With the motto ‘Addicted to style’ and a logo of a gussied up skull, walking into Hairroin could be a daunting proposition, but owner Janine Jarman has created an atmosphere that never feels intimidating. Together with salon manager and make-up artist extraordinaire Heather Rae Brown, they know how to make everyone feel welcome. The gothic-girlie décor and surprisingly laid-back vibe feels like a fun place to gather with friends and play dress up. That’s just what Jarman had in mind when she opened Hairroin salon.
Jarman took a break from hairstyling long enough to share her experience.
How did you get started doing hair?
My freshman year at Edison High School in Huntington Beach, the homecoming queen told me she loved how I wore my hair to school everyday. Then she asked me, “Will you do my hair?” She liked the disheveled up-do I was wearing to school everyday. At the time I was working at a bikini shop in downtown Huntington Beach. So she came to the bikini shop and I did her hair for the homecoming dance in the dressing room on break. That style is still my signature today.
So you became “the girl who does hair” back in high school?
Yes and my best friend Noel had the same thing happen. Everybody would tell her they liked the way she did her makeup and started asking her to do their makeup. We got together at a mutual friend’s house and she said, “You do everybody’s hair, right?” and I said, “ You do everyone’s makeup?” So we decided to start working together and charging. By our senior year we were making on average about $500 a piece for each dance or event. We worked for girls at our school then other schools caught wind of it. We subleased a space out of a dress shop downtown just for the special events. We still work together on a weekly basis. I went straight from high school to Golden West Community College for beauty school.
When did you open Hairroin?
We opened seven years ago when I was twenty-four. I had been working in Huntington Beach and developing a Los Angeles clientele. When that salon went under, I cashed out all of the money I had been saving and opened my own salon. Urban Outfitters approached us about two years ago and by November of last year we walked everything across the street and opened up this location at Space 1520.
What do you love about this location?
I love the courtyard. It has much more daylight. We added more stations. It’s definitely a much more community feel. Our clients can go shopping at Urban Outfitters, Free People, Hennessey + Ingalls bookstore, and eat at Umami Burger before or after treatments.
How would you describe the style of the salon?
The space is a vintage throwback with a modern industrial twist, like a modern-day apothecary with Victorian influence. One client will get beautiful long blond hair next to her sister who has an asymmetrical shaved side with hot pink ends. It’s cool that in Hairroin, anything goes. If you can dream it up we can do it. We do all hair types and textures. You will not hear “no” here.
You are now based here in Hollywood and have had your share of major television exposure including a great run on Shear Genius (The Project Runway of hair). What was your experience being on a reality show?
The hardest part for me was not being around my staff. They are my biggest inspiration. I am at my best around my team. They inspire me. We operate as a team, so the show was the first time in my career that I had to operate as an individual.
What did the exposure from Shear Genius do for your career?
Hairroin had already been open for four years and was doing well, The interesting thing about working LA is that everyone here is on TV, but after the show more industry magazines noticed what we were doing here. I got nominated as Celebrity Stylist of the Year for the Stylist Choice Awards.
Why did you pick hair?
It picked me. I was born with atrocious hair and a mom who could not even pretend to deal with it. She finally learned to do a French braid and I think I wore my hair that way for ten years of my life. So it picked me, it was survival of the fittest. I grew up in Long Beach in a diverse area where crazy hair was more accepted, then I moved to Huntington Beach when I was thirteen where everyone has stick strait long blond hair to their waist, and I thought all right I better figure something out. I wore huge up-dos with big flowers and bandanas. It caught on. I paved my own way with hair.
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Julie Wolfson is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. She covers travel, lifestyle, art, pop culture, cocktails and food for Cool Hunting and several other media outlets. Most days you’ll find her out and about in Southern California and around the world tracking down stories about talented people doing amazing things.