Alkali Hair Studio has always been known for a genuine appreciation of the human spirit, and thankfully, their industry has taken notice.
In March 2022, the Winston-Salem salon was named to the SALON TODAY 200 by SALON TODAY, the leading business media for salon and spa owners. Each honoree was featured in the publication’s Spring 2022 issue, and distinguished salons were honored in Nashville this May, at an awards dinner. The competition recognizes salons for unique and forward-thinking business practices, which Alkali owner Amber Woodall accepts proudly, while reflecting on some recent changes.
First came a generous expansion of the salon – a project Amber worked on throughout the height of Covid, with completion at the end of September. The new space allows for an overall layout that accommodates the salon’s commitment to sustainability. Amber and her team also began participating in the GreenCircle recycling program, realizing they could contribute to the well-being of local waterways – and the entire planet – in addition to focusing on clean, healthy products in the salon. With that new recycling manifesto, she realized the salon also needed to go paperless.
“I streamlined our technology, and I also had to implement a way to store payment information and prevent any chance of missed reminders to accommodate our cancellation policy,” explains Amber. “With all these changes, I needed our website to be up-to-date, to clearly explain our policies and procedures. I was completely transparent about the salon’s choices, including our updated cancellation policy.”
Alkali also transitioned to a gender-neutral, ageless pricing system, also a major point contributing to their recognition.
“Separating services by gender is not only divisive but it doesn’t make good business sense,” explains Amber. “Alkali has always been a strong supporter of our LGBTQIA+ community, and this is an issue I’m passionate about. The more I analyzed typical salon pricing inconsistencies, the more obvious it became that men were receiving deep discounts on their cut and colors, while some women and others were being overcharged. Others were left to endure the pain of antiquated booking procedures that forced them to declare a gender they didn’t identify with, when hairstyles have no gender. Fostering a welcoming salon environment has always been a priority for me. I also want my stylists to make consistent wages regardless of what service they’re performing.”
Amber’s professional approach has always been employee-centric – hiring top stylists, but also those who value continuing education and sustainability. A spokesperson for SALON TODAY also noted that 2022 had been dubbed the “year of the team” – more than ever – and that certainly rings true at Alkali.
Inspired by a current team of 16 – nine stylists, two estheticians, two managers, and three receptionists – Amber proudly explains one of the biggest characteristics she feels sets Alkali apart from other salons.
“Our culture is very unique!” she says. “After many years of working in competitive salons where even the employees competed against each other, I knew I wanted my salon to be different. I truly try to lead from a place of radical love, understanding, and acceptance, and believe that example spills over into each person who is a part of Alkali. My employees are not only the top in their field, but they are treated that way – and shown they are valuable.”
Find a color and style that speaks to the real, authentic you at Alkali Hair Studio, located at 407 West End Blvd, Suite 200, in Winston-Salem. You can reach them at 336-724-1453 or online at studioalkali.com.