HOW OUR STORY
Hazel Odessa Rhodes
Hazel O. was an army wife, mother, philanthropist, an active member of her local church, and continued to service clients until she passed at the age of 85 in 2016.
In creating Hazel O. Salon, Marcia and Nikita wanted to provide guests with the same warmth, empowerment, and beautiful hair that their grandmother so gracefully did for fifty plus years. This in mind, it was only right that the salon be set in the epicenter of historic Old Town Alexandria.
The two refer to Hazel O. as the “quintessential urban beauty oasis,” where clients can escape the intensity of the city in a tropical, soothing environment. Guests can enjoy the calming vibe of the salon while getting their hair, lashes, and brows done. The space includes a curated selection of stationery, candles, and the like made by local makers and small business owners from across the country. Hazel O. Salon also features a designated area with a platform ideal for industry classes and events.
Through Hazel O. Marcia and Nikita endeavor to continue their grandmother’s legacy while creating a new standard for salon culture. “Our goal is to provide services that guests rave about, products that meet the needs of all hair textures, and stylists that can achieve both.”
CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER
Nikita got her start in the beauty industry while working in a salon in college. After completing college and beginning her career she stayed close to the industry - becoming a makeup artist. Her talent and professionalism afforded her the opportunity to work with many notable names and celebrities such as Viola Davis, Skai Jackson, and Soledad O'Brien to name a few. After leaving her career of ten years, and working as a freelance publicist consultant, Nikita partnered with her cousin Marcia to open Hazel O. Salon. The "twin cousins" wanted to create a space where clients could escape and relax. They also wanted to create a professional environment where stylists could do what they love and thrive in a team-centered environment. You won't see Nikita behind the chair but you may see her moving throughout the salon doing whatever needs to be done to keep the brand alive.
Alexus is a west coast transplant who has brought that style with her in full force. Her hair career was born in 2011 and has transpired greatly since, now fine-tuned into a color specialist. Her guests love the conversation, the ease of her presence and leaving the salon feeling fresh. Alexus loves all things color and is able to achieve the most complex transformations with ease. She's worked in elite salons from Denver to D.C. and has found her home at Hazel O.
Kierra graduated from the Paul Mitchell academy in 2014 and immediately began working in salons across Northern Virginia. As a stylist Kierra enjoys a good transformation whether it comes from a new color, cut, or repair treatment. Guests enjoy Kierra's inviting nature and her ability to color all textures. When she's not in the salon you can usually catch Kierra at your local taco bar!“
With a career that started at the tender age of 15, Jana is creative, versatile and passionate about her craft. Jana was on the path towards a career in Human Resources when she decided to pursue her true calling - beauty. She pursued her passion at Paul Mitchell, excelling with repeat requests from clients. She has since graduated and found her niche in color services, extensions and custom units. She prides herself on her ability to bring her clients' visions to life. Jana loves Thai food and if you're ever thinking of making her day bring her a dirty chai with oat milk!
Madison’s career as a cosmetologist started in 2018, but she's worked in the beauty industry for various cosmetic brands since her teens. Madison is a Midwest native who has worked with multiple color and product lines to give her guests the most customized results for their specific hair goals. Madison’s favorite services include airbrush makeup, highlights, balayage, and all things color. She prides herself in her attention to detail and the experience she gives her guests. Being able to make people feel more confident when they walk out the door of the salon than when they came in is Madison’s favorite part of being a stylist. When not in the salon, Madison enjoys reading, spending time with her cat, and indulging her sweet tooth.
Geneva Toomer-Cruz, affectionately known as "Cruz." Cruz is a Los Angeles native who began her career in the fashion industry, but found much more joy in what she'd soon know to be her lifelong passion - hair styling. Cruz is known for her gentle hand, a physical extension of the care with which she handles her guests. Her warmth and personal nature are translated in her attention to detail. She possesses a deep love for extensions, thermal straightening, color (vivids are her fave), and creating tailored looks. Since moving to Alexandria, Cruz has established a loyal clientele. When she's not in the salon, you'll find Cruz cooking, singing, or hiking a local trail.
Diana came to Hazel O. in September of 2020 as the salon's first apprentice and has been eager to learn as much about her craft ever since. Despite having started her career in the beauty industry as a makeup artist, and eventually learning to do nails, Diana always had an interest in becoming a hairstylist. Diana loves doing color services, quickly becoming familiar with the Wella color line. When she isn’t at the salon, Diana loves spending time with her family and her four-legged bestie, Pumba. Born in El Salvador, Diana's favorite food is pupusas, a traditional favorite.
Khadija got into the hair industry at a young age. Growing up with curly hair and no one around to teach her how to care for it, she took matters into her own hands. Now as a hairstylist who loves a good hair transformation she loves to help and teach clients how to take care of their hair, she’s also a cosmetology instructor who aspires to teach her students all things hair. Besides doing hair she’s also a pre-law major and aspiring immigration lawyer. On an average day you could find her up early grabbing her venti pink drink from Starbucks and getting on with her day.
Lwam learned to do hair at age 11 and practiced her craft on her seven curly sisters. Later she graduated from Aveda Arts & Science Institute and went on to be a braider, a makeup artist and hair stylist for events before joining Hazel O Salon. As stylist Lwam strives to make her clients happy by making their vision a reality. She loves a good transformation whether it be color cut, or overall health of the hair. When she’s not in the salon, she works with newborns as a phlebotomist. Lwam is a Jack of all trades when it comes to art. In her spare time, she enjoys creative activities like painting, drawing, cooking and embroidery while listening to true crime podcasts.
Jessica grew up in Northern Virginia and considers herself a local by all accounts. Growing up she was unable to find a stylist who she felt could cut and color her curly hair to her liking, as a result in she began to learn to cut and care for her it herself. Finally, after working as a diesel mechanic for five years, she felt inspired by the stories shared by the curly hair community and decided to enroll in cosmetology school. Jessica graduated from the Aveda Institute in Spring 2022 and became a quick study. She loves blonding, color, and of course - curls. Outside of her professional interests, Jessica is passionate about fitness, health, her family, her dogs, and food.