His-N-Hair gives customers flare Salon celebrates 21 years
Hs-N-Hair at 277 Spring Street in Newton.
By Laurie Gordon NEWTON — How do you keep a hair salon going strong for 21 years? Salons come and go, and it's no easy task. Dawn Billing has unlocked the secret to sustaining a thriving business in the beauty industry, and His-N-Hair is proudly celebrating over two decades of providing excellence in service to the community. “Believe it or not, only 30 percent of the success of a salon is the actual technical work,” Billing said. “It's mostly a matter of being super consistent, building rapport and trust and simply, taking care of your customers and their needs.” His-N-Hair isn't about putting on airs or trying to sell customers service or product you don't want or need. “We focus on meeting and exceeding the expectations of our guests,” Billing said. “We have provided men’s and women’s haircuts in Newton for 21 years, and we offer haircuts, manicures, pedicures, waxing and make up services in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.” Over the yeas, Billing has seen that hair stylists tend to “want to move around more” than in the past. She acknowledges this and prides herself on hiring new graduates from her alma-mater, Sussex Vo-Tech, to train them right after they graduate. “I realize that they like to move around these days, and that's just fine. It' makes me very happy to know that I've trained them for success in the industry,” she said. Then there are the tried and true. For Billing, that's Agnes Schkolenko who has been with her as a stylist for over 16 years as a Senior Hair Designer. “She's a very hard worker and has a great following,” Billing said. “We work great together and I appreciate all that she does.” “The stylists at His-N-Hair suggest high quality professional hair products so that our guests keep their hair looking great all day,” Billing said. To this end, the salon carries a host of proven products. “I choose products that are proven to work,” Billing said. “I also choose products that are sold only at salons and keep that level of professionalism. I feel that salon-carried and stylist-recommended products are the best for our customers. We have very high standards for the products we bring into the salon.” One of the product lines His-N-Hair carries is Davines, a family owned, international hair care brand that's guided by the principle of “sustainable beauty.” “This line is fantastic and their products are incredible,” Billings said. “They also offer us a lot of education about the products and innovations in the industry.” Education is one of Billing's buzz words. She's insatiable when it comes to educating herself and her staff about anything having to do with the business. “I read constantly and get my hands on just about every piece of literature available in the industry,” she said. Her focus on education goes back to when she worked at JC Penny. After graduating from Vo-Tech, Billing worked at a local salon, and then when the Rockaway Mall opened, commuted for years to her job at Penny's. They had an incredible focus on educating their stylists and Billing took every class that was offered. ' “Times have changed, and now in addition to going to classes, you can take on-line courses from around the world,” she said. Billing lost her mother and looked for a job closer to her home, at the time, of Culver Lake, as she had two young boys. She worked locally for others but had a dream of a salon of her own. Thanks to a bit of a mystery, that dream came true. “A lady who owned a salon across the street from Billing's current location basically up and left in the middle of the night,” Billling said. She tracked down the landlord and learned that the woman had planned to move across the street. She jumped on the opportunity, signed the lease and His-N-Hair opened for business. As to the name, she said, “It just came to me. I think I'd heard of a salon called His and Her in the past, but the name just popped into my head and I went with it.” Now a resident of Andover, Billing's husband, owns AirMark Pools in Sparta. Their eldest son, Eric, lives in Raleigh and recently gave the Billings a grandchild Their younger son, Paul, works for AirMark and will one day take over the business. At the end of the day, Billing said, “I love what I do,” and that's so important. People can loose their passion, but mine for this salon and making people feel good about themselves has only grown over the years.” His-N-Hair is located at 277 Spring Street in Newton. Hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 8 pm, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 8 am to 4 pm. All prices and further information about His-N-Hair can be found at www.hisnhair.com. An appointment can also be scheduled on the website or by calling 973-300-5636. You can also find His-N-Hair on Facebook. Walk ins are accepted but it is highly recommended that you make an appointment. With proms around the corner, book your up-do and makeup soon.