fingers fly, dance. The movement is neither rushed nor hurried. There
is ease and focus in her quickness. Good cutters often work this way.
Her energy is buoyant, Peter Pan like, yet centered, positive, fun
and very contagious. Meet Janice Hylton. She along with partner Bonnie
Hundt are the owners of Hylton Hundt Salon in Millerton.
up in Georgia. Bonnie was born in Wisconsin, then moved to California.
They met up in New York. Ironically, each of these women got into
the hair cutting business, as Janice says, "By a divinely guided accident."
Bonnie was in
California looking for a new direction in her life when a friend mentioned
a course being offered in hair cutting, she said, "Okay," and a career
was born. One of her classmates, by the way, was Karen Johnson. Karen
later gave up hair styling and changed her name to Whoopee Goldberg.
ballet and after college, moved to New York, where she pursued dance,
leaning toward the Martha Graham style. After several years she felt
the need for a practical skill, something dancers and athletes must
consider as the age of thirty-five approaches. Coincidentally, a friend
mentioned a course being offered in hair cutting, Janice said, "Okay."
She discovered that cutting hair suited her. "I like using my brain
and my hands together to create," she says unconsciously taking on
a dance pose. She likes the problem solving aspect of cutting, what
works, what doesn't, the line, shape of the face, texture. "Bonnie's
the artist, I'm more of a technician," she compliments.
arrived in New York from California, she trained at the Vidal Sassoon
Salon, where her craft became her art. "Sassoon defined contemporary
cutting," Janice explains. "Working with the most talented people
you can find and learning from them is imperative."
years Janice worked at various salons on Manhattan's upper west side.
Bonnie worked on the east side. One day they met. Both had longed
to spend more time in the country and soon took the leap, opening
a salon in Millerton. That was ten years ago. Four years ago they
moved to their present location, personally designing the salon from
top to bottom. There's even a spa upstairs, offering massage, manicure,
pedicure and facials. The salon is a reflection of their personalities,
bright, happy and warm. For some time Janice and Bonnie kept clients
in the city and often traveled to New York. Now situated full time
in Millerton, many of those clients travel here.
has become a special love to Janice. Knowing little about coloring,
but assuming it difficult, I ask how she got into it.
"Trial by fire,"
she answers, "I was thrown into it years ago at a salon in the city.
You have to learn fast, there's little room for error. When it comes
to coloring hair, people either love it or hate it, there's no in
between, so you've got to be good."
working with the chemicals?"
"Not a problem
today, the products and the companies are great."
I mention henna.
a potential problem, because henna is a plant." She explains that
a lot of countries where henna is grown still use dangerous pesticides
on their plants. You have to exercise caution and wisdom with henna,
knowing where and how it's grown, otherwise the results could be unpleasant,
both for the stylist and the client.
I find when
I talk with people who love what they do, who love their chosen life's
work, passion invariably seeps from their pores. Janice and Bonnie
are no exception. They decided on the location for their salon during
a spring evening visit. They walked to the pond out back. "It was
so peaceful, we just knew we had to be here," Janice smiles recalling
"Do you miss
dancing?" I ask.
"I'm very athletic, active, I run. Maybe one day I'll dance again,
when I have more time."
In the mirror
I watch her fingers dancing with my hair. I smile. She dances still.
We'll talk next
time From The Road.
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