Healthy Hairdresser Hero: Donna Judson

Rosanne Ullman | January 29, 2016 | 9:52 AM
Donna Judson, salon manager, market trainer and master business facilitator at Ulta

Donna Judson
Salon manager, market trainer and master business facilitator
Ulta Store #225
Phoenix, AZ

Donna Judson was 43 years old and had spent 25 years in the salon industry when a divorce and house foreclosure left her with little choice but to move in with her parents, bringing with her nothing but some clothing. As manager of an Ulta Salon in Phoenix, Judson decided she might as well try following the company’s Path to Abundance financial program herself.

“Path to Abundance is how I recovered from my divorce,” Judson says. Within four years of joining Ulta, Judson had saved enough money to purchase her own home. When her story inspires her team to fulfill their own dreams, she feels it’s the least she can do for them.

“My team is what kept me going so I didn’t just lie in bed and pull the covers over my head,” Judson says. “I didn’t tell them until I was past the worst of it because I didn’t want them to think I wasn’t available to them.”

Now she shares her story to empower others. “At Ulta, we have a plan to help you start over,” she says. “You just have to be willing to follow it.”

“Some have bought cars and paid them off within three years,” Judson says. “We’ve been an Elite Salon for two years, doing $10,000+ weekly. I have very happy designers.”

How long have you been in the industry? 30 years.

What changes have you made to be healthy?
About 15 years ago, I gave up drinking because I wasn’t getting enough sleep. Now I sleep 6-8 hours. I’ve also added fruits, vegetables and lean protein to my diet and I’ve given up cigarettes—three times! This time I’ve been smoke-free for 18 months, and I don’t want to even be around smoke.

What’s your favorite exercise?
Yoga—it’s so important to stretch the muscles and calm the mind.

What’s your worst health habit?
I do some emotional eating, but I don’t beat myself up about it. I just get back on my program.

What are your ABCs of how hairdressers can be healthier?
Adjust your hydraulic chair. Don’t bend and twist and contort yourself!
Buy a good pair of comfortable shoes.
Create work/life balance. For many years, all of my self-worth came from my job, but it has to come from within. I still work 60 hours some weeks, but I make sure I don’t do that for weeks on end without scheduling personal time. This was a big learning process for me, and now I encourage our designers to use the tools in Path to Abundance to achieve work/life balance.

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