Capitol Hill's Premier Haircuts & Color

Emerson Salon is the best hair salon on Capitol Hill, Seattle. Our experienced hair stylists and colorists have been fusing the latest trends with top hair techniques for years. Whether you’re looking to transform your look in Seattle with a new haircut and color or just maintain your already hip style, we are here and ready to help.

Schedule your appointment today!

909 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122
T: 206-323-7437

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The Path to Perfect Curls

In the salon, we hear so many times from clients who say,

“I have no idea how to style my hair for special occasions!”

  It is not always possible to get into a stylist for a perfect hair do for a holiday party or family gathering this time of year. Here, we give you some definitive assistance on how to curl your medium to long length hair. 

  Preferably, use any heat tool that can heat ceramic or tourmaline plates up to 400 degrees fahrenheit with either an adjustable dial or digital LCD display.  If you have finer hair 300 degrees is sufficient but if you have thicker, coarser hair a higher heat may be chosen.

Below we review some tips on how to curl  your hair. It’s very important to know what technique and tool creates which type of curl.

vertical curl1inchcurlingironhorizontal curl

  As a foundation, we recommend having clean, blow dried hair with Anti-Gravity volumizer lotion to help finer hair types hold the curl (this product is heat activated and helps the heat tool to leave a longer-lasting impression on finer hair.)

On thicker, frizzier hair types product may be used in a “cocktail” before blow-drying for heat protection and moisture. We recommend mixing Moroccan Oil and Anti Gravity together before applying to damp hair before you blowdry. You can always make sure to spray the hair after curling with a flexible hairspray as it cools. We love Working Spray by Kevin Murphy.

-A 1″ barrel iron (see above) if held vertically can create a consistent spiral curl if begun at the top and moved through to the ends (see brunette above.) These can be finger separated for curl volume or twisted together for “mermaid tendrils” once the curls have curled.

-If soft retro waves is what you are looking to achieve (like seen on Reese Witherspoon above), hold the curling iron horizontally in big sections. Curl from  the middle of the section  (3-4″ down from the partline) moving the iron through to wrap the ends. Sections underneath may be curled closer to the root. Once curled and released, use your hands to smooth the wave out a bit and spray with flexible hairspray.    


If you are looking for a softer look (see Mila Kunis right above), try using a cone shaped clipless curling iron(seen left above). It takes some practice to use but if you use a thermal protective glove you can avoid burning your fingers until you feel more comfortable using it.

-Taking 2-3″ vertical sections, wrap each section of hair with the wide portion of the iron towards the roots. Make sure to wrap the section  away from your face without twisting it .

-Once you have curled the entire head and allowed the hair to cool, use your fingers to softly separate the wave/curl and spray.

-For a tighter beach wave look, twist the hair before wrapping it.


Sometimes you might want a consistent beach wave all over the head (see Fergie above) and that is when we recommend using a triple barrel wave iron (see above).

-Start in 2′ sections and slowly work down the section to the ends starting 3-4′ from the root.

-Once waved and cooled, finger separate and apply a lightweight beach texturizer like Hair Resort spray from Kevin Murphy.

-Then lightly spray with Session Spray from Kevin Murphy (firm hold.)

If you aren’t comfortable trying these techniques on yourself- its ok! It takes time and patience to build up skills with your hair. Need a hairstyle now? You can either book a shampoo blowout with one of our stylists for a tutorial style or book a complete formal style!

Our independent hair designers are so excited to work with you- book with one today!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Welcome Michael Locke!


Welcome Michael Locke to our team of independent hair designers!

     “I have been a Capitol Hill resident for many years after moving from Idaho. For the past 8 years, I have successfully managed multiple salons in the greater Seattle area while also maintaining & building my own private clientele. I serve a diverse range of people from all walks of life. With 10 years of experience, I take great pride in all services I provide & am focused on always providing a “best in class” service to every guest every time.”

