Getting To Know Marla, Even Better!

An Interview With Hairstylist Marla Leigh

Hi! My name is Lindsay and I’ve been a client of Marla’s for years now. If you’re like me, you’ve spent a lot of time in Marla’s chair, chatting about life and what’s new since the last time I saw her. Maybe you too can relate to the feeling that Marla knows you pretty well. So, now it’s our turn to learn a bit about Marla! I dug deep to try to ask some good questions that I’ve always wondered about our amazing friend and stylist and decided it was time to ask them! She was a great sport and gave me some good insight into what makes her “tick” about hair, what gets her going and how it is that she finds “pleasure” in running!

I hope you enjoy this interview and if you have any questions yourself, feel free to ask them in the comments below! This is a great opportunity to find out what a (our) stylist really thinks. And for those who have yet to become a client to Marla, I hope this intrigues you to come meet her. She is so down to earth and really makes the time fly!

And now onto the interview…

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1. What sparked your interest in hair?

I was always fascinated with my hairstylist when I was younger. I thought she was so cool. I used to experiment with my hair and I would recruit my friends to let me cut, color, and perm their hair.

2. When did you realize you wanted to become a hairstylist?

I realized I wanted to become a hairstylist when I was a senior in high school, although all the signs were there since I was in 8th grade. Around that time is when I started experimenting on my friend’s and my own hair in my bathroom at home. My mom would come home from work and the house would smell like perm. She was not very happy about that.

3. What advice would you give to younger boys and girls that think they want to become a stylist when they grow up?

The advise I would give to any girl or guy who is thinking about becoming a hairstylist is to go for it! Being a hairstylist is a wonderful career choice, you meet a lot of amazing people and if you are lucky enough you form lasting relationships with you clients. I feel truly blessed to have the clientele I have. They shouldn’t think it is an easy road to get there though. Being a successful stylist requires a lot of hard work, patience, determination and dedication. There are no easy roads or short cuts.

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4. What is your most favorite thing about being a stylist?

I would say my favorite part about being a hair stylist is being able to help people feel beautiful and confident. I am very much a people pleaser, so for me to see my clients shine as they walk out the door means the world to me.

5. How have you seen your profession changed over time?

As with all trends (whether it be hair, fashion, or home decor) the trends are constantly changing so you have to be able to evolve and keep yourself knowledgable with what’s hot NOW.

6. Is there anything you wish was different about your industry?

I don’t think I wish ¬†anything were different about my industry. I think all the separate facets, and the wide range of personalities is what makes it so awesome. You learn so much about people and their hair, it’s like you are always being educated; not just with the latest hair trends, but in people skills as well.

7. Do you do your own hair?

Yes, I do my own hair. As much as I would love to be pampered, it is just easier for me to do it myself. I don’t recommend this to others, especially if they are not familiar with the concept of hair coloring, cutting, etc… I guess I have a bit of a control issue, LOL!

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8. How does trust play a part in finding a stylist

Finding someone you can trust to do your hair can be a scary thing. I always take pride in having a great consultation with my clients, whether it be a new client or an existing client that is looking to change things up. It helps to instill their trust in me as their stylist.

9. Do you ever have a bad hair day? If so, what do you do?

Oh yes I have had bad hair days! We are all human, and some days it’s just not happening for my hair. So when that happens I put on a cute hat or head scarf and just rock that look.

10. What’s the most common mistake you see women do to their hair?

The most common mistakes I think women make is not spending enough time conditioning their hair, and waiting too long between haircuts. They think the longer they wait the longer it will grow, but in reality what happens is when they are over due for haircuts their split ends creep up the hair shaft and they end up needing more cut off then if they would have stayed on an every 6-8 week cycle for a trim. As far as lack of conditioning, there are so many ways to fit it in such as before exercising, before laying out by the pool, or before going to sleep. These are great ways to deep condition without feeling like you have to make extra time for it.

11. What do you find yourself fixing most on people’s hair when they are a first time client?

I usually find that I need to fix someones color, from a poor color job by a previous stylist, or a box color they used at home. A good hair color does so much to aid in accessorizing a great haircut.

12. What trend do you wish would disappear?

The trend I think would be nice to disappear would probably be perms. I love naturally curly hair, it has so much personality to it, but I feel perms are outdated and they are actually a lot of upkeep! I understand people with fine limp hair might like to perm their hair for body, but my advice is to embrace what you have and instead change your haircut or add a bit of color which can add to the body of your hairstyle.

13. What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

My favorite things to do outside of work are spending time with my husband and my dog. I am also a very active person, I have run 9 marathons, I play on a tennis league, I enjoy cycling and also swimming. I feel by having all these outlets it helps me to clear my mind and better focus on my work.

I think it is very important for everyone to have their outlets to regroup and organize their thoughts. Some people do this in the form of yoga, running is my yoga!

14. Tell us about your husband and your dog…

My husband Mark is a great guy. I am very lucky. We are both self employed and like to keep busy. We enjoy a lot of the same things, and have fun together. We are going on 22 years of marriage and in this day and age I feel very blessed that I have found the person I am meant to be with. We have always had dogs, and they are our world. We have an Australian Shepard lab mix named Diesel who we rescued when he was 5 months old. He will be ten this October. We both adore him, I feel happiest when the three of us are all together just hanging at home. Pure happiness!

15. How do you spend your time relaxing?

The best way for me to relax would be on a beach with a great book, but seeing as though that is not always easy to achieve, my favorite form of relaxing (locally) is going out for a nice run. I know this sounds strange to most people, but this is when I feel most at ease. Like they say there is nothing like the runners high!

16. What’s the best advice about being a stylist you’ve ever heard?

The best advise about being a stylist that I have had was to always listen to your clients. Consultations are a very important part of establishing a trust worthy relationship with your clients. I like to stay checked in with my clients and keep the lines of communication open. We have a partnership and in order for that to be successful you have to be able to listen and be in tune to their wants and needs. You learn which clients like to change things up on a regular basis, and which ones like the comfort of having the same style. I love that my clients put their trust in me to help them achieve the look they want.

17. What advice do you have for someone who thinks they “hate” their hair?

The best advise I would have for someone that thinks they hate their hair, is to consider different options. It might be as simple as changing their cut, or changing their hair color, and it might be subtle or maybe it’s a drastic change. Sometimes the smallest, simplest changes make the biggest difference.

18. Ok, lastly…. what might people be really surprised to learn about you?

I am a candy and chocolate addict! I guess it’s a good thing I love to run!!

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2 comments

  1. Terri Nelson

    When I moved to Scottsdale 15 years ago, the very first full day I had lunch with a friend, specifically to ask who did her hair…it always looked great! And, as they say, the rest is history. My now friend Marla has taken care of my hair, and sometimes me, ever since. Over 15 years the subtle changes have been fun. I always feel great when I leave after Marla has pampered me with a hairstyle, and just great conversation. Marla, you are the best!

  2. Jodi

    Marla is my cousin and although I live across the country, I would trust her to do my hair without a hesitation! She is passionate not only about her work she is passionate about her family as well.

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