desk in the corporate world, Kellye longed for more. She has always used singing and painting as her creative outlets until a friend, that happened to be a client of Salon U, suggested she ditch her corporate digs for an environment that could inspire the artist inside her. Not knowing it would change her career path forever, 6 months after she joined the team she became an Apprentice and is now one of our successful stylists! She excels in hair color, is a pro with Keratin Straightening Treatments, and can finish your look with a sculpted brow wax!
Stylist • Joined in 2012 • Industry Professional since 2009
Growing up in Tuscaloosa, Ryan craved opportunities to utilize his artistic side. His passion for creative and technical challenges drew him to the Aveda Institute in 2009, where he later became a color educator. Missing the limitless potential of the salon world, Ryan came to the U in 2012, and has been rocking it out as one of our top stylists ever since! He is a visionary with dimensional and customized color, but also excels in men's and women's cutting and styling. He will keep you ahead of the trends and at the top of your game! Outside of the salon, Ryan loves to stay active, ride his bike through the city, and work on his house. He also likes to spend quality time with his precious toy poodle, Rusty.
emily ann austin
Stylist • Joined in 2012 •Industry Professional since 2013
Growing up around her granddad's barber shop, Emily witnessed the joy and relationships that grew from something as simple as a haircut. From there, it became a lifelong dream to develop her future by serving others in the field of cosmetology. Emily received her training through Salon U's apprenticeship program, and loves that her craft is always evolving and expanding to reflect the most current trends in the industry. If you asked her what type of hair she enjoys working with the most, she couldn't choose, because she enjoys the creative challenge in each guest. Behind the chair is Emily's freedom to inspire, share, and create! Away from Salon U, you can find Emily working in her garden, enjoying the outdoors with her boxer Leroy, or trying to make the people around her laugh.
Specialties: Men's and Women's Cuts, Customized Hair Color, Highlights, Balayage, Hair Removal, Make-up, Chemical Straightening, Special Event Styling
Stylist • Joined in 2013 • Industry Professional since 2008
From the time she received her very first Barbie as a child, Alison began styling hair. Originally from Auburn, her thirst for the beauty industry would lead her to graduate the Paul Mitchell Academy, work for the World Renowned Van Michael Salons in Atlanta, and go on to attend a 4 month rigorous Makeup Certification in New York City. She loves every aspect of helping you feel beautiful. Alison spotted Salon U on a morning jog and stopped in the next day, and as they say….the rest is history. She spends lots of her free time at the beach and with her Scottish terrier, Charlie.
Stylist • Joined in 2014 • Industry Professional since 2005
Joshua began working as a freelance makeup artist in 2005, and attended the Aveda Institute, earning a degree in cosmetology and makeup design. He moved to New York City to advance his skills by working in a fashion-forward, fast paced environment. Joshua never strayed from his southern roots, and has succeeded in meshing his southern style with a sophisticated New York flair, bringing a unique and creative perspective to each and every client! He has styled for book covers, fashion shows, movies, two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets dance team, and a long list of faithful, devoted clients! Joshua is excited to continue his journey by returning home to Birmingham to share his unique approach of making you feel and look beyond your best, because "Everyday is your runway!"
Stylist • Joined in 2014 • Industry Professional since 1987
Michele Neely started at Salon U in January of 2014, but before settling in Birmingham, she lived all over the Midwest, including: Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio. With licenses in four states, and clients from all over the world, it's no wonder why we say that Michele "has her PhD. in hair!" She has had extensive training for over 25 years in color techniques, as well as Vidal Sassoon Hair Cutting and Master Barbering. In retrospect, Michele believes that her path to styling was inevitable; it was her calling. In her spare time, Michele finds delight in her three dogs, two children, and granddaughter. She enjoys knitting, gardening, and thrift store "treasure-hunting," as she calls it! To Michele, a perfect day would include walking her doggies, working in the yard, and laying by the pool with her husband having cocktails!
Stylist • Joined in 2015•Industry Professional since 2009
Hair is Paige's passion! After graduating from the Aveda Institute in Birmingham, she quickly began building a strong clientele. She is in love with Aveda products and color, and everything that the company stands for, as well as the ways that Aveda gives back to the community. She loves the creativity and freedom that she has in her career, and feels blessed to come to work every day . When not creating hair magic, Paige loves spending time with her growing family. Her house in Irondale is home to: one husband, Sam; two dogs, Zoe and Snacks; two cats, Izzie and Hurley; and in June, one brand spanking new baby! She cannot wait to meet you and to help you feel your most beautiful! Check out #hairbypaigegoodwin on Instagram to see her work!