Michael Locke Specialties Include:
Men’s barber & shear cuts
Women’s layered & razor cuts
Facial waxing for eyebrows, ears, nose, chin, lip & neck areas.
All over color
Dimensional Highlights and/or Lowlights

You can email him for an appointment at:

Or Book Directly Online at: 

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

How To Speak With Your New Stylist

Getting your hair done by someone new can be fraught with anxiety and frustration. Hair is an everyday accessory and cannot be taken off your body like a shirt or dress. So, if you are unhappy with your hairstyle it can greatly effect and affect how you feel when you present yourself to the world. Having confidence in your hair and yourself is extremely important to posessing a positive self-image.

A lot of clients come to the salon not knowing how to express what they are looking for in their service. Here are some helpful  tips on how to broach the communication gap with your new hair stylist…..


  • Bring Pictures: Whether printed out or on a phone or tablet, visuals are awesome! Even if you find pictures of things you do not want that can be helpful. It greatly assists the stylist if you try to find pictures with a hair type similar to yours.

Example: A fine density straight hair picture may not work for a thick, curly haired person who doesn’t want to style their hair everyday. The stylist will help discuss what components of the pictures are achieveable for you. Multiple pictures are best as certain parts of  pictures may be selected for incorporation into your new haircut or haircolor.

  • Share Who You Are! Tell the stylist about yourself- and make sure to include lifestyle and hobbies too! Stylists are great at reading people and the more information the better! Do you wash you hair every day? Have you colored your hair in the last year? Do you like to do styling on yourself for special occasions only?  It might seem simple but it is hugely important for delivering a service that works for you and how often you want to get your hair done. Ask them questions and let the stylist ask questions too.
  • Listen to Their Advice+RecommendationsDuring the consultation, the stylist might already have ideas and solutions for your challenging hair days. Here at Emerson, we try not to push products but we do utilize them to solve problems you might notice with your hair. Having the right products and tools based on your stylists’ advice can be key to feeling good in the long term with your hair and its condition.
  • Describe What You Haven’t Liked In Past ServicesDid your last stylist chop off too much? Is there a growth pattern that never works with what you are trying to do with your hair? Is your hair overly damaged from past services? Pointing out to a new stylist what has been attempted in the past is so important to not repeating the same issues again.
  • Choose A Stylist You Think You Will Mesh Well With in the Long Term: Building a relationship with a new stylist is like getting to know a new friend or co worker. It takes a little work to set yourself up for success. Learn about the stylist’s  experience, background, specialties, and pricing structure. Nothing is worse than sitting in a chair of a stylist who isn’t comfortable with the style you are trying to achieve or doesn’t work with your hair type successfully. Most stylists will list what they excel in and some (like on our website) will give you info on their schedule, portfolio or even their personal hobbies/interests.
  • EYE CONTACT! Make sure your stylist is taking the time to speak with you about your service and looking you in the eyes. Ask them lots of questions and allow the stylist to do the same before executing any service. A “meeting of the minds” is essential in receiving an excellent hair that makes you happy. Making sure to directly connect with each other by avoiding speaking throught the mirror is absolutely key! Great stylists will sit down with you and will absorb what you are saying by sitting still and avoiding touching your hair until they have thoroughly taken in what you are saying. If the stylist speaks over you or interrupts there is a good chance they may not be receiving everything  you are sharing. In that case, make sure to continue the consultation until they repeat back what you are asking for. Consider the consultation an interview and if the interview doesn’t seem to clarify ambiguities you have, then you have every right to ask to schedule another consultation with a new stylist. You are the boss of whether you submit to a service or not! Once the stylist starts they are in control until they finish and by then, it may be too late. At that point, unhappiness may result and an adjustement will be needed.
  • Manage Your Expectations:  If you bring in a picture of Jennifer Lopez and you are a fair skinned blond asking for her haircolor- that could be a very bad idea. Putting something on you directly from a picture without discussing bone structure, coloring and maintenance will definitely cause you dissatisfaction. Its like reaching into a bag and putting a random wig on top and crossing your fingers that it will look favorable on you. Ask the stylist what will and will not work and be open to them saying that some ideas are a no-go and why.

