I slide the glass door open to a dainty and hip salon space. I’m invited in and greeted by Tina, who has fiery yellow-orange hair and a friendly grin. I hang my coat on the colorfully knobbed coat rack mounted against the wall, and place my bag down below on the vintage chair she had custom upholstered. A Few unique art pieces are hung on the corner opposite this space, each bit helping to tie together the vibe of her studio. I’m ushered to the giant barber chair in the center, situated in front of a two large mirror panels and a work space decorated by a glory of vegan and cruelty-free hair care products. I sit down in the comfy and plush seat, and she begins working her magic.
Tina has been a licensed hair stylist for 13 years, however her journey began much younger as a junior high student experimenting with her own hair. The idea of Va Va Vroom came to her 4 years ago, inspired by her vegan lifestyle and the lack of awareness around cruelty-free and eco-friendly hair care products. She shares with me a few valuable insights on how she made her passion for her lifestyle change work with her profession.
What made you start Va Va Vroom?
Tina: I really wanted to start a business that reflected my ethics, so I did a lot of research to find products that are not only vegan-friendly, but are eco-friendly as well. What goes down my drain is of equal importance to me. The majority of cleaning / beauty products have harsh detergents, plastics, and petroleum in them! Now that I’ve become kind of a pro at label reading, it’s scary knowing what’s really out there.
What does it mean for a salon to be vegan and cruelty-free?
T: Most people, Vegan or otherwise have a decent understanding of what Vegan and cruelty- free means, but don’t necessarily apply that to products used outside of the food realm. I explain that many commercial beauty products, and their parent companies test their products on animals, and or have animal byproducts in their ingredients. Most people are shocked when I tell them there are shampoos that exist with ingredients such as urea, and placenta! Although not very common, its still really gross, and completely unnecessary.
What is your favorite part of owning a salon and being a hair stylist?
T: Apart from setting my own hours (which is super awesome!) I love meeting new people, hearing their stories, working with my hands, and being creative. It’s just that much more exciting now that I’m using products I can fully get behind, and I finally feel 100% genuine in my own space.
What is your must have hair product of the moment?
T: I’m head over heels right now over Reverie’s “Milk” it’s a botanical blend of essential oils such as: sandlewood, vetiver, jasmine, and bourbon vanilla. It smells absolutely delicious. It’s texture is light, and creamy. It’s like a leave-in and anti-frizz serum in one! Fabulous for all hair types, can be used a multitude of ways. All Reverie products are free of harmful sulfates, gluten, artificial fragrance, petrochemicals, and of course Vegan friendly. All their product ingredients are sustainably sourced, and biodegradable!
Tell us about your hip mobile salon. What is the story behind it?
T: I’ve always loved Airstreams! I mean, who doesn’t? The idea came when I was driving on the road and one passed, and I wondered if it was possible to turn one into a salon. It’s been over 3 years labor of love. Lots of ups and downs. I’m so excited that we’re FINALLY ready to get this baby out there, and rollin’!
What services do you provide on the Airstream?
T: The Airstream is designed to be an onsite service/ perk for business, or for special occasions and events. If you would like to have VaVaVroom salon come to your place of work, or an event visit the “trailer” portion of our website at vavavroomsalon.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have our studio in down town Redwood City! Making appointments is easy, and can be done directly from the website.
The Airstream is focused on haircuts and styling only.
The Redwood City Studio is designed for cut and color.