Behind the scenes at Madison Reed, there’s a team of talented, creative people who make working here a pure joy. Meet Kellay, a Color Crew colorist and urban beekeeper-in-training with a very interesting approach to using escalators.
How did you start working with beauty and hair?
I used to color hair in high school all the time. My friends and I cut each other’s bangs. When it was time to figure out what to do with my life, I toured the Paul Mitchell Institute, liked what I saw, and signed up. I took to it really well… I’m good with my hands!
That’s also where I met Sam (one of our Color Crew leads). We were beauty school besties!
Aww, our colorist dream team! What do you like about your profession?
I think you have to be a certain type of person. The hair industry has crazy growth (pun intended!)—styles and trends are always changing, so a good stylist has be always learning.
That’s what’s great about being here. We’re getting the info out to women everywhere and not just keeping it all to ourselves.
Is that what gets you excited about Madison Reed?
That, and the fact that our permanent color is more gentle. My mom has autoimmune disease. It means a lot to give her something healthier to use.
A lot of our customers have autoimmune disorders or other health issues, so I understand where they’re coming from. Madison Reed is safer for them to use. There’s just one less thing to worry about for their health.
With us, you’re not breathing in all the fumes of traditional color. That was the first thing I noticed when I started here—there was no smell.
What does your mom use?
My mom uses Como Light Brown, Root Touch Up in Sabbia, and our shampoo and conditioner. She even wears our salon smock. She’s like a walking advertisement for Madison Reed!
She likes the color, likes that it doesn’t smell, and it’s easy for her to use it. She doesn’t have to go to the salon or wait for me to come over.
That’s great! What about you? What do you specialize in?
I’m pretty good at color corrections and consultations. People who do corrections are usually dealing with someone who’s upset. It’s all about soothing worries, answering their questions, and being patient.
It’s their hair. It’s what people see on you every day. If someone’s upset, it’s for a good reason. We can figure out the solution together and empower women to do it themselves!
Do you have a favorite customer experience?
Oh, there’s a lot of them!
One time, a woman sent her photo, but it was from a skiing trip so all her hair was covered. I asked for another picture so I could see her hair. She sent one with her hair all over her face and referred to it as her Cousin Itt photo!
Another time, I had a consultation with two ladies from Yonkers. They had me on speaker, talking to me at the same time, and explained how one of them was going to apply color to the other one because she was a cosmetologist. They were pretty excited.
I have a lot of favorites, but especially the people with autoimmune diseases because my mom has that. I remember one woman who was upset and said that we didn’t understand what she was dealing with. She felt a lot more comfortable when I shared about my own family.
Even though we’re not sitting with a client in the chair, it’s still very personal. People call and ask for us by name. We have relationships with them and their hair.
Do you have any guilty (hair) pleasures?
Yes! I hate seeing any yellow in my hair. I’m a blonde, and I like to be cool. So I can relate to anyone who doesn’t want brassiness or yellow. Toning with lavender-tinted gloss like Crema takes care of that, and it’s actually healthy, not a guilty pleasure.
I’m a notorious over-toner. I do it so much that I make my hair look violet sometimes!
Let’s say you win the lotto. What’s the first thing you do?
Not tell anyone.
Wait… that’s the same thing Natasha said!
I don’t really think about that stuff, but I really want to have a little farm. Like an urban farm with little plots of land.
I’m going to start beekeeping soon, too. I just joined the Beekeepers Guild and want to go buy some bees now.
That is so cool. Do you have any other hobbies?
Everyone on the Color Crew knits. Noelle (another Madison Reed colorist) taught me.
I also cross stitch, and I’m making a gift for Noelle with a cat skull and a rose growing out of one eye.
Ok, now you’re sounding way too cool. Tell us about something embarrassing. :)
I really enjoy telling embarrassing stories, they’re funny. Everyone knows what happens to me.
I fall all over the place. I’ve fallen down on escalators a lot. One time I fell down one right after I told someone to be careful and hold on to the handrail.
Hah! Do you have any favorite foods?
Pasta, cheese, ice cream… all the carbs, basically.
Oh, I love Domino’s pizza. That’s actually my guilty pleasure. Whenever I have to update my phone, I never delete their app. I just love it.
I heard you have a cat that’s famous in the Color Crew
Yes, her name is Sadie, and she is half Himalayan and half Maine Coon. She’s a big fluffy cat that snores really loud, and we have to shave her like a lion.
For Christmas, my wife bought me a unicorn horn to put on Sadie’s head!
You’re one of our blowout experts. Can you share any professional secrets?
I love to blow dry, and it’s not that hard to give yourself a great blowout.
Invest in boar bristle round brush. They’re the ones that give you the tension on the hair to get it really smooth.
Always towel dry your hair as much as possible. Squeeze the water out gently instead of rubbing the hair with your towel. That will keep it smoother, and you can avoid creating too much steam with wet, damp hair. This will also cut down on frizz.
When you start, make sure your hair is almost all the way dry before using a round hair brush. At that point, you’re just smoothing out the texture. It’s easier and better that way.
Thanks for the pro tips, Kellay, we’re going to look so glam because of you!
That's just a taste of the Color Crew experience at Madison Reed. Reach out for a professional hair consultation and get help from a colorist who cares. We are passionate about giving you healthier options to make your hair look amazing!