For example: You show a bleach blond with a bob and you need to put your hair in ponytail and do not want to be getting touch ups every month on your naturally dark hair. Your stylist wants you to be happy as a happy customer comes back and refers their friends. So make sure you are asking for something that will align with you and who you are. Being smart about talking to your stylist will make sure you are getting something you are confident with! Walking in and taking whoever is available in a salon can work but it is less likely to work if you haven’t prepped yourself ahead of time.

Looking for a new stylist? Check out our independently run hair designers- they are all experienced and their profiles can help you choose the best one for you! Their contact info is easily found in their profile.

Contact one of them directly today…..We are confident you will love what they do for you!

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

A Winter of Dry Hair Issues!


 Its that wintery time of year! Being trapped in indoor heat all day and then, braving the cold winds of winter can really do a number on the condition of your hair. If you feel like your hair is starved for moisture and TLC, use some of these tips to rehab it back to health!

  1. Remember, you do NOT have to shampoo every day. You can rinse your hair with warm to hot water to move the oils down the hair shaft. This will allow your hair to coat your hair naturally and to eliminate that greasy feeling at the scalp. Using a dry shampoo also can assist you to eliminate oils between shampoos.
  2. Use appropriate shampoos and conditioners for your hair type. Avoid sulfates and remember thicketr/coarser hair needs extra moisture where finer hair needs lightweight conditioning that won’t weight it down. We are loving Kevin Murphy’s Hydrate.Me series that uses a kakadu plum that add moisture for all textures!
  3.  Apply leave-in conditioner or dry argan oil to the mid-shaft to ends on a daily basis. If you heat style you could make sure to do it twice a day- once before heat styling and once before bed. We recommend Moroccan Oil- it is also great for holding color and cutting down on blow dry time those early mornings before work.
  4. Use a satin pillowcase to stop hair frizz from being created while you toss and turn while sleeping. Cotton pillowcases will draw moisture away from your hair and dry it out more.
  5. Avoid high heat tools and blow dryers. A medium setting will take longer but your hair’s condition will not suffer from the shock of being forced to dry/style so quickly. Also, high heat can cause frizz by burning your hairs’ outside cuticle layer which will create a peeling effect. The less frizz you make- the less you have to work to manage it.
  6. Try an at home hair mask of avocado or coconut oil to boost your hairs’ moisture content. If not, we love the Weightless Hydrating Masque from Moroccan Oil. It improves elasticity, shine and manageability and only takes 7 minutes with no heat.

Hopefully these tips will have you feeling better about your hair during the winter freeze!




Monday, November 24th, 2014

Come to Emerson on Small Biz Saturday!


Thanksgiving week is upon us! Time to grocery shop before the big onslaught of crowds at the checkout stand and take out those recipe books. We know you are excited for the holiday season to begin- we are too! Food, drink, friends and family all await your enjoyment.

Once you’ve shopped til you drop on Black Friday come on in for some hair lovin’ on Small Business Saturday!

Emerson Salon is a small business made up of many other small businesses via our independently run hair designers. They run their own schedules and pricing and deserve some love after Turkey Day. Find a stylist you want to work with and book directly with them through their profile.


We are offering a 10% discount on all ColorProof retail products on SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY ONLY. This premium luxury line of hair products is 100% color safe, paraben+sulfate free and even gluten free! They smell heavenly and make your hair look and feel divine. We especially love the Moisture Masque which helps rehab dry or color damaged hair instantaneously. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Emerson’s New Look

WOW! Take a look at the changes to Emerson Salon in this walking tour video!

D’Arcy and Lancer have been feverishly working to revamp the downsized space and the response from clients and stylists is overwhelmingly positive. People love the purple, the octopi images and all the fresh stenciling decorations to the stairs and bathroom. Clients have been saying that the salon looks professional, elegant and cozy!



The vibe in the salon is very important to how everyone interacts in the space. D’Arcy and Lancer had some basic ideas and then opened up the decor discussion to friends, clients and stylists. Those basic ideas were to amp up the “Steampunk” theme and decor and to use shades of purple to accent the space. Did you know purple is the most complex hue for the eye to process? Its a great color to catch people’s eye walking on Pike St. in front of the salon.

