For 30 years, Omagi Salon Spa owner Marian Sang has not only been styling Louisvillians, but she also has been a great listener. Her success is built on her impeccable customer service, her quick wit and her incredible talent. Anyone who would give her dog a Dorothy Hamill haircut is getting my business, for sure.
What do you do for a living?
How long have you been working in this industry?
Hard to believe, but I have worked in the industry for 30 years. I only planned to be in the beauty industry for five years, tops!
When did you discover your talent for this?
In 1976, when I was 13, my first “hair victim” was my dog, Peppy. He was the only dog in the neighborhood with a Dorothy Hamill haircut! My brave girlfriends let me practice on them, as well.
What is the most popular service you do now, compared with 10 years ago?
Balayage. This is a French highlighting technique that creates a softer, natural, sun-kissed effect. This technique is low-maintenance for the guest because the highlights start away from the scalp. People want to look fashionable and feel good about their appearance, but in this day and age we don’t all have the time to be in the salon every few weeks for a touch-up.
Texture is also popular, and guests are asking for perms — not your mother’s perm from the ’80s, but a soft wave that has more of a natural, beach-wave look.
Ten years ago clients wanted stick-straight hair, which made straighteners very popular.
What are some trends to embrace? Trends to avoid?
Embrace soft waves. The look this spring is more casual and textured, like the appearance of gentle waves that have dropped out — almost like beach hair that has been slept on. Add a beautiful headband.
Avoid over-straightened hair. It’s so out and bland-looking. It’s all about texture this year.
How do you balance your job and your personal life?
Personal life? Not as much balance there, but I rather like it that way.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
No one is perfect. Everyone has his or her challenges. You never know what other people are going through, so pause before judging or criticizing.
Who is your mentor?
My mother. She is 81 years old and still working five days a week!
What is best advice you have received in business?
To trust my instincts.
If you were not in your current job, what would you secretly love to do?
I secretly love what I do! When I was 18, I wanted to be a singer.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I like to sing country music in the privacy of my car.
What is the worst hairstyle you have ever had?
Oh, my goodness! I am ashamed to say: a permed mullet.
Where is your favorite place to eat?
Where do you like to shop?
I love bargain shopping online at Haute Look and Rue La la. Locally at Rodeo Drive and Boutique Serendipity.
What is a treat or a luxury you do for yourself?
A monthly microdermabrasion facial at Omagi.
What is your weakness?
What is your favorite thing to do in Louisville?
Going to the Derby and all of the festival events leading up to the Derby.
What are three things you cannot live without, besides faith, family and friends?
“Meow Meow Lady” (my cat), makeup and high heels. Pretty much in that order.
What are you reading right now?
What’s the Secret by John DiJulius and What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should) by Ronda Rich.
What are three of your favorite things right now?
Tory Burch Reva Flats, an effortless tunic dress and Emi Jay hair ties (the best hair tie, ever!).
Thank you to Marian Sang. We had a lovely visit and managed to take some pretty pictures and interview you when we weren’t poring over all your wonderful products. Click to learn more about Marian’s salon, Omagi Salon Spa.
As always, much gratitude to my FACES photographer Adele Reding and her fantastic work. See her profile here: www.facebook.com