October 2008

Want Style? Need Style? Get Styled!

Author: Maggie Washo | Photographer: photography by anne

Hair Design, Color and Extensions by Danielle Keasling
Wardrobe and set Design by DK Style
Make-up-by Carrie Smoot and Danielle Keasling

Gwen Stefani. Madonna. Kate Hudson. Halle Berry. Girl, you got style.

Some women seem to effortlessly pull off what others would be foolish to try. The haircut. The color. Those shoes. That shirt.

Danielle Keasling is one of those women. You’ve seen her in the pages of CH2 as a Bond girl and wrapped in nothing but a towel as a “spa” model. But where you are most likely to see her is at Salon 5200 in the Main Street Village, transforming her clients into her own masterpieces.

With an eye for fashion and the talent for hairstyling, Danielle has made a name for herself on Hilton Head Island. We recently caught up with her between clients (this girl puts in some LONG hours!) to talk about her passion for style and the new Makeover Section of CH2 that was her brainchild.

CH2: When did you first start styling hair?
Danielle Keasling: In 1999. I was seeking an exciting career that would enable me to say every day, “I love going to work and I LOVE MY JOB.” I discovered I had an eye for hair design in high school. My passion was clear after my first big city hair academy class. I attended advanced training academies all over the United States, participated in hair and fashion shows and professional photo shoots. Eventually I relocated to Hilton Head Island, where I have been for seven years.

CH2: Where are you from originally and how did you get to HHI?
DK: I’m originally from an area near Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was born and raised in a suburb outside of the city. I attended cosmetology school in Minnesota and began my stylist career with Aveda. My parents retired and chose to make Hilton Head their home. You can say I followed them here. The weather is much nicer. I didn’t have a job lined up or anything. It was all on a whim. I guess sometimes you just need a change.

CH2: What do you love about your job?
DK: I get to make people look, and consequently, feel good about themselves. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to have clients tell you they get stopped on the street to tell them their hair looks great.

CH2: What inspires you?
DK: Without question, my clients. They challenge me to stay in touch with what’s “current,” giving me reason to reach out to places like New York, Los Angeles, and Europe to see what styles are popular. I also think consultation is key in determining what is best for the client. If my client and I are on the same page, the result is fabulous hair and two happy people!

CH2: What looks are you into at the moment?
DK: In hairstyling, anything asymmetrical. In clothing, designs by Ed Hardy, Christian Audigier and Kimikal. For makeup, I like bright red lips and smoky eyes. I like anything silver, chunky and funky when it comes to jewelry… and I just adore fleur d’ lies on everything!

CH2: Define a fashion tragedy.
DK: Trying too hard! Damaged hair, bad extensions. Wearing the wrong clothes for your body type…whale tails and muffin tops!

CH2: Ok…here’s the question. Who do you trust to do YOUR hair?
DK: Who does my hair? I am very fortunate to work with many talented hair stylists. Currently I am training my assistant, Priscilla Ortiz to be my right arm, so I would say she gets “the job.” I am guilty of bringing home haircolor and scissors and tackling my own hair also. Please, clients… don’t try it! I am also guilty of doing many things to my own hair that I would NEVER do to a client! I guess that all comes with the business. We look in the mirror at least 10 hours a day! We get bored.

CH2: If you could choose any other career besides the one you currently have, what would it be and why?
DK: Career change? What haven’t I tried?! I was actually planning on moving to Hawaii to study Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii. A marine biologist. That was always what I wanted to be when I “grew up.” I wanted to save every animal, especially dolphins, in the world! My second “passion” was hair. I figured I had a much better chance saving people’s images. Throughout the last 10 years, however, I find myself always obtaining some sort of second job. I’ve done everything from teaching aerobics, to bartending, to starting and running a non-profit animal rescue organization. My most recent career “addition” involved working with an international ballroom dress company, designing and selling ballroom gowns all over the United States. I fell into that while teaching ballroom and Latin dance at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio right here on the island. I also trained and competed professionally in all my spare time. I think I’ll stick with hair!

CH2: A typical day in the life of Danielle is…
DK: Chaotic! My day starts at 6:45 a.m., and the activities run the gamut from letting out the zoo (four dogs, five cats) to drinking espresso to keep me going all day. I ALWAYS stop at Starbucks for a non-fat Chai Latte with no water; and no matter how early I get started, I am always five minutes late for work! I don’t take any breaks (including bathroom breaks) and usually work 10 hours a day. I go straight home, pour a glass of wine and vacuum (there is a lot of hair in my zoo…and I hate hair! Ironic, isn’t it?). I love my Dyson! After doing laundry, checking e-mail and dispensing animal medicine, we usually eat (takeout, of course) around 10:30 p.m. Then I crash. No news, no television…unless the Ultimate Fighting championship is on.

CH2: Give us your three tips for feeling great.
DK: Hmmm. That’s easy. Drink wine, laugh a lot and be in style.

CH2: Which brings us to your future makeover section with CH2. Tell us about DK Style.
DK: DK Style is all about making people look and feel great about themselves. We created a first-class team of professionals, all successful in their own right and extremely creative. Starting in next month’s issue, readers will have an opportunity to enter a contest put on by DK Style. One lucky reader will be randomly selected from the submissions to “Get Styled.” The winner’s “stylin’” will consist of skincare, makeup, hairstyling, wardrobe and a professional photo shoot showcasing the final result. The estimated retail value of the “Get Styled” package is $1,000. Enter for yourself or enter a friend—just make sure to include a recent photo.

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