 The result  of opening the discussion on decor is what you see here! A collaboration that started with Pinterest-ing many, many ideas and slowly narrowing down the ideas most people responded to. The mission was to make an interesting and funky space to create a comfortable atmosphere to confidently receive quality hair services.

Stop by today or book an appointment with one of our independent hair designers by contacting them directly from their profile on this website!

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

What is an Independent Hair Stylist?

currentsalonpic emersonreceptionpic

Here at Emerson Salon, we are all independent hairstylists…..but you ask, what does that mean?

It means no one is an employee of the salon but act as individual small businesses running themselves under on roof. 

What is required to be an independent booth renter in WA state? There is some paperwork all our stylists are required to get and stay current on. They need: a cosmetology license, a salon/shop license, a master business license from WA state and a City of Seattle business license. Also, to make sure all our stylists are protected they are required to have a minimum of general liability insurance for any  possible incidents with a client in their chair.

Each stylist is responsible for saving for and paying their taxes following tracking their business expenses and deductions. Trust us, its not always easy or straightforward but definitely pays off in happy clients who return on a regular basis.

Many of our stylists share their calendar with the Emerson Salon desk but in general they manage their own clients and calendar appointments themselves.  This is nice because sometimes life throws a curve ball and you have to run an errand a morning before taking clients. This way, the stylist doesn’t have to ask permission they just block out that time in the schedule that they won’t be in the salon. Some  stylists give their email and pricelist and others also add a website, portfolio or an automatic booking system to their Emerson Salon website profile. Everything you need to book with one of them is at your fingertips!

Each stylist has different specialties. pricing, and menus of services. For example, some prefer not to do color correction or formal styling whereas more experienced stylists rise to that challenge. In addition, some do permanent waves or smoothing services and other do not. Its all up to the stylist what they offer so we highly recommend perusing the profiles and finding a stylist you feel you will mesh with.

Walkins are Welcome but are Subject to Availability. PreBooking an Appointment is highly recommendedBecause we do not control a stylist’s calendar it is important to understand that making an appointment will guarantee you get the time and stylist you prefer. We love it when people walk in to get an appointment but it is hard to accommodate when only 2 stylists are in and they already have appointments. So email, call or book online whenever possible!

Other salons tend to be commission (% of services goes to the stylist) or wage based (hourly rate.) These are employer based jobs and can run a significant amount of overhead in Payroll, Accounting and Taxes. Being independent means minimized overheard for Emerson Salon and puts the responsibility of earning on the stylist.

Curious about our Independent Stylists? Check out their profiles and contact one of them today!



Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Happy Halloween Hair Tips!


Its the spooky time of year where kids and adults  dress up in fun or scary costumes! SO MUCH FUN! Whether it be out trick or treating in your neighborhood or inside at someone’s homemade haunted house we are here to help you get SPOOKTACULAR hair results! Here are some tips to see you through this Hallow’s Eve…..

  • Determine whether you have the hair to achieve the look you are going for. If its medium to long there are many options for you but if you have shorter hair a wig can be of great assistance for a look. Synthetic wigs are cheap and are generally not to be used with heat unless billed as “heat resistant” and then a low to medium curling can be used. They can range from $20-$35.
  • If you are opting to use your hair for your costume, remember there are ways to temporarily add colors that wash right out! A spray on color will shampoo right out in the shower the next day. Colors usually range from red, pink, blue, green, purple, silver,  white, yellow, orange and many more! If you don’t want to spray your hair opt to use a colored hair chalk or eyeshadow but make sure to set it with some hairspray so it doesn’t rub onto your clothes or face.
  • A 1″ or slightly larger curling iron will give you a great base style to work with for many looks. Curling the entire head with a flexible working spray (sprayed on lightly before curling) and dry shampoo at the root will help the longevity of the style.
  • Sometimes your hair has to look weird before it looks perfect. Using a comb, lift up a section of hair to “tease” or backcomb height at the root. Make sure to insert the comb behind the section and lock down the hair towards the root. Repeat one or two more times on each curled section. Then softly brush out and spray with Working Spray by Alterna Caviar.
  • Bobby pins galore! If you are pinning up a Bride of Frankenstein look or making a flapper 1920’s faux-bob  – you will need lots of bobby pins! A good tip is to insert the pins with the straight end first and hook into the backcombed bases you just created. Then criss cross another bobby pin over it in an “X.”  This will secure them so your style stays.
  • For Guys: Any type of slicked style we recommend Night Rider by Kevin Murphy because it works so well with so many hair types and stays where you put it. For extra hold, spray with a little Session Spray by Kevin Murphy.

