Solo Artist

Girl on Fire

Lauren Salapatek | July 28, 2015 | 8:50 AM
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Tanya Ramirez says her specialties include gorgeous blondes, vivid and dreamy pastel tones, color correction, custom-blended hair extensions and dry cutting.
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While about half of Ramirez’s clients get “normal” color, her more creative work sets the tone. She photographed all these clients with her iPhone, added quotes with the Wordswag app and shared via Instagram.
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Creative color by Ramirez
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Creative color by Ramirez
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Creative color by Ramirez
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Creative color by Ramirez
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The consummate contemporary colorist, Tanya Ramirez is smart, creative, highly professional—and 100 percent independent. Poised and hoping to become the next internet sensation, she works Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, a YouTube channel and her own newsletter seamlessly, as she encourages clients to “get untamed” at her Untamed Instincts salon in Los Angeles. How did she build a business and a brand that allows her to charge up to $600 for creative color? She knows herself, her style and what her clients want.

“I’m all about creating unique, tailored looks,” explains Ramirez. “Strong, visual imagery depicting creative yet wearable looks strengthens my brand. I keep my image style consistent and relevant, capitalizing not only on what's popular, but taking the next step in developing new styles. When potential clients reach out, they can see all my work and know I have extensive experience.”

Ramirez’s career, first as a receptionist and then as a stylist who got one-on-one training, kept her happy and built her self-confidence, but like many people, once she started a family she needed flex time and a shorter commute. She began renting five years ago, and recently moved from a chair to a Salon Republic suite only because her rental salon’s building was sold. “The market has changed,” she says of her search for a new home. “I found many salons paying lower commissions and high-end chair rental salons wanting more control.”

Consistency and Creativity

Ramirez says the best way to build a clientele is to deliver top-notch, consistent work. She gets most her clients from referrals and Yelp reviews on her business page, which includes all her style photos. She also generates Instagram buzz with “clean, strong ad-free images” that showcase her style.

Keeping clients is a result of delivering exceptional service, she adds: “Not only great hair but an overall pleasant and professional experience. I respond to all messages in a timely and professional manner and always follow-up.”

Given her distinct style, how does she keep creative? “I'm constantly exploring new haircolor techniques,” she explains. “I love using sacred geometry concepts and art as inspiration for hair designs. I travel to England annually for a fresh perspective on hair and trends. I love producing collections and participating in events like NAHA (North American Hairstyling Awards). Lately, I've been producing more creative haircolor videos. Sometimes, a hair concept will come to me in a dream and I re-create it.”

Ramirez’s YouTube videos are intended to inspire pros, and her work has also been published in MODERN SALON. She keeps her name in front of consumers thorough her columns at Her current client base of 150 is growing, due to her efforts and recently increasing her hours to about 30 a week.

While she can charge $450 for a brunette-to-light lilac job and up to $600 for creative corrective work over previous color, Ramirez says she’s mindful of meaningful value.

“My higher tickets can take 4-8 hours, but just one pays the $379/week rent,” she says. “I include a 10-minute shape-up cut if it is needed, and of course, styling. It’s the best way to showcase your work; no one leaves with wet hair!”



Most proud of: Right now, I'm totally loving a new technique I created for a jewel-encrusted haircolor.

Favorite education: I'm a visual learner so videos are number one. Plus, I go to ISSE in Long Beach every year.

Haircolor brands: I love Wella color—great range and always delivers exceptional results. I've also been playing with the Joico Intensity shades and the new Wella Instamatics line.

Fave Color Technique: I love a good color melt! Whether it's brunette and blonde hues or a rainbow flurry. 

Retail: $25-$50 per ticket. I use Joico shampoos/conditioners at my back bar and carry the duos to retail; the price point is comfortable for clients. I love Joico KPAK Color Therapy, Color Endure and Smooth Cure, which are all sulfate-free and gentle for colored hair. 

Best Add-on Service: Olaplex stand-alone treatment or the take-home No. 3. This weekly treatment garners rave reviews from all my color clients. 

Also, Joico Tint Shot Root Concealer for instant grey coverage—it makes fine hair appear fuller, so it’s a great retail add-on.

Biggest Challenge: Work/life balance. As a renter, you do it all so it's important to have an objective perspective on your career and where you want to take it. You have to live in the day-to-day but also think 3-5-10 years out for continual growth. Take a day or two off, look at financials for goal-setting and more importantly, set boundaries. Don't be afraid to say no; value yourself and your time!



Do you run your own personal, professional beauty business? Welcome to the new artist community just for you!

Solo Artist is for and about independent beauty professionals—freelancers, salon suites, chair renters—every stylist who is “on your own,” on purpose. It’s the one-to-one resource you need to stay connected to professional beauty trends, education, products, deals, biz-building tips and much more—all customized to the Solo Artist approach.


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