Co-owner (with wife Melissa) of Festoon Salons, San Francisco area


Choose Beauty: John Ryan “When when I was in junior high, I saw the movie Shampoo and was so into it. When I graduated from high school, my mom told me I had to go to college to become a doctor or lawyer‚anything other than a hairdresser. Reluctantly, I went to the University of Iowa, and while there I cut my girlfriend’s long hair all off. She flipped when I was done because I had given her this asymetrical new-wave cut with a long tail down the middle of the back. All the girls in the dorm came out to see it and by the end of the night, I cut the hair of five more girls. One girl actually gave me a five-dollar tip, which was huge back then, and I thought, ‘wow, I can make money at this!’"

“I dropped out the next day and enrolled in beauty school and knew I was going to work at the best salon in town. Every time I had a client in school, I asked her, rather than tip me, to go to that salon and tell them how great I was. On top of that, I took Polaroids of each finished look and slipped it under the salon door with my name on it. After a few months I went and introduced myself. The owner told me I would be hired upon graduation."

 John Ryan cutting a client's hair.  

“That owner came to my graduation and handed me a card. Inside there was $500 and a note that said, ‘You are NOT hired for my salon. Take this money and go to a big city.  You have no excuse to stay here.’"

“I packed up my bags and moved to San Francisco. Eventually I became the Creative Director of Jaboh and then opened Festoon with my wife Melissa. Since earning my license, I have created more than 65,000 cuts and 35,000 colors. I’ve been around the world several times either as an artist or for training. I’ve made a lot of money and have created careers for other professionals. This has been the most magical career ever.”