……or just get some pipe cleaners and googly eyes and make this!


Need to do some last minute costume and wig shopping? Check out the links below for Seattle local costume shops:  near Downtown Seattle in the University District

………….. OR! Book with an Emerson Stylist for your Halloween Hair Extravaganza! Our independent hair designers would love to assist you.

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Sunsets on Blond


Light and bright blond is super fashionable and seen on many music artists and performers (see Iggy Azalea above). The downsides are the constant maintenance to rid yourself of root growout but also the damage to your hair.  Unless you are already a medium light blond the process to get to a platinum blond are drying and cause frizz, loss of natural texture/curl and breakage.

Now that it’s fall, there are choices you can make to “reign” the blond in. One option is to color all over with a warm balanced gold  (see left below) or balanced beige that is  1 or 2 levels deeper (depending on your coloring.) This step down shade can fill in some of the damage and provide a healthier palette to color on later.


Another choice to use for someone with  darker natural root color is to transition with a balayaged lowlight (see right above.) This shouldin a shade that is 2-3 levels darker and incorporates enough soft warmth mixed with a cool beige or neutral to avoid any unfortunate fadeage. In lamens’ terms this means that color correction is used in the formulation. An over processed/light blond cannot be colored with the desired shade alone. The porosity is more likely to grab the blue or green if enough gold or warm brown is not used in mixing the custom shade.

This lowlight balayage service could be applied in many ways to design your new dimensional blond to your preference. You could ask for lots of little pieces softly painted all over the head to mute the overall look of the light blond.  Or you could ask to mute the base of your color with a more “ombre” effect where the mid shaft to ends stay light and the roots to midshaft are muted (see below.) This is more of a color correction and will need more time and color to achieve on a super light blond for reasons stated previously. Pricing may be shifted in regards to this away from a basic balayage due to the amount of color needed to achieve the effect. A step down color will need to be applied first to before the desired medium dark brown shade  is added. After this is achieved, the lighter dimension can be toned a medium gold to lessen the contrast with the base color.

blond ombre

Feeling sunbleached and need to change your blond? Check out our independent stylists’ profiles and contact them specifically today!

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Pink Hair Cares!


This October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. If you want to support this cause make sure you wear PINK! Even the Seahawks football team are wearing pink flags and other accessories during their games this month to bring attention to reminding women to get regular breast checks and mammograms.

Get info here:

Last week at Emerson Salon we had an influx of ladies asking for pink hair and thats when we realized how important the color was not only as a trend but for those struggling with this horrible disease. Emotional support when you are going through treatment is vital.

There are a few different ways to get pink hair: one way is to buy a pink hair clip in (see link below) or to have your hair colored with pink. Here are some fun options that some of our stylists did recently:

D’Arcy painted on some heavily balayaged bleach on Jen (below) to a light blond. Then the hair was toned  all over with  semi-permanent Pravanna Pink and a smidge of Wild Orchid and Violet. Adding hood dryer heat for 30 min to the semipermanent is how D’Arcy can make sure the color stays as long as possible for Jen. Here is the before and after!



Or if you are looking for something more soft and subtle, take a look at our stylist Danielle’s version of pink balayage here:

rikkipinkNOTE: If your hair is colored or naturally darker it is necessary to bleach the hair to a light blond or palest yellow/white for a pink or pastel pink to show up appropriately. Maintenance and care involve sulfate free color safe shampoo, washing with lukewarm to cold water, and shampooing only once or twice a week.

Want pink hair too? Contact a colorist at Emerson Salon today by choosing a stylist from their profile and messaging them directly! Or go to or shop online to get pink hair temporarily!