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New hair cutting, styling business will come to you

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

Last summer, Claremont resident Mollie Ramos decided to blend her love of helping people and grooming hair and started a mobile hairstyling business, Hairbound.

Her business model is simple: she travels to seniors and children and offers cuts and simple coloring for a decent price.

Ramos, 42, began cutting and styling hair later than most. Her grandfather, Bernard Sachs, was an endocrinologist and sculptor who got her interested in art and science.

“I didn’t like dolls or Barbies,” she said. “I had a science shelf with things I had dissected. Anything outside, I was more interested in that.”

She graduated from Claremont High in 1999.

“I’ve never been an academic,” Ramos said. “But I love art.”

She graduated from California College of the Arts in 2004.

As an introvert, Ramos had a tough time selling her work and networking in the gallery scene. Her ex-husband eventually talked her into working in a new medium: hair.

“I like the idea of being artistic and making someone feel beautiful,” Ramos said. “It was something I was always interested in. [But] it wasn’t until I was older and I got a push from my then husband that said, ‘You should really try it.’”

In 2012, she enrolled at Aveda Institute in Los Angeles. After stepping away after a year to have her son, she completed her training in 2014.

Her art school education transitioned well into her new career as a hairstylist.

“In art school you learn about line, form, color, three-dimension and texture,” she said. “All of these things apply because you’re working with hair, which is a bunch of stringy lines.”

After cosmetology school she balanced two jobs from 2016 to 2018, an apprenticeship with Maria Prendergast, a renowned Beverly Hills stylist, and a side job cutting and styling for friends and family at their homes. Soon her side business grew by word of mouth.

Ramos recalled feeling satisfaction when she helped a client with a broken arm wash their hair for the first time in weeks.

“I was able to really help someone and provide some relief,” she said. “[Hair] is just kind of routine and so I wanted to feel more than routine and have a human connection rather than it just be a transactional thing.”

In time, Ramos shifted her focus to helping seniors. She applied to become a hairstylist at a new salon that was opening up on the grounds of The Belmont Village Senior Living in Westwood in 2018 and was quickly hired.

“It was just a three-chair salon and it was three of us working there,” she said.

The salon was located where her grandfather was living. Soon he and his friends were occupying the chairs, or Ramos was making house calls at the complex.

“It was really great,” she said. “It’s very physically exhausting because by the time you’re 80-plus, you’re a different shaped human so you’re working kind of upside down, with wheelchairs, having to lift people and do acrobatics at a shampoo bowl to get someone’s hair wet. It’s a lot of work but it’s very rewarding.”

She enjoyed the work until March 2020 when the pandemic hit. Not wanting to jeopardize clients’ health, Ramos and the two other workers decided to walk away.

She and her son moved back to Claremont that summer. She started Hairbound with the goal of recapturing the senior and underprivileged clientele who were once her regulars.

Over the last nine months business has been slow but good. She hopes to support herself and her son with her craft and make connections with her clients.

In the coming years, Ramos hopes to build her client list, create products, and open her own space. For the immediate future, networking is front and center.

I want to “Build my clientele and learn more about being mobile,” she said. “I’m interested in creating a mobile, comfortable space for people.”

Hairbound offers cuts and basic hair coloring, including root touch ups and gray blending to residents of Claremont, Montclair, Pomona, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, La Verne, and San Dimas. Prices range from $40 to $170 depending on the work and client’s age.

To schedule an appointment call (909) 786-7383 or visit vagaro.com/hairboundmr.

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