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Showing posts from 2020

Call To Action

Dear Clients and Friends,
Please help.
In Alameda County my industry has been extremely hard hit by Covid-19.
On Monday June 29 I spoke with both the Alameda County Public Health Department, ACPHD and the Professional Beauty Association, PBA.Both of these organizations confirmed the complex challenges that hairstylists, barbers, manicurists and estheticians are facing as we approach four months of being closed.
Technicians want and need to work, clients want and need services.It is no surprise that the underground, back yard, secret salon services exist and are increasing in numbers.
Most salon owners and technicians, including myself, refuse to participate in the aforementioned scenario, however, we do understand the necessity for some of making money during a time like this.
Sadly many technicians do not have resources or documentation to qualify for resources.Also many salons operated on an extremely small profit margin at best.
How can you help?
Please contact the ACPHD via phone or ema…

Reopening Update

Dear Clients and Friends,
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time in our lives.
I, like you, am anxious to return to my routines.I am also incredibly cognizant of the recent events in the country and cannot in good conscience ignore how devastating the murder of George Floyd has been to the black community.I am safe and my home and salon are safe.
LaTasha and Diane are safe.We are grateful to have each other. We continue to love and support each other during Covid-19’s impact on our businesses and the countries unrest.
Governor Gavin Newsom delivered the news that hair salons can open in some counties in California however, Alameda County is not included in this current phase of reopening. There is one more phase before we will be allowed to reopen. You can read more about the various phases for Alameda County here.  
If you have a June appointment I will contact you to postpone it and make future arrangements.
Swans Studios is ready to re-open, we hav…

Covid Coaching Haircut And More

Hairqueen News I went into shock on March 17 when my vibrant business, like so many, was closed until further notice due to Covid-19.

I have been self-employed for most of my career and a business owner since 1995.

I suspect you would believe me if I said I've been through a thing or two as a business owner and even on the darkest days, my entrepreneurial spirit has guided me along the way.

After the initial shock was over I settled into a new routine and found ways to be productive.

My days have and still do include:
Taking time everyday to work on my business instead of in my businessUpdating my websiteUpdating my booking systemContacting each one of my wonderful clients to postpone their appointments more than once due to the closureCreated an online storeApplying for disaster relief, PPP and DUI Coached a mum how to bleach and tone her son's hairCreated personal hair color kits for hair color clientsPosts on social media with the help of my trusty virtual assistant Erin …

Grey is Gray

Hairqueen Musings These are not normal times, many are baking bread and gardening.
I have written a few poems that came to me in the beginning of SIP, when we were all grappling with the SIP order and I could barely sleep.  
If I didn't already have grey hair I think the shock of shutting down overnight might have given me more than a strand or two.

Here's a poem with little bit of truth from what I know about grey hair from both sides of the chair.

The life we are living is different today than we could have ever imagined. Yet it is the life we have lived that gives us the wisdom and strength to carry on.
I am overwhelmed by the generosity of my clients as we have connected over these past weeks to postponed appointments.  
I have appreciated connecting with my fellow salon industry friends and discussing how we are doing during SIP.  We wonder how we it will be as we return to our businesses with new practices in place for everyone's health and safety and of course bea…

Isla's Curls

Hairqueen NewsEarly on following the stay-in-place order this little poem came to me about my sweet little granddaughter.

When people ask me what I will be doing once the order is lifted, I answer: I will be spending my time holding my shears and Isla, but not at the same time, unless I am giving her her first haircut!

Isla’s Curls by Glamma 
Oh how I miss that mess of curls That flip and flop And twirl around My darling little Isla’s crown

Silky, soft, fine and free Framing her dear little face Wildly going this way and that And always more crazy after a nap

Her hair bands and brushes help quite a bit And one of these days when her parents say yes I will pull out my shears And tidy it up With my best Glamma skills Beyond a hair brush

Happy Mother's Day to all the mums, moms, mama's and ma's out there.

Distance hugs and kisses to all.

Love, Suzanne

My contact information: email:  or call me at 510-545-2955.
To book appointments online go to:…

Masked Hairstylist

If you have a hairstylist in your #shelterinplace life, lucky you can get a haircut!

And the lucky hairstylist can do a trial run for what it will be like to return to the salon.
I did this with my handsome husband, Michael. What will it be like to get a haircut again? How will we protect you?  How do we protect ourselves and keep everthing sanitized and safe and creative?  We will need masks, gloves, sanitizer, barbicide, patience and flexibility. I wore a mask and so did MichaelI asked him to sanitize his hands upon arrivalI wore gloves for the consultation, haircut and checkoutAs I did the consultation, he was still maskedFor the shampoo, I had him remove his mask, I wore mineI did the haircut, still no mask on himI applied styling products with the gloves on - that was not greatAnd of course for the payment* I will need to have a way to sanitize the screen on my iPad unless the clients have Apple Pay, Venmo or Zelle *I let hubby pay me with a kiss It was a trial run - it was okay -…

Staying in Touch

Hairqueen Help: How can I help you as we navigate our stay in place order?
I hope that you feel comfortable making the best decision you need to make for yourself re the care of your hair.  Self care is critical and that is even more true today.
I am available for a phone call or by zoom to help you with ideas on how to look good and feel good.  You can contact me directly: Email me at or call me at 510-545-2955.
In the meantime keeping up regular shampooing and conditioning, especially conditioning as your ends are more damaged and drier and in need of a trim.  

