Major throw back coming your way!!! It has been over 17 years since I have last seen Stacey. I’m sure it had to of been at our High School graduation, back in 2001. We hung with different groups, hers the more quirky creative kind and mine the rebel free spirits (we have not changed much). I consider High School as the period of time when I began to divert from myself. I view it as my do anything by any means to get by without being seen. I wonder if Stacey hated High School just as much as I did?
As we sit down to chat, the past quickly fades. I am presented with a familiar face and energy but someone I barely know. I am excited, yet nervous, and somehow know that we are probably more a like than we had ever imagined.
Stacey Rackham is the founder of Mint Hair Crafting in Royal Oak, Michigan. Mint is a unique hair studio located in the heart of down town Royal Oak. It is a space that is nothing like the other hair salons in the area. At Mint, connection and collaboration is everything. The relationship between a stylist and their client is the foundation for a free flowing creative environment that cultivates inspiration and empowers everyone involved.
Stacey grew up in Saint Clair Shores, MI, a small middle class town located in the Metro Detroit area. During High School she felt the pressure to fit in, like many of us do. She went to college, but didn’t really know what she wanted to do. It was by chance that Stacey went to see a stylist in RO that would change the course of her life. The stylist encouraged Stacey to let go of her inhibitions and do something different with her hair. She was able to transform Stacey’s look into something that Stacey always knew she wanted, but did not have the confidence to try. Stacey felt a weight lifted that day.
Stacey initiated steps to start living outside of the cocoon that made her feel safe. She started thinking about what she truly liked and wanted for herself. Things like who she spent time with and what she spent her time doing began to change. She was no longer afraid to pursue the things that she was naturally attracted to. She was able to find who she really is as she navigated through the weeds of identity, self confidence, depression and confusion.
I had to let go of my past, of things that no longer served me, that I wasn’t necessarily ready to let go of.
Stacey was inspired to go to hair school to help others embrace their uniqueness. It was one of the first times in her life she felt she had found her purpose. Working for a salon was something Stacey believes was necessary for her own personal growth. Stacey felt that she was not hitting her highest potential professionally, but at the same time knew she was not quite emotionally ready to step into her next role. She was still fragile due to losses of loved ones, friendships and letting go of who she once thought she was. She needed time to heal.
Stacey worked for a salon for over 9 years before she felt the plateau of her career and a need to change. She wanted more, but did not really know exactly what that looked like yet. The people she surrounded herself with were mostly entrepreneurs that bridged the gap between what she believed was impossible to possible. Hair can have the perception of being a non-career, but Stacey knew what she did matters and wanted other people to see that.
I wanted to help elevate the perception of being a hair dresser.
Owning a salon was something she had been pondering about for years, but felt held back doing. People told her that the market is saturated, it won’t be successful and she won’t make money. She felt that most people wanted to keep her safe. She was even told that a salon with girls who wore revealing clothing would be more successful than her concept of Mint. This gave her fuel to focus on something bigger.
Around this time, her mom became sick. This grounded Stacey in Michigan. She narrowed in on one idea, Mint. She met with a realtor and shared her dreams. After looking at some spaces that did not quite work, it just so happened that a lady wanted to get rid of her salon in RO. Eighteen months later, Mint Hair Crafting was born in May 2016.
Mint is a color focused salon, specializing in progressive on trend work. The work they do evolves as the trends change and social presence grows. Mint empowers people to live outside of their comfort zones and to be passionate about who they are. The team at Mint is rooted in creating space for their guests to give their full heart and soul.
Opening your own business rarely comes easily. Stacey’s family has always been very supportive, but no one in her immediate family are entrepreneurs. She credits the success of Mint from taking baby steps and falling up. She feels asking for help has been essential. Through some of Stacey’s most challenging times, she has gained priceless wisdom and humbleness. Through the loss of her dad and even after the opening of Mint, Stacey gained big life lessons.
You can learn so much through a loss. It is a painful gift. You approach every day with a different perspective. You are never the same person after a loss. Work can consume you and be a detergent from real connection. It can affect relationships and at times you are rewarded for your hard work, bit it is important to not lose sight of what you are sacrificing and what really matters.
After the high of opening the salon an overwhelm of stress caused some depression. Her lifestyle shifted and in the wake of what was a very big moment for Stacey, ended in more loss and pushback. It was not easy to guide staff through change and stay true to her values as a business owner. Over time, Mint Hair Crafting has formed into something Stacey is honored to be able to share with the world.
Hair helped open to door to discover who I really was.
Stacey takes prides in her team who give the same experience that she once had. She thrives on the connection she feels with her clients and believes that what they do at Mint is special. Life can take our attentions away, so in those moments when she is able to fully be in the moment with her clients, she cherishes the space to be able to do that.
Hair Tips/Suggestions From Stacey
Favorite hair tip: Use a thermal protectant and get regular treatments. It can make a world of difference about how they can fall back in love with their texture.
Tips for Greasy Hair: Depending on the type of shampoo you use, some are not best for your hair type. Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two, removes surface oils and product build up. It helps control oil production on the scalp and scalp treatments can help too.
Natural vs Chemical products: A lot of products are marketed as natural, but still have chemicals. There is something that creates suds and almost all commercial products have some sulfates. Truly natural products will sacrifice that clean feeling. It depends on your values. Some brands have a deeper purpose such as environmentally conscious or cruelty free and may contain some chemicals but are still in line with your values. Sulfates are not something that needs to be so avoided.
Tips brittle thin hair: Thin brittle hair is caused from lack of protein and moisture from diet, chemical exposure and hard water. If it lacks protein it will lack moisture. A Malibu Make Over, high dose of vitamin C and glucose to help remove left over minerals from water. Doesn’t tangle or prevents breakage. Blonde looks more brilliant. The right balance between protein and moisture can make a worlds difference.
Does going platinum ruin hair: It can if not done properly. If it is done with great care, it can be done virtually breakage free with minimal internal damage. It is a journey and requires time, about 6 – 8 hours.