Last October, hair-stylist Seniel Hannagan shaved her head.
These days she has long red hair that falls well below her shoulders.
“I’ve had every hair cut but I hadn’t shaved my head yet,” Seniel said. “But that growing out phase is never good. I got to the point where I was like, what am I going to do, wear a hat all summer?”
She decided on extensions, one of the many options offered at her Oak Bluffs salon, Circuit Style. Although Seniel is the owner of the salon, she considers herself first and foremost a colorist.
“I like formulating color, mixing color, making up new colors,” she said. “We create here. It’s like a big art class.”
Seniel began her career studying illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida. Afterward she moved west and was inspired by the vibrant hair dressers and artists of Los Angeles. She earned her cosmetology degree at Blaine in Hyannis while commuting from the Vineyard.
When it came time to open up her own shop she combined all three experiences into one salon. The interior is a mix of lime green, cobalt blue and bright pink glaze. Illustrations of pin-up girls and punked-out ladies hang between each station. A self-portrait of her adorned with scissor hands, her weapon of choice, punctuates the blue wall.
But Circuit Style is more than just funky. While the salon is known for giving teenagers leopard streaks or “coon tails,” many of her customers are men and women just looking for a well-shaped cut or natural color.
“So many clients come in and say, ‘I saw so-and-so in the supermarket and they said you did their hair. They said to just let you do what you do.’”
“I don’t give them mohawks,” Seniel said. “And I don’t dye their hair pink.”
The salon has a reputation for being edgy but for Seniel, edgy doesn’t mean taking people out of their comfort zones. It means having a young, energetic staff traveling to hair shows and constantly learning new techniques.
“We do everything. You name it, we do it. Well, we don’t do perms. We aren’t that old school.”
On Saturday, May 11, the salon hosts its third annual Mother’s Day sale called Say No to the Mom Cut to make sure moms don’t get too behind the times. And on Sunday, May 5, the salon treats customers to $15 hair cuts, with all the proceeds going to the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition.
Seniel said her favorite part of the job, even more than mixing colors, is listening to her clients.
“They get the experience of someone else taking care of them,” she said. “Sometimes it’s hard to just stop and relax, give up the control to someone else. It’s hard for me, so I’m sure it’s hard for others.”
“It’s like a therapy session for people,” she continued. “They come in, sit down, and just pour their hearts out. I love being an ear for them.”
Circuit Style is located at 47 Circuit avenue in Oak Bluffs and currently open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. To book online visit uappointment.com/circuitstyle or call 508-693-7542.