From the Fringe Salon:
Maybe you love on-trend braided looks, but have no patience for YouTube tutorials. Or you received that state-of-the-art blow dryer for the holidays (last year!), but it’s never left its box. Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to use cleaner cosmetics and step up your makeup game. Or you dread dealing with your child’s unmanageable mane each morning and wish you had an easy fix. Whatever your hair woe or beauty must-know, there’s likely a Fringe workshop specifically designed for you.
The Fringe Salon of Maplewood is offering a series of hands-on hair and beauty workshops. Owner and Master stylist Kim Hammer created these classes after hearing comments from Fringe clients and those she’s met at the annual Fringe Braid Bar at Maplewoodstock, such as I wish I knew how to braid like that. I wish I knew how to do a blowout. I’m hopeless at doing my own makeup. I have a teenager that needs a good skin care routine. “We are inspired to be the solution to these hair, skin and makeup challenges,” says Kim, “and the classes are really about teaching you to do techniques that work in real life.” Kim and her staff are excited about the impact the workshops are having. “I love watching people have their ‘ah-ha’ moment when the concepts sink in,” says Senior Stylist Katie Payne. “They are thrilled to have learned a new skill that had previously seemed impossible to them.”
“Braiding Decoded” has been the most popular workshop so far. “I took the braiding workshop because I wanted to learn how to French and Dutch braid my 12-year-old daughter’s long hair,” says Annette of South Orange. “I had tried to follow directions I found online, but somehow the braids never turned out right. They always looked messy and fell out.” Since taking the workshop, Annette has become a master braider. “I regularly braid my daughter’s hair in the morning and lo and behold, the braid is still in by the end of the day!! And I can even do a fishtail braid!”
Each workshop is 45 to 90 minutes with a 1:4 instructor-to-student ratio. Kim and her staff aim to keep the classes both fun and informative. “The feeling of the workshops is intimate and friendly – we keep it to small groups,” says Katie. Fringe stylists welcome both regular clients and meeting a variety of new people from the community. “Everyone is welcome, says Kim. “We’ve had a husband learning to braid his pregnant wife’s hair in order to build his skill set when their newborn daughter arrives,” she says. “Some people come alone. Some bring a friend. We’ve had dads and daughters, and even a seeing-eye dog in training that joined us one Sunday afternoon.”
Cat, of South Orange, recently took a “Blowout Bootcamp” class that focused on proper blow-drying technique. She’s never felt particularly confident styling her own hair and appreciated the relaxed atmosphere. “I came in new to Fringe and without any idea how to blow dry, but was made to feel really comfortable and welcome,” Cat says. “It was a truly a no judgement zone. There were no dumb questions. And wine was also a very nice touch!” Cat says that she took her first workshop on her own, but she looks forward to signing up for another workshop with friends. “It would make a great girls’ night out,” she says.
Taking the “Blowout Boot Camp” class, Cat says, was a “game changer.” She learned that she had been holding her brush and blow dryer the wrong way and, she says, “I now know where to part my hair correctly for it to dry better.” Then there are all those attachments that come with blow dryers. “My blow dryer came with so many that I just kept in the box, not thinking they were very useful,” she says. “But I learned about what they each do and which are best for my type of hair and styling. This class set me on the trajectory to do more with my hair and I’m excited about that. It’s empowered me. Even my ponytail looks better!”
In addition to offering practical knowledge and new skills, a workshop can provide a special shared experience. “The ‘Kids’ Hair Care Boot Camp’ and often the braiding workshops have parent-child pairs,” says Katie. “It’s so great to see them having fun and bonding in the class.” Dani, of Maplewood, took the “Kids’ Hair Care Boot Camp” workshop with her 4-year-old daughter. “My daughter had started to become interested in fashion and hair, and so I thought we’d have fun and I might get some good tips along the way.” she says. “Learning about brushes, hairbands and detangling was such a help. What I took away from this class has made styling my daughter’s hair so much easier and has lessened the morning hair battle considerably. Plus, my daughter continues to talk about this workshop. We had so much fun learning together. She loved it as much as I did.”
Current workshop offerings include “Braiding Decoded,” “Blowout Boot Camp” and “Kids’ Hair Care Boot Camp” and Fringe is continuing to develop and introduce new workshops. “We will be launching a ‘Perfect Your Pout’ class, led by two of our makeup artists, in February,” says Kim. “Plus, there will be more topics to come from skincare to curly hair care, and a hot tools class.”
For updates and links to register, follow the Fringe Salon on Facebook and Instagram (@fringe1874.) Group bookings may be available by request via the Fringe Salon website. (thefringesalon.com)