beauty chicago

Behind the Scenes at Solo Salon

Tuesday, September 02, 2014 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Halfstack had the great opportunity to highlight the re-branding of Chicago based salon - Solo Salon. Solo Salon is a staple hotspot for great styling, cuts and color in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood. It's sleek yet cozy interiors, friendly staff and fabulous owner have made it popular among Chicago beauty mavens. Halfstacker Dwight takes us on a guided tour of the salon through his amazing images and video below. Salon owner, Kristen Singer also took the time to sit with us and give us some insight on her journey as a business owner based in Chicago.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? 
My name is Kristine Singer I have 20 years experience in the industry. I love fashion, music, people and challenge. What led me to open my salon was all these things, but mostly working as a team with like minded people. Being part of something greater than just a salon. 

What can clients expect when they visit Solo Salon? 
When you visit Solo you can expect great energy and a great look. What sets our brand apart is the attention to each individual being unique. When you walk into most businesses and salons you can capture a specific feeling that attracts a specific type of client. We make sure that we keep an open feeling inviting all types of people, creating a culture of diversity. This leaves the sense of openness to your mind which brings out the best creative flow.

What makes your brand stand out among the fierce competition in this city?
What makes us stand out against our competitors is our education. We have classes every Wednesday. In these classes we teach and learn straight edge razoring techniques. We also have wide ranges of services that leave Solo open to anyone.

What are some of the products and lines you carry in the salon?
We currently carry. Bumble and Bumble, Kerastase, Smashbox, Baxter of Claifornia, Nioxin, and Dermalogica.

Why did you decide to settle in the West Loop?
I always say the West Loop picked me. As the most important thing to me is the energy in the space, I have always believed that what you put out you get back. I lived in the West Loop while I had the idea to open a salon. One night I was walking my dog and I just saw this empty space. There was a big construction light on inside while the rest of the street was pitch back. I just had this vision and feeling and there was no escaping it. I heard the music in my head and everything. At the time the West Loop was pretty empty, as a hair dresser seeing a person without much of a look opens avenues of ideas and is exciting to me. This was a similar feeling when seeing this space on an empty street. I was determined to create this special place people would call a home away from home.

What are some hot trends for hair that you see for the upcoming season?
3 trends this fall would be…. 1. Lived in texture 2.festival creative braiding 3.long textured fringe. Bobs are also a huge trend right now, well I think they always are.

What are your go-to beauty products as a stylist?
My go to beauty products as a stylist are a great setting product for any style or blow dry depending on the texture of your hair. I love styling lotion by Bumble and Bumble or lift Vertige by Kerastase. My all time favorite finishing products are Brilliantine for that lived in look like you are roaming the streets of New York. I also love Bumble and Bumble’s Dryspun texture spray. It’s better than a hair powder, its magic.

So, what caused the rebrand, what is the story behind it?
Rebranding is something I felt was necessary for the longevity and true understanding of the culture of Solo. We wanted our new logo to reflect the growth of Solo. We have matured a lot as a brand over the years.

What kind of advice would you offer a budding stylist or someone wanting to open their own salon? 
My advice for stylist and makeup artist in the industry is find a culture you fit best with, working with like-minded creatives opens more avenues for you as an artist and is the one of the most important factors to an evolving business. Make sure to have someone that challenges you and mentors you. Being in the business of people, we all need it.

What has your biggest success as a business owner? 
My biggest triumph as an entrepreneur is finding balance. I preach about it all the time to my staff. Being a mother of two and employee of 30, I am constantly trying to catch up. Although I have committed myself to palates once a week and one great workout another day, working full-time around the clock is quite the challenge. This is something I think I will be aware of and working towards for the rest of my life. There are just so many exciting things to dabble in.

Where can our readers go to learn more about the salon?
Readers can learn more about Solo at

Check out our behind the scenes tour of Solo Salon in our Beauty Bytes series on Halfstack's Youtube channel! Don't forget to subscribe here.

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