Elizabeth Faye’s biggest goal as a beauty professional is to make the world a better place. She knows that now, but she had to better her own life before she could shed light on others’.
Faye credits two things saving her life when it hit its lowest point: hairdressing and nature.
When she was 12 and growing up in Las Vegas, Faye stole box color and ruined her natural level 7 hair. Her dad took her to Robert Cromeans Salon in the Mandalay Bay for a color correction, an experience that changed her life.
“This was the only place I had ever felt listened to, heard, or felt like I fit in,” Faye says.
She saved her money to go back again to her happy place, but stylist Brandon Holt didn’t want to take her money; he told Faye that if she brought in her report card every year, he’d do her hair for free.
That incentive worked for a few years, until Faye dropped out of school at 16. Without a report card, how was she going to get her hair done? Holt offered Faye a job at his new salon, and she started there almost immediately.
The job at the salon reminded Faye again that this environment was where she fit in and felt at home.
In the midst of her love for hairdressing growing, Faye’s other happy place was always being outdoors. Her dad taught yoga at the local YMCA and was a boy scout leader. She would go with him to rendezvous in the mountains, doing yoga in nature.
These two positive elements were the only places of light in Faye’s life. She thought to herself, “What if I brought everything good from my life together for an “escape to learn” retreat?”
The concept comes from Faye’s idea that when someone is removed from their comfort zone, they learn differently and bond differently.
“When you escape into the perfect environment, surrounded by natural beauty and a like-minded community-radical change begins,” the Hair Love website says. “You will leave feeling balanced and grounded and with friendships and a sisterhood that last a lifetime. At Hair Love we specialize in experience education and community based-education.”
That passion project that took over life. “Escape to learn” evolved into Faye’s Hair Love brand, a community of hairstylists that consists of online coaching programs, live workshops, digital classes, a podcast, and most famously, the annual Hair Love Retreat.
IT STARTS WITH WELLNESS
Hair Love is based on three pillars: wellness, beauty and business.
“The mindset and wellness aspects of the retreat was crucial,” Faye says. “We’re not just how we color hair. If you’re not well, your business can’t be well. You got to get your money mindset right before you grow financially. You must take care of self before you take care of others.”
In everything Faye does, she makes sure the three pillars are represented, and interwoven into the programing. This begins with wellness.
At the retreat, various elements of wellness are offered each of the five days: yoga, meditation, motivational speakers, hikes, healthy food, crystal healing, spa experiences and more. And yes, the yoga classes are taught by Faye’s father.
Faye says like-minded people attract like-minded people. She says this organic relationship that comes together over time from living by the three pillars has turned into something magical.
“Hair Love Retreat was a weekend I will never forget,” says stylist and Hair Love mentor Shelley Gregory. “My heart, belly and mind are full to the brim of all the things I need to be a successful human. Elizabeth has created a space where you can come with an open heart and feel safe to learn, laugh, cry, eat and make solid connections with spectacular stylists who have so much to give!”
Beyond the attendees, the brands who support Hair Love have to align with the community’s morals and missions in order to be part of it.
In fact, everything is hairdresser-driven, down the education that is offered. Classes are chosen based on polling attendees into what becomes a choose-your-own-adventure-like itinerary through the Hair Love app.
“This year, we’re expanding on community-polled education, and we’re certain it’s how we’re doing education forever.”
Classes cover social media, personal branding, cutting and color workshops, updo education and beyond.
“We want attendees to be confident in their skills to be a better hairdresser overall,” Faye says.
Currently, capacity for the retreat maxes out at 250 hairdressers and influencers, but the community is growing rapidly. Next year, Faye wants to introduce a way for the whole salon team to experience Hair Love together. She and her team are designing a new king of experience in Palm Springs, which will allow up to 500 attendees to share in the love, whether it be one day or multiple. The retreat will switch off between Utah and Palm Spring each year.
Visit hairloveretreat.com to learn more.
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