My name is Lauren Mae and I've been in the beauty industry for over 12 years and practicing hair replacement services in San Francisco since 2010. In an effort to address all hair types and specific conditions and needs, I'm proudly certified in virtually all hair extension methods which include but are not limited too fusion hair extensions, micro-link hair extensions, hand tied hair extensions, and tape extensions.
I graduated with High Honors from Paul Mitchell The School, and have since received additional advanced education from Vidal Sassoon, Bumble and Bumble University, Yuko Academy etc. in precision cutting, hair coloring, and Japanese Hair Straightening.
Hair Extensions have a special place in my heart as they not only enable me to give women the beautiful Hollywood hair they crave, but in working closely with Stanford medical, I'm able to provide medical hair loss clients with a more realistic look without the use of a wig. It's a blessing to be able to see women gain a new level of confidence not only in their everyday lives, but through hards times as well.
Hair Extensions are a service of expertise and they require a well rounded operator to determine the right method for their clients' specific needs. There isn't a one size fits all pair of jeans, and the same goes for hair extensions. I pride myself in addressing the specific needs of my clients natural hair and fitting them to the proper hair extensions that I see fit.
*Lauren Mae Haggard is certified and in partnership with the companies listed above. Information provided is strictly based off personal experience. If you have any questions or problems regarding the product itself, please contact your local distributer or the companies directly.
HOW THIS ALL STARTED...
The past 10 years have taught me something a little like this: “Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you that you cant do it. You want something? Go get it. Period.”
When I was 14, my cousin taught me to do hair extensions out of her apartment. She did them on her friends for fun but for me it was the beginning of a craft I turned into a career.
At 16, I started working at Jerol’s Hair Salon in Danville (Now 77 West) and for the next 3 years, I answered phones, swept the floors, SCRUBBED the floors with a toothbrush (not kidding, they were white and the owner was particular,) dusted product shelves, untangled old useless phones, etc. BUT I was happy just to be there. I learned so much about customer service, I didn’t hate the sound of a blow dryer for 10 hours a day, and overall just loved the positive environment.
At 17, I sat in my Dad’s office filling out college application forms. My Dad and Step-mom wandered in and questioned what I was doing. My Dad wanted me to go to college, my Step-mom knew it wasn’t me and encouraged me to follow my heart and not waste my time or their money and just go straight to Paul Mitchell. My Dad eventually came around and they registered me that Christmas to start the following fall and it was the best Christmas I think I ever had.
2010, I was 19 years old, graduated from Paul Mitchell with Honors. I worked 2 jobs during that time to pay off my student loan. Tuesday- Saturday I’d work hosting/ illegally bartending at a Chinese food restaurant and Sunday-Monday I would work reception at the same salon I worked at through high school. Literally the day after passing State Board, I started my first day at Patrick Evan Salon in Union Square. And thank the good lord above I passed on the first try after blowing my savings on tutoring for a month because I’m not sure what I would have done otherwise, having just quit my other 2 jobs.
The next 4 years I considered paying my dues in the industry. I was blessed beyond measure to assist a highly regarded, highly respected salon owner in the industry. Someone who broke the cycle of abusing and mistreating assistants. I had a BLAST. But it was downright hard work. I worked 12-15 hour days with a smile while all my friends were partying in college. My schedule was Tuesday-Saturday making coffee, folding towels, shampooing, doing odd jobs like learning how to catch a pigeon when it flew into the salon, babysitting, and all while trying to improve on my craft.
Over time, I wanted to focus on my passion; hair extensions and non surgical hair replacement services and start building up a clientele. I spent ALL of my free time taking classes in any and every method, testing the best hair companies, going to hair shows and pretending I was a buyer to get the real scoop on the products, etc. I would go to coffee shops and build my websites using their free wifi because I was too broke to afford my own. After awhile, I didn’t realize that once you push a website live, your not just automatically on the first page of google. After many failed attempts to find someone on craigslist to help me that wasn’t trying to charge me 10k to do it, I put a filter on Match.com and only went on dates with guys that specialized in building websites. I was somehow lucky enough to meet my husband throughout this process, and he still is able to help me keep everything updated to this day; thanks babe your the best!
Flash forward to 5 years ago, 2015, when I opened my own studio. I was sad to leave my old salon and there wasn’t a great way to do it no matter which way you flipped it. I was in a position where growth just wasn’t happening if I stayed so I knew I had to move on. The goal was to provide an intimate environment to help those who didn’t feel comfortable in a traditional salon. Owning a private studio was just that perfect thing. I again found myself in a position where I blew my life savings just to do it, but somehow there wasn’t any hesitation because with no risk, theres no reward.
That leap has proven to be the most rewarding! I’ve created a comfortable small salon and sell only the products I want and believe in, been in 3 Nationwide magazines, and have the absolute best clientele I could have asked for. Your vibe definitely attracts your tribe . There was and still are some bumps in the road in owning a business vs being an employee. Being a woman entrepreneur in the financial district has specifically had some interesting moments. I will never forget walking into “ the boys club” at Wells Fargo and demanding my money back for 1 years worth of bullshit merchant services charges (thousands of dollars in overages) and left with all of it, a dissolved contract at no cost to me and a smile on my face. For those who don’t know Merchant Services are directly related to the percentage they take per swipe of a credit card. I was charged double the amount when told that switching from Bank of America to them would be “cheaper.” Just to name 1 example.
Don’t even get me started with Yelp. Being reviewed by people you’ve never even met before who are “so unhappy with you” caused a lot of sleepless nights and a few tears. I’m over it now, but just watch the South Park episode on Yelpers and you’ll feel my pain.
As I sit down and reflect after taking my last client of the year, I’m in tears looking back on the past 10 years and everything I’ve fought for. I am so proud because it all has been worth it and my passion is just as fueled as it was when I started school. Each obstacle provided a greater learning lesson to apply to the next. Each client who believed in me and encouraged me to keep pushing for my vision; thank you! My family and friends who are patient with my schedule and never ending to do list but support me 100%; thank you! I’m not done yet, this is only just the beginning. I am so grateful to have found my passion so young in life and with the right people in my corner this next decade is going to be even better than the last. In the wise words of @JamieGarlandHair “ If you are in your twenties here is my advice; Work as much as you can and don’t spend money on stupid shit. If you work 40 hours a week, find the energy to work 20 more. Find a side hustle if you want to vacation and have nice things. Use this decade to find out who you are and where you want to be. Learn what it means to have good credit and save up a retirement. Make mistakes and grow from them. Never say no to an opportunity and never burn a bridge.” Thank you for your continued support and love! See you in my chair XO Lauren Mae