A colorful new business dedicated to hair care and design has joined what is becoming a growing arts scene in Clinton.
Alison Donham officially opened Salon All is On just over six months ago, where she specializes in safe beauty care that is all natural and free of chemicals, as well as the use of environmentally conscious products.
“I’m done using chemicals that don’t make the world a better place,” she said. “I still do some hair colors, but my big pleasure now is healthy hair care.”
Donham, who got her beginning in the industry at the age of 17, has decades of experience as a hairdresser. This is not the first time she’s started her own salon, but it is the first time Salon All is On has opened on Whidbey Island, where she has lived since 2019. A large neon sign in the window has, in the past, moved around to the different areas where Salon All is On was located.
In creating her menu of services, Donham is aiming to eliminate the pink tax, which refers to the tendency for products marketed specifically toward women to be more expensive than those marketed toward men. The menu will make it clear what people are paying for, whether it’s a simple trimming of the ends or a nice, long shampoo.
“COVID was difficult for a lot of us, and we felt a lot of isolation, and I feel like the salon and my business is absolutely about the people, and connections and art,” Donham said.
She has developed what she refers to as an “ArtCut,” an innovative approach to haircuts using multiple tools and techniques that create a flow, drape and form of versatile hairstyles, which are uniquely suited to each individual.
Shorter appointments are for the “CraftCut,” which focuses on the exterior of the hairs rather than the interior structure.
“ReSet” is a shoulder, neck and scalp massage that is both relaxing and soothing.
Donham is currently seeking a resident hair color specialist to join her at Salon All is On.
Her salon is also a space for some of her special projects, such as “fantasy hair,” a blend of yarns that can be braided into someone’s hair as an accessory. One client wore her set for six years.
Clients may be asked to model an outfit from the rack of vintage prom dresses she collects, which range from the 1950s to the 2000s. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Donham took over ownership of the dresses from her mother, who previously was a director of high school theater productions. As a photographer, Donham creates images that capture the nature of the individual, setting the scene and mood to express total beauty.
Donham is planning to host Hungarian hairdresser Steven Buzassy on June 8-10. She is looking for two models during that time who are willing to get their hair cut.
With her new apprentice, Donham is hoping to do more special projects in the future, like the day of gratitude she hosted last December. During this day, walk-in customers paid what they could for service.
“Not everybody has access to a lovely service, whether it’s short or long or whatever it is,” she said. “I just like to share and engage with people and be surprised by who walks in the door.”
Though the salon is open Tuesday through Saturday, Donham’s schedule is flexible.
“If somebody wants to come in on a Monday and it works for me, that’s great,” she said.