Mark DeBolt & Ryan Trygstad
We'll start with Covid (so we can get it out of the way!): we understand you actually opened Mark Ryan Salon during the pandemic. We admire that you persevered and opened when you did. How did the opening go?
Our opening was great! We were delayed by a few months. We had originally planned to open in April of 2020 but were delayed until to June 29, 2020. In hindsight, opening during Covid provided us with a unique opportunity. We knew that the communication of our safety practices to both our clients and new team members was essential. In regard to our clients and team, we felt like we had to work twice as hard to ensure everyone felt as safe as possible. We did not have the trust or brand recognition of a marquee name salon in NYC so we felt like we had to do more than anyone else. Remembering the spring of 2020, there was so much unknown. Stylists were returning to the salon and we had to make sure they knew what to expect regarding safety precautions around social distancing, masking, testing, and scheduling. Two glorious things bloomed here: first, our clients felt cared for, which coincidently was always our “why” from the beginning: to form lasting relationships built on personalized beauty bringing style to life in the most authentic, creative way possible. We believe that the best tool for bringing out your authentic self is showing you ours. The second blessing of this pandemic was the chance to show our team how much we cared about them. We believe the word “love” is not used enough in business and we set about creating a work environment where our team feels loved. We know that trust is created in the small moments that people treat what is important to you with care. The shutdown created a moment where people were forced to pause to think about what really mattered to them in both their personal and professional lives. We truly believe we were benefactors of this “great resignation.”
Did you find it difficult to keep your team's morale up during that time? What about your own morale?
We didn’t. Our team was creating something new and bold, and it was ours to create together. It was exciting and rewarding. Working as a stylist is a truly fulfilling career and we were so happy to be working with our clients again.
On to more uplifting topics. What trends in style and color do you predict for spring and summer?
Ryan (style): This spring we are moving towards a more natural wave with natural texture. I’m looking to create shapes that enhance the hair’s natural movement. We will still continue to see the 90’s influence throughout the spring/summer looks. For styling this means blown out more sleek and cupping/beveled under, à la 90s supermodel. The city feels more alive than it has in the past two years and the looks are much more glamorous. We are also loving hair accessories for spring/summer! Butterfly clips, banana clips, hair combs, and crystals are coming back.
Mark (color): This spring has been about warmer tones. Imagine honeycomb blondes, strawberry colors, golden wheat and amber shades. Moving away from ash tones or white tones. Some clients prefer to feel lived in, while others are opting for more high-maintenance hues. Some clients are still opting for shadowed roots and lighter ends while others are looking to make a bolder statement with high maintenance hues. We also love the attention that reds are getting now. We have clients who would not have gone red before testing the waters with washes of bronzer ambers tones and strawberry reds.
Yes! It’s all about taking care of yourself and making your hair the best that it can be. For some people it’s about taking the time for beauty rituals. Perhaps that means taking an extra step of exfoliating your scalp once a week while for others it means taking time to apply nourishing moisture masks or oils before bed. We love the new L'Ange blow dryer—its’ so light and yet so powerful. We are also adding a popular service to our menu called the PuraLuxe treament. This is a natural keratin treatment that works with natural oils and amino acids. The treatment works to smooth frizz and decrease blow dry time. It is also a great treatment to have before summer when you may be air-drying more.
What about quick styling tips? As New Yorkers (or maybe just people who live in modern-day!) we're always in a rush. If a client only has five minutes to style her hair before she needs to get out the door, what would you recommend?
I recommend using a product to enhance your natural texture like a wave spray or a texturizer. I love a textured pony tail or a ballet bun too!
You came to us by way of our wonderful co-founder, Naomi. Ryan has cut and styled her hair for a while now, right?
Ryan: Yes! I've been fortunate enough to spend most of my professional career with Naomi Watts. Our relationship spans nearly 20 years and began when we met on the press tour to promote 21 Grams in 2003. I have since collaborated with her on multiple films, fashion projects, and magazine shoots. Many of those years were spent in search of the best natural haircare products to help Naomi look and feel her best. We’re honored to mention too that we now count her as a valued client at Mark Ryan Salon. My fondest memories I created with Naomi were at the Venice Film Festival. I'll never forget the magic in the air as industry titans came together to celebrate global film.
Mark Ryan Salon is involved with Green Circle (a sustainability initiative); we love to hear this, as sustainability is one of the tenets of ONDA Beauty and something we value very highly in the brands we carry. Can you tell us a bit about Green Circle and why you chose to participate?
Yes, and we are delighted to tell you about it during Earth Month! Green Circle is a recycling company that partners with salons to divert and repurpose 95% (YES, 95%) of what would have previously gone to landfills and pollute our waterways. We have recycling bins EVERYWHERE in the salon. As we work, we separate everything. Every used foil is sent to a facility where it is washed and recycled. Hair trimmings are collected to create oil mats which are sent to parts of the world experiencing oil spills. The haircut trimmings are also used to research and pioneer insulation technologies. Any excess hair color is sent to a facility where they extract water from the color to be recycled into our water supply and the metals are extracted to be repurposed for construction materials. Partnering with Green Circle is a huge source of pride for our team and sustainability is one of our core values.
The salon is not only a beautiful space, but also such a welcoming one. Everyone there is so friendly and immediately puts the client at ease. What was your inspiration for both the physical space and vibe of Mark Ryan Salon?
For the design, Ryan wanted to create the feeling of an airy, beauty oasis. In the center of our salon sits our color table which was up-cycled from two 100-year-old woodworking tables that we found in upstate New York. The table serves as a clearing in the forest between handcrafted wooden slat canopies that create a feeling of warmth and intimacy. Ryan loves design and chose a Pierre Frey wallpaper of painted ferns for the bathroom that plays on different hairstyles. The artwork is a collection of pieces including photography, paintings and sculpture. We wanted the salon to feel comfortable and welcoming.
Mission certainly accomplished. Last but not least: you're partners in both business and romance! What's that like?
Mark: For us, it works. We really enjoy spending so much time with one another. I really can’t imagine doing it without him. We’ve come to follow some of the rules that we’ve heard others say: we stay in our lanes, we try not to bring work home and lastly, follow the advice that my Aunt Mary gave us before getting married: we (mostly) don’t go to bed angry.
Ryan: For us it just works! We have different strengths and try to keep off of each other’s toes. We respect one another.
"We love this all-natural, sulfate-free combo for bleached and color-treated hair. The rich formulation boosts shine and manageability while adding color protection. The fragrance is beautiful and reminds us of our garden in spring. It also contains ingredients to fight free radicals and pollution (which fade color faster): in a place like NYC this is welcome color protection. "
"This beautiful oil is the perfect leave-in to nourish dehydrated lengths and ends. It contains the trifecta of oils: argan, sunflower, and green tea seed, which adds glowing shine while over time leaving the hair healthier and more manageable. Shake well and use on the mid-length and ends of damp or dry hair. It also helps with quicker drying time."
"This is a great styling product for someone who has avoided salt sprays for fear of the dull finish. Innersense I Create Waves creates a beachy texture while delivering soft, moisturized ends with the help of aloe vera. It's the perfect styler addition for anyone looking to add natural texture without the obvious look that can come from using a heavy product."