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Yes, ladies and gents, the CEO of Bob Steele Salon is indeed named Hair. Call it fate, kismet or what-have-you this fabulous woman was born to coif.

When I sat down with Amanda Hair, co-owner and CEO of Bob Steele Salon, it was easy to forget that she runs one of the most successful salons in Georgia, that guided by her vision, the salon has expanded from one to three locations, and that Bob Steele was named one of the top salons to visit in Georgia by 101 Hairstyles Magazine. Perhaps I was expecting an icy, The Devil Wears Prada-type checking her blackberry while indulging my questions. Instead, I found myself talking to a woman who exudes warmth and energy. Amanda’s ease and friendliness is matched at Bob Steele, where her high-end salons have managed to keep a down-home feel.

There’s been a lot of buzz about your salon. What makes Bob Steele Salons special?

It starts with our stylists. Of course our stylists are among the best in their business at doing hair but they are also some of the warmest, nicest people you will meet. They are a part of our family, and they set the tone for any new clients.

We want everyone to feel at home in our salons. Even though we have the best stylists out there and offer premium services, we never want anyone to feel intimidated or undervalued when they walk through our doors.

This website is about being a Southerner in the 21st century. What is Southern beauty to you?

Southern beauty has come a long way, and I love it. Southern women used to love bleached out, highlighted blonde hair that was teased and shellacked into place. It was a great look at the time, but we’ve moved toward a more natural look. Modern Southern hair is now about shine instead of tease. While blonde, of course, is our most requested color, the blonde is warmer now. Make up has changed as well.

Warm up your color this season with shades of honey and caramel

Right now, make up is all about enhancing natural beauty. We do a lot of bridal make up, and the brides always want to look glamorous without looking done. That’s what we strive for. We aren’t an edgy, over-the-top trendy salon, but we are absolutely modern and love to help the men and women that walk through our doors find that perfect look.

It’s getting chillier out. What look to you love for the fall?

I love to find a hairdo that is easy to create and gives you a polished look. I saw this look on Nina Ricci’s models during fashion week, but it’s a look that everyone can wear. It’s a half up/half down hairstyle that frames the face and can go from day to evening. Our stylists use Redken’s aerate 08 bodifying cream-mousse on damp hair and then blow-dry. Then they create a half-ponytail at the back of the head, leaving out the hair by the forehead for a casual feel. It’s a great way to look polished without seeming fussy and anyone can do it.

What makes Bob Steele different?

Our values and our stylist are what set us apart. We have several core values: Caring, Community, Continuous Improvement, Having Fun, Award Winning, Integrity (C3HAI). These core values aren’t just words on paper but are an ethos for the salon.

When we hire new stylists, we look at personality first and then technical skills.
We want people to find a home here at Bob Steele. There are a few stylists that have been with us forever. When we hire new talent, we partner them with seasoned stylists. It is important for new talent to see how our senior stylists work and maintain a balance between work and family.

We also hold our team members accountable for their own growth. We not only want to see advancing skills for hair care but also self-improvement and the development of skills to have a better quality of life.

Bob Steele Salon is all about crafting individual style.

What drives you?

My hairdressers have clients. My clients are my team members. I work for my stylists and my support staff. I am always looking to bring more like-minded people on to help the team grow. I love watching young stylists mature and become able to take care of their families. I like to see people who have the passion for doing hair. I can provide the business end so they can focus on doing what they love. I have a real admiration for hairdressers – their ability to be with someone one-on-one is fantastic and transforming how people feel is amazing.

My day is never the same, which is what I love about my job. I might be at one salon one day and another day in the office putting together a marketing campaign and designing an ad. I try to be present in every moment. When I’m at work, I focus on work. When I’m at home, I focus on home. I work hard to maintain that work life balance, but it’s always a work in progress.

Please visit Bob Steele Salons online to schedule your first appointment and learn more about Amanda Hair’s fabulous business.

Eun Jung Decker is a freelance writer for LiFt Consulting, Her work has appeared in the International Herald Tribune and The Honolulu Star-Bulletin.