Meggan Decker can’t describe her artwork. She can’t explain how she gets the finished product or how she takes a concept and turns it into something tangible. There are no measurements, no school-taught techniques.
She just gets this feeling. She just knows, she says.
Decker is a sculptor. Well, she’s a sculptor of sorts. She’s a hair stylist. And for her, and many of her clients, what she does with hair is truly a work of art. Though she gets her bread and butter business from doing basic haircuts and styles, her passion is styling hair for weddings and photo shoots. But, even there, Decker is always evolving her craft and working to move on to the next art project.
Decker has owned her own hair salon, Pixies Hair Design in Maplewood, since last November. She’d been cutting and styling hair on her own before then, but opening her own salon had been a dream since she first picked up the shears.
(See related on Patch: Salon Owner Offers Five Hair Tips and Maplewood Showcases Business During Women Making History Event)
But unlike many stylists who lived out childhoods of self-inflicted haircuts and who owned