Behind The Chair
Antionette: Girl with 20/20 Hair Vision
As a Master Stylist & STrUT Oakland Founder, I have merged my three loves: hair styling, educating clients about maintaining luscious and healthy hair, and leading other Stylists to be extraordinary hair professionals.
My obsession with hair began with my little sister. She was a fifth- grader looking to feel her most beautiful on the first day of school - and I was a 12-year old with a vision! I was filled with nervous excitement, but despite the nerves, I found my source of absolute passion and delight - doing hair! The fun spread like wildfire and my aunt’s kitchen became the salon of choice for my sister and soon after, my cousins.
As a bi-racial family, we had hair textures ranging from cutting board straight to ocean waves to corkscrew pasta. So, I began learning about various textures and all the products, styles, and treatments available for multi-ethnic hair.
By 18, I was immersed in hair – as a hobby and as a business. I worked my way up as a salon receptionist (when I learned the importance of stellar customer service) to a salon assistant (when I learned how to keep a salon immaculately clean; there was a lot of hair sweeping – A LOT!). I’m naturally inquisitive, so I watched every stylist closely and asked a zillion questions. After a few years of being a fly on salon walls and having mannequins as my clients, I channeled my creativity into professional studies in beauty college.
Whether your hair goal is to have an easy cut that suits your lifestyle, to take it back to your “natural roots”, to have fun with color or to try something daring and new, I believe that rocking a healthy hairstyle makes you feel like your most vibrant and confident self. It’s one way that we express ourselves in the world and in my book, a great hairstyle is on the short list of “necessities” for thriving in an authentic, joy-filled and successful life!
Carmen has had a passion for hair, years beyond her humble beginning at Laney College, Department of Cosmetology. She became licensed in 2007, then starting her career at Red Chair Salon in San Francisco where she was a shampoo and blow dry assistant focusing on honing her skills on client relations. As she yearned for an advanced, comprehensive education in hair, she joined the team as an apprentice at Festoon Salon in Berkeley, where she worked for the next seven years. She was schooled in hair cutting and coloring with a Vidal Sassoon education approach. Her apprenticeship was thorough, including all hair techniques such as layers and graduation, and men's and women's short hair cuts.
Carmen continued her advanced hair education at Vidal Sassoon where she completed an ABC cutting Class in 2010. She enjoyed the opportunity to travel to New York City to become a Deva inspired stylist at their Soho Salon/Academy. From there, it expanded her knowledge of curly textured hair. Her passion also includes creative edgy cuts, scissor over comb men's barbered cuts and women's short hair, all the way to wedding hair. At Festoon salon, her hair color education included Balayage/ombré classes. Foil placement, corrective color, grey coverage, grey blending, bleach and tones and punky colors were also a part of her extensive color education. She has been trained in Loreal Professional, Wella, Davines and Affinage color treatment lines.
In her free time, she has an enthusiasm for cooking and having exciting new food experiences. She's also proven to having a decent green thumb from which she got from her mom!
As a Bay Area native, Carmen is proud to serve you in this Oakland Boutique Salon and looks forward to having an extensive consultation with you, so that you're left with the best cut and/or color that enhances you!