Hairdresser Tammy McNelis and Her "Best Kept Secrets"

Hairdresser Tammy McNelis and Her “Best Kept Secrets”

A Big CONGRATULATIONS to Hairdresser Tammy McNelis

Salon Plaza Woodbridge Hairdresser Tammy McNelis

Owner of “Best Kept Secrets” Hair Salon in Woodbridge, VA

Tammy’s upbeat, loving dedication to her guests and fellow Salon Plaza Members makes her an obvious choice as Member of the Month.

“Smile. It increases your face value.”

– Truvy, Steel Magnolias

Let’s hear Tammy tell her story about how she transformed her life and found the ultimate “Steel Magnolias” paradise right here in Salon Plaza Woodbridge.

To me, Doing Hair Isn’t a ‘Job’


Truth is, I didn’t grow up wanting to be a hairdresser. I worked in retail, sales and accounting. I managed a clothing store and a jewelry store.

None of it made me happy.

Managing a NutraSystem team put me at the end of my rope. I hated what I was doing – talking people into buying something I new they couldn’t afford. Then one fateful day, I went to get my hair done. The confident, shmoozie male stylist began talking about how great it was to be a hairdresser. He boasted,

“You get to set your own hours and charge what you want.”

Being a single mom, that sounded pretty good. So I did an apprenticeship under him. As it turns out, doing hair comes naturally to me. And 30 years later, here I am.

THIS is what I was BORN to do.

My Specialty is Color

“I can usually spot a bottle job in 20 paces.”

– Truvy, Steel Magnolias

A Certified Master Colorist, I tell my guests what I think they should do. My styling is more conservative. I say to them,

“I want you to look good every day.”

I’m not super trendy, or into purples and teals. I’ll do a little of it, but it’s not my passion. My guests come in and put themselves in my hands.

Here’s how it goes… I start the consultation by saying,

“Sit down and tell me what you want, and I’ll tell you what I see.”

I study them, and then walk away, wait… The first picture that comes into my mind is their face. Then when I wait, it just comes to me what I should do. All at once, just like that.

Then we try to meet somewhere in the middle. I have a knack for color and cut. I cannot think of a time when someone said, “OMG No! Oh, what have you done?” NEVER.

I was just supposed to do hair.

We Love Balayage

What is Balayage? It’s the latest trend in hair color. By leaving your roots natural and highlighting about a third of the way down, the Balayage technique easily lasts three months or more.

 Salon Plaza Woodbridge Hairdresser Tammy McNelis

My goal is to create soft, natural-looking highlights that grow out beautifully. To see more images of what this can do for you, visit Best Kept Secrets on Facebook.

Another popular technique is Wet on Wet – This technique applies color on damp hair, right down to your roots, covering your whole head. In one step it gives you highlights throughout that compliment your natural coloring.

This approach takes less time and $$$. Come in and see what I can do for you – by appointment only in my private studio salon. Why not schedule your first visit now with Best Kept Secrets.

And Then I Found WONDERFUL

“I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”

– Shelby, Steel Magnolias

Three years ago, I opened my studio salon with Salon Plaza. It’s much more intimate and personal than the big, 10 chair salon I used to own. At any given time I have between 2 and 3 guests in my studio.

I know so much about them, it doesn’t seem right to call them clients. They’ve become my friends.

“I have a strict policy that nobody cries alone in my presence.”

– Truvy, Steel Magnolias

At Best Kept Secrets, you’re not just coming in to get your hair done. We’re network, sharing, laughing and getting to know each other. When you’re in here, you’re hanging out with your friends and making new friends.

Getting your hair done is kind of like a bonus.

THIS is the BEST Business EVER

Salon Plaza Woodbridge Hairdresser Tammy McNelis

When the middle schools near me have a career day, I go in and talk to the kids about what my life as a salon professional is like. I tell them,

“You get to talk all day and play with your friends’ hair. It’s like having a slumber party – during the day. That’s what it feels like… It’s the best job ever.”

Owning a studio salon is completely different from owning a big shop with many chairs to fill. It doesn’t even feel like work. I don’t have to do scheduling for a bunch of other stylists or solve employee conflicts. I get to enjoy doing what I love to do, and at the end of the day – go home.

Catch my next post right here on the Salon Owner Success Blog. I’ll tell you all about what it takes to be successful as a studio salon owner… and all the great things Salon Plaza does to support its Members.

If you are a salon professional who wants to upscale your dreams, or a salon owner who wished they could just focus on doing what they love best, come in for a tour!

Tour Salon Plaza in Maryland and Virginia

In the meantime, if you’re wanting your secret best look – here’s how you can get that, and a whole lot more – Schedule now with “Best Kept Secrets”