Shear Miracle: Getting it All Right
Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: Lisa Staff
The Ideal Toy Corporation’s Crissy fashion doll helped set the course of Christine Spado’s life. Crissy had 18 inches of auburn hair that could be made long or short with the turn of a knob on her back. She also could say phrases like, “Please dry my hair. Set my hair, please. Brush my hair, please.” The young Spado, owner of Shear Miracle salon on Hilton Head Island, took these instructions quite literally, and rather than simply turning the knob, took matters into her own hands. “I cut her hair. I used to cut my sister’s hair; I would cut my brother’s hair. I just always liked doing hair.”
Growing up in Rome, New York, Spado was surrounded by salons and stylists. “I always liked this business from when I was little. Every girlfriend I ever had, their mom had a beauty shop, and we always played beauty parlor. My aunt had a salon when I was a teenager… back when wiglets were in-style. She would have me set and comb out all the wiglets and bring them to her shop. I just loved it! It felt like that was what I was going to do.”
After managing a salon from the age of 19, and eventually owning a salon in New York, Spado and her husband made the decision to move to warmer climes and set about transporting their lives to Hilton Head Island. “I sold my salon on Heritage Sunday,” Spado said. “I’ll never forget it. I was watching The Heritage on TV, and I sold the salon that day.”
After putting down roots on Hilton Head in 1989, Spado worked for another salon for several years. “My husband thought it was time I went off on my own. He actually rented me a space and gave me the courage to do it,” she said. Spado and her business partner owned Total Exposure salon, at their New Orleans Road location, for 10 years. When the lease came to an end, Spado set out on her own, opening Shear Miracle on the island’s south end two years ago.
Named for the way she sees her life, Spado said, “I look for the miracles in life,” and it seems she is living one. Her enthusiasm and passion for what she does is infectious. “It’s nice to be your own boss. It’s made me finally branch out and try things that I was afraid to try before. It’s awesome!”
One of Spado’s favorite services is doing wedding hair, and Shear Miracle is set up perfectly to allow bridal parties to settle in and make the place their own on the big day. “We let them bring in all their stuff and have a little pre-party before the wedding,” Spado said. Shear Miracle is located next door to a nail salon, and she has a make-up person who will come in to round-out all the services her clients will need. “I offer free consultations to see what they want to do with their hair. They get to know me and see if they like the salon and what we have to offer,” Spado said. She will also take her skills directly to the bride and her party, wherever they may be.
In addition to wedding and special occasion hair, Spado has enjoyed building a local regular clientele consisting of island residents as well as many returning winter visitors who feel like part of the family. “I have tourists who return every year. I don’t feel like they’re tourists. I’ve done some of their hair from 1989, and it’s a nice little community,” Spado said.
Part of the motivation to going out on her own was to have the opportunity to make product choices that Spado feels best suit her clients. That includes the recent addition to her repertoire, Keune Haircosmetics hair color. With a passion and penchant for color, Spado says this product, from the 90-year-old Dutch company with a worldwide reputation, provides her color clients with something pretty unique. “There’s silk in it from the silk worm. It really helps make your hair shiny and in better condition than when you started. It works well with color on top of color, and with balayage highlights.” Spado says that big curls are back. Break out your hot rollers ladies! And ombre color and smoothing treatments are really hot. She and her team recently completed a steam infusion class. “The new steam infusion from Redken keeps your hair really shiny for up to three weeks.”
Well-woven into the fabric of the community Spado gives back as much as she receives from her life here on the island. “It’s really a fun job because you can give back so much to people,” she said. Previously certified with the Look Good Feel Good Program, providing uplifting services to those fighting illness, she now works through her own salon, offering some very special services for individuals facing cancer and chemotherapy treatment. “People come for a consultation when they are going on chemo. I take time to listen to what they really want to do,” Spado said. Some choose to bring champagne and have a head-shaving party and order a wig; others want to work with what hair they have.
Spado also volunteers at homeless shelters, in particular working with young women who are going on job interviews with the goal of entering the workforce. Offering haircuts, blow-drying, and color, she says, “They give much more to me than I could give to them. I feel so much better when I leave. They are so thankful.”
Spado’s zeal for what she does is intoxicating. She just makes you want to go all girly-girl and change your hair color, get the latest cut, take care of those frizzies, and kick back and have a good long gab session. She seems to be getting it all right at Shear Miracle. “This is a very stress-free environment. It doesn’t feel like work at all,” Spado said. Crissy would approve.
Shear Miracle is located at 6 Bow Circle, Hilton Head Island. For appointments and more information, call (843) 785-4333 or visit shearmiracle.org.