“Select the proper hair care products.” With Deena Von Yokes

Select the proper hair care products. This by far is the number one essential thing for fabulous hair. Just as you would your skin, provide the right ingredients and products that moisturize your hair.Keep to a regular schedule for haircuts to keep the ends fresh and prevent splitting.Invest in great tools, such as curling irons, […]

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Select the proper hair care products. This by far is the number one essential thing for fabulous hair. Just as you would your skin, provide the right ingredients and products that moisturize your hair.

Keep to a regular schedule for haircuts to keep the ends fresh and prevent splitting.

Invest in great tools, such as curling irons, blow dryers, and flat irons, that complement the products you’re using on your hair. Together, they’ll help you create a fabulous look!

As a part of our series about “Five Things Anyone Can Do To Have Fabulous Hair”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Deena Von Yokes, founder and owner of Studio Savvy, a hair salon located in Rancho Santa Fe, California. A stylist and educator, Von Yokes has spent her 38-year career building her business and mentoring the next generation of hairstylists. A hair color specialist, she is a Redken Artist Educator and has trained with the best in the industry to build her expertise over the years.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I followed in my mother‘s footsteps. I grew up in a beauty salon. After graduating from high school, I hung out at the beach for two weeks and then decided I was ready to go to beauty school. Now looking back, I’m glad college wasn’t an option because I found my true passion.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

My mother and I did hair shows for more than 15 years. One year, we went to London and met the iconic Vidal Sassoon and Annie Humphrys. I vividly remember my defining moment was watching Annie doing her magic, which was hair color for Sassoon. I knew right then and there that’s what I wanted to do and hit the ground running to the passion I have today. I am now a hair-color expert and loving it!


Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

My tipping point was when I felt like I was going to pass out one day. I worked too many hours trying to keep up with the heavy client load of a salon owner and all the responsibilities around it. To top it off, I was a single mom who had experienced a horrible boating accident and was layered in attorney and medical bills. I thought I could work out all my problems by working harder, longer, and cramming in more clients. What I learned is that working smarter not harder is actually more important and focusing on quality not quantity. You have to know your value and raise your prices to reflect that. Plus, say “no” more often. Realizing all of this ties back to self-care. You have to take care of yourself first and then you can take care of others.

In your experience what were the most effective ways for your business to generate leads and sales? Can you share a story or give an example?

First and foremost, it’s word-of-mouth. For our industry what we have working in our favor is walking billboards so to speak. When our clients get amazing compliments for their hair color and haircut, they typically let people know where they got their hair done. It’s a great form of advertising. Our industry is all about people, relationships, and connections. Secondly, being knowledgeable and honing in on your skills is important. This gives you the ability to create fantastic haircuts and colors that do the talking for you. When you get these things mastered, you’ll have a loyal clientele who recommends your services to friends, family, and coworkers. This industry highly depends on people and relationships.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I believe in mentors and I’m one myself because of having them in my life. At the beginning of my long 38-year career, I started working at my mom’s salon which was vitally helpful. I believe in education and continuing to sharpen your skills when it comes to this great industry where fashion never sleeps. You must stay in a lifelong learning space if you want to stay at the top. That’s my secret weapon. I believe when starting anything, it’s important to find a mentor because there’s always so much to learn. In this industry, it’s not just hair cutting and color. It’s how you relate to others around you. The business side of building relationships is key. So is staying organized, determining what’s appropriate and professional, and so much more.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

I remember being devastated if I cut someone’s hair too short. My goal is to make people happy, not to have them in the chair crying. There are situations where the client feels their hair is either too short, too dark, or too light. I quickly learned it all goes back to communication. You have to take the time at the beginning of the relationship to get clear on what they want and don’t want and keep revisiting that every appointment. It’s very crucial to learn how to hear what people want in order to be successful in producing the final result. As a stylist, you can do an amazing haircut and color but if it’s not what the client wants, then none of it matters.