Specialties: Blondes of all types, Updo's and Event Styling, Blowouts
Stylist • Joined in 2013 • Industry Professional since 2013
How does a guy holding a Biology/ Chemistry degree with a specialty in surgical procedures come to Salon U? Well, here's the short version... Chad was immersed in the medical field until a surgical injury interrupted his career. While taking time off to heal and for physical therapy, an old friend Issam Bajalia (salon U's owner), asked if he would like to come to the salon and help out on occasion to get him moving again. That invitation has now turned into a complete career change and focus for Chad as he entered our Apprenticeship Program in 2014. His WORLD FAMOUS shampoo massage has guests asking for him by name, even new guests to the salon! He loves the stress free change this new path has given him, and he's taking it to the top!
Stylist • Joined in 2016
Bio coming soon
Stylist • Joined in 2016, Industry Professional since 2015
Makayla has always known that she wanted to become a hairstylist, and after graduating from the Aveda Institute at the top of her class, she joined the family at Salon U. The finished result is the favorite part of any service, but she also loves to do color. Makayla craves education, and can often be found researching the latest techniques online, as well as taking continuing education classes. Her favorite food is Domino's pizza with ranch and Taco Bell. She also has five dogs that are the loves of her life: Hercules, Shadow, Bandit, Lulu, and Lucky.
Stylist • Joined in 2016, Industry Professional since 2009
Amanda started her love affair with hair in 2009, after careers in retail, art, and design. She excels in precision cuts, but also loves color technique. She values the friendships that she's made with her guests, and considers most of them family. Amanda has the most fun in the salon, but also enjoys gaming, art, and spending time with her family. She has two guinea pigs – Pistachio and Strawberry, and one cat named Capone. If you're looking for a stylist that you can have fun with, Amanda's the one!
Stylist • Joined in 2016 • Industry Professional since 2011
Originally from the capital of Persia, Tehran, Ella moved to the U.S. In 1994. After Ella's career path in corporate finance ran aground, she decided it was the perfect tie to chase her lifelong dream of being a part of the beauty industry. After attending cosmetology school in 2011, she joined Richard Joseph Salon and soon found herself being recognized for her singular talent. Today, she is part of the Salon U team, and continues to attend advanced classes to bring the latest technology to her guests at her new found home. Ella has the unique ability to make her guests' experiences more than just a typical haircut. She brings her skills to the table with undivided attention. Her goal is to ensure that every guest leaves her chair with confidence and a smile.
Specialties: Color and Highlights, Cut, Keratin
Stylist • Joined in 2016 • Industry Professional since 2013
When the Salon U team met Heather, it was love at first sight. Originally from Knoxville, she has been in the industry since 2013, and loves making her guests feel beautiful. Her favorite thing to do is updos and styling. When she's not in the salon, Heather can be found spending quality time with her cat, Meow Kitty, or wasting the day away outdoors.
Stylist • Joined in 2016 • Industry Professional since 1994
After graduating with a Fine Arts degree from Auburn University, Chuck took his deep understanding of color theory, and pursued his true passion - hair! He has a myriad of experience with all types of hair, and is licensed in multiple states - most recently working at a salon on the Upper East Side in New York City. Chuck is an expert at cuts with movement and dimension, and is a true hair artist. We are so proud to have him on our team.
Apprentice • Joined in 2014 • Industry Professional since 2014
What can be said about Taylor? Originally from Adger, Alabama, he worked for years as a Certified Hydraulic Technician, and spent his free time traveling with the rodeo. He applied for a Shampoo Tech position at Salon U on a whim, and once the stylists saw his cowboy boots and belt buckle, they knew that he had to join the team! After only a few months at the U, Taylor fell in love with the industry. He says, "I never planned on this, but life throws you curve balls, and I ended up here. I have never been happier in my life!" Now an apprentice, his favorite part of his job is treating his guests to a wonderful experience, and values the friendships that he has made with coworkers and guests alike! In his free time, he loves being a dog-daddy to his Miniature Australian Shepard, Oakley, and can usually be found relaxing near any body of water.
Shampoo Technician •Joined in 2015 • Industry Professional since 2015
Nail Tech • Joined in 2007 • Industry Professional since 1987
Born and raised in Birmingham, Rachel began her career as a nail tech right out of high school. Though she thought it would only be a summer job, she quickly realized her passion for it, and mastered her skills right away! Rachel's favorite part of her job is seeing the confidence that her guests have when they leave her chair. As she says, "You just feel better when your nails and toes look good!" As a hobby, Rachel also makes jewelry, and she loves to cook. She is a pretty fantastic baker! She is also passionate about travel, and adores spending time with her 16 year old kitty.