Houstonians were just starting to gear up for spring society season when the coronavirus hit, pressing pause on galas, luncheons, prom, and even weddings — not to mention everyday hair upkeep. Though she was forced to temporarily close in March, Janelle Alexis Flatt didn't sit idle during the shutdown.
Instead, the owner and founder of the award-winning Janelle Alexis Salon thought about what her beloved clients would need during this difficult time. The cut, color, and extensions expert, who this year was voted one of Houston's best hair stylists, began assembling Beauty Boxes so no one would be forced to experiment with drugstore color.
And since she already had a system in place for virtual consultations, used in pre-COVID times as a way to assess the hair's condition and determine each individual's goals, pinpointing the best route for color or hair extensions, Flatt could advise her clients on how to successfully use the salon's color within their own home. She also filmed social media videos with instructions for at-home kids' cuts — something every parent likely attempted during the pandemic.
"My phone was blowing up the day the governor announced we could reopen," Flatt says. "It was a long 10 weeks, yet during that time I found ways to help clients while researching how to successfully and safely open our doors as soon as we could."
Now that her salon is open again — the first day back stretched 13 hours, a testament to how much people missed Flatt and her team — Flatt and the salon's staff are vigilant about safety. The "new normal" includes masks, private rooms for the immunocompromised, hand sanitizer, gloves, and constant disinfecting, to name just a few protocols.
"Such an amazing salon run by an amazing woman," says one customer in an online review. "Janelle is a consummate professional and her services are always the highest quality around. Her procedures around today's 'new normal' are top-notch ... at no time did I feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Make an appointment and you'll be a customer for life."
A large part of the salon's draw is that Flatt and her stylists are always training and staying informed of the latest trends. That includes learning new techniques, brushing up on standard skills, and mentoring apprentices on the floor as they shadow the stylists.
Flatt teaches herself, as a National Babe Hair Extension Educator, a role she has enjoyed for 12-plus years.
In March of this year, Flatt taught one of Babe Hair's first Instagram and Facebook Live classes to an audience of more than 7,000 stylists nationwide.
As the salon celebrates its third anniversary in October, it's also honoring the fight against breast cancer with a plethora of pink hair extensions, 10 percent of the cost of which goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
"I have been getting my hair done at Janelle Alexis Salon for four years, and both of my daughters go to her, too," says another customer online. "No one has gotten my color as beautiful as Janelle has. She has so much knowledge and is always educating herself and her staff, and she has an attention to detail that you just don't find very often. Janelle just knows how to bring out the best in your hair."
While Houstonians slowly but surely get into a new groove, the masters at Janelle Alexis Salon await, armed with extensive training when it comes to not only all things hair and makeup but also leading the way in solid customer safety and satisfaction efforts.
Janelle Alexis Salon is located at 5750 Woodway Dr., suite 110. Book your appointment by calling 713-780-2412, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting janellealexissalon.com/bookonline.