Trust! – West Hollywood
For this week’s feature, I headed over to longtime neighborhood favorite Trust! Salon in West Hollywood, CA. And after only five minutes, I understood why. The instant I arrived, I was greeted by Topher, the salon’s gorgeously intelligent manager. Topher took me on a quick tour of the salon, showed me the VIP area, introduced me to the team, and offered me anything I could possibly want–from diet coke to champagne to the thirteen different drink options their top-of-the-line coffee machine spits out. Trust!’s warm orange decor and friendly staff made it such an inviting experience.
Topher then took me to meet the man behind the magic, Trust! salon’s owner and charismatic head stylist Haywood Wilkerson. For the next two hours, Haywood and Topher, both with years of experience under their belts, dished about what sets them apart from other salons, how they deal (or don’t deal) with diva stylists and clients, what trends they see on the horizon, and their new Hollywood location.
I began by asking Haywood about the salon’s stand-out name. He response was short and sweet, “First comes trust, then comes beauty.” Nothing could be more brilliant and ring more true, especially after the conversation I had with these guys.
With the opening of his second location and the fifteen-year success of his first, I made sure to ask Haywood about his #1 business no-no. “Knowing when to say no,” he told me. “If a client comes to me with an idea or a picture of a celebrity’s hair they ripped from a magazine, and I know that I can’t make their hair look like it, I tell them. I think it’s all about knowing when to say no. If someone has three Charlie Brown hairs, I cannot give them the full-headed style their favorite celebrity is rocking. “
I later asked Haywood what he would change about the salon, and his answer also wowed me. ” I wish it was bigger,” he said. As the salon’s manager, I’m sure Topher loved that answer. But Haywood really meant it. “I wish it was a full service salon,” he said. Haywood and Topher then told me about a trip the whole staff took to Miami last year, an all- expense paid vacation to boost team moral. “I didn’t want to throw another staff holiday party; it’s cheesy. And I think the staff really appreciated that. Some of them had never even been to Miami which also made it that much more exciting.” They also told me that they hope to open their next salon in Miami, so Miami stay tuned.
That was the vibe that I got at Trust! Everyone genuinely wanted to be there. It impressed me so much that both Haywood and Topher had such an appreciation for their staff. And as cliche as it may sound, they were real. It was an honor to interview Haywood and Topher. Thanks so much, guys!