Speaking of trims and haircuts, if you are tempted to trim your own fringe or ends remember a little snip is probably going to take more off than you think.  Trim cautiously, ok?
For haircolor clients:

use zigzag partings to help disguise the re-growthuse eye shadow that is close to your colour- you can brush it on the parting to help soften the line of demarcation
If you have to be on Zoom for business…

We must style with the times!

HairQueen Help Dear Clients and Friends,

I know it is hard to wait for your postponed salon appointments and we miss you so much!

I took some pictures of my hair with velcro rollers to give you a visual that I hope helps you during #stayhome.

I encourage you to get out your velcro and/or hot rollers and have fun.  (This is best for freshly shampooed hair, but you can throw them in on day two as well.)

Shampoo and condition hairTowel dry gentlyAdd styling productSection hair and blow dry with a round brush or vent brush if it's easier for youAdd velcro rollers or hot rollers and leave in for up to 30 minutesRemove rollers and run fingers thru hair for a soft holdEnjoy feeling coiffedContact me if you have questions and or need help.

Bonus, properly styled hair will last for several days! Here I am on day two. I did not reset my hair, but you could for more volume.  First, spritz with a leave in conditioner or styling mist.  Do not use water.  I recommend Primer 11 by Framesi or Very…

Bow to Thee

I cut, I color, and now, I will write a poem or two!

I Miss All Of You!

Dear Clients,

As you know I am closed for all hair services until the ban is lifted.

I, along with so many other small business owners, am both in shock and action.

Last week I did a mad tidy up / sort out of Swans Studios all the while appreciating my wonderful janitorial service and Lorenzo, my behind the scenes assistant.

This week I have focused on updating my website and my booking system.

I have added an online store so as of today you can purchase gift certificates and, very soon, salon products via Vagaro, my booking system.  Click here to visit the store.

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding your hair and beauty needs.  I miss talking to you and I hope you are all healthy and staying home.

Call me or email me at or 510-545-2955.

And if you would like a way to help please go online and support my social media accounts

Facebook Suzanne Van Houten, Facebook Swan StudiosLinkedInInstagramTwitteror leave a Yelp review.
Doing this h…

Now Closed For Business

Since this last post was written we are of course closed until April 7 or longer if required.

Stay tuned for upcoming Bloggs and stay healthy!

Dear Valued Clients,

I am open for business.

Upon your arrival I have a hand washing station for you to use.

All surfaces and implements are disinfected and sanitized after each client.

I wash my hands a lot already from shampooing to washing color bowls, and now I am washing my hands even more.

I will not work if I become ill or am exposed to the virus.

Please give me as much notice as possible if you need to reschedule.

I ask for at least 24 hours notice but more is very much appreciated.

My schedule may move around and we want to reschedule beautiful you sooner than later.

If you have questions or concerns please contact me directly at 510-545-2955 or by email

No Nothing

Featured Product For March

For the month of March, I am featuring a promotion on No Nothing Hair Care.

For years and years, many of my clients have requested a no scent, no fragrance, chemical free hair care line.

When my rep, John, told me about it I said Ok, I'll try it- and I have to say I really like this line.
I like how my hands feel after I shampoo my clients.  I like how my hair feels when I use the products at home and at the pool.
So far my clients that have tried it have given very good feedback!  
If you have a need for a scent free products and you would like to try a great hair care line, let's talk.
To read more about the company and their dedication to clean, quality ingredients, click here,
While their website offers free shipping on orders over $30, please consider buying locally, from me, or another local business.  Retail sales help with business costs and are much appreciated, honestly!  
Please pass the word th…

Life Is Short Love Your Hair

I'd love you to answer the questions below:

When in your lifetime have you liked your hair the best?
If there was one thing you could alter about your hair today, what would that be?
What shampoos, conditioners and styling products are you currently using?
How much time and investment are you willing and able to spend on your hair today?
Why do I ask these questions?
I ask them to find out what your needs are for your hair and why and then I can recommend solutions tailored to you.
I do this because I love to do hair and I want you to love how you look and how your hair feels.

February is the month of love.
Do you love your hair, would you like to love your hair? Let's talk soon!
Email: Call/Text: 510-545-2955 Book Online:

2020 Hair Goals

Hair we are in 2020!
I am back behind-the-chair after a wonderful winter break.And I have to say how rewarding it is after all these years to continue to love my craft.I am truly grateful and humbled at the joy my work continues to give me and truly appreciate each and every one of you.
January is a time for resolutions and taking stock.
For me this is the year that I will turn 60!
I am so excited to reach this milestone.
Many of my friends, family and clients have already reached this milestone and so far everyone seems to be handling it very well.There’s the odd moan about how old one looks and occasional remarks about slowing down and this ailment and that aliment but mostly people are delighted and grateful to be enjoying the honor of aging. How do we age gracefully?How do we stay interested in new ideas?How do we let go of what no longer serves us?How do we know we are enough?
There are days that it is hard to love how we look, to be willing to try a new idea, to let go of old ideas a…