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

I love the saying quitters never win and winners never quit. To me, when I start something, I commit to it and go all the way. My advice is there are so many facets to this industry that you have to give it time to find the one area of specialty that lights you up. As a career path, it’s excellent to start with what permits you to promote your business. What are your boundaries? When you measure the treasure, what do you want to do and how do you want to get there? The key is to start by setting goals right out the gate. Work on your boundaries, stay centered, and take care of yourself in the process. It’s essential to start every day with the intention to have fun, choosing to have a great attitude no matter what’s happening in your personal life. To be successful, it’s always important to remember people come to be pampered and inspired, not to hear all your sad stories and get stressed out. I still have to remind myself at times that we’re here to be of service to others, hence it’s a service industry.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you please share “Five Things Anyone Can Do To Have Fabulous Hair”. Please share a story or an example, for each.

Here’s what I recommend for five things for fabulous hair:

1. Select the proper hair care products. This by far is the number one essential thing for fabulous hair. Just as you would your skin, provide the right ingredients and products that moisturize your hair.

2. Always use a leave-in conditioner. This will provide added moisture especially for hair that’s color-treated. Give it some love and you’ll have gorgeous locks.

3. When playing golf, tennis, or at the pool or beach, make sure you’re wearing a hat and conditioning your end. Then, I suggest putting your hair in a bun or braids for added protection from the elements.

4. Keep to a regular schedule for haircuts to keep the ends fresh and prevent splitting.

5. Invest in great tools, such as curling irons, blow dryers, and flat irons, that complement the products you’re using on your hair. Together, they’ll help you create a fabulous look!

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

1. To feel beautiful on the outside, first work on the inside and take care of yourself. True beauty comes from within. As a woman, it is crucial to take care of yourself on the inside, not just out.

2. Having your hair done is a wonderful way to feel more confident and gives you an instant lift. It’s the icing on the cake. A combination of proper nutrition, exercise, self-care, and love goes a long way in feeling beautiful inside and out.

3. Treat each other well. That’s really the beauty of feeling good. Like the Golden Rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

A, I started my life in poverty, not having the resources or the knowledge on how to start preparing and planning for my future. I was raised by a single mom who had three kids by the age of 19. My father left and we were all one, two, and three years old. My mother worked in a beauty parlor in the back of a barbershop. My mother, Vickie Lavanty, single-handedly pulled us out of poverty. I am forever thankful to have this industry as our saving grace along with my mom’s fighting spirit. If it wasn’t for our scissors and combs, we wouldn’t have eaten or had a roof over our heads. For us, scissors and combs were the tools it took to build our future. Acquiring knowledge by learning to use these tools was my first challenge. So at this point in my career, I want to leave a legacy. I have a dream to create a movement called #ScissorsAndCombs. I wish to raise funds or use profits to get these tools into the hands of people along with the knowledge on how to use them. I feel I can make an impact with those who have similar struggles and obstacles when it comes to getting started in building their career and their future. I can’t help but share this quote: ”Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

”I am, and if I do enough, I have enough”

These words got me through so many tough times. There were times where I felt broken and wanted to give up. I regularly would ask why? I had to dig deep in these moments to have the

courage to build what I have now for me and my family’s future. These are the words that gave me strength, kept me going, and got me where I am now.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

I’d like to have breakfast with Tony Robbins. During some of my darkest, craziest, and most confusing moments, I honestly had to return to some of the things that I learned from him. In these times, I took a look at my ”stinking thinking” my mom called it. There are truly so many things I do today that I learned in my 20s from Tony. One of the biggest ones was to do five things every day to work towards something and create what you want one step at a time. I now say one brick at a time and eventually, you get the wall. If you don’t start and you don’t take the step, you’ll never get that wall. It’s all about setting your goals and accomplishing them with a plan.

How can our readers follow you online?

An Instagram

me @deenasavvy

My salon @studiosavvysalon website StudioSavvySalon.com

My academy @vonsavvyacademy website VonSavvyHairAcademy.com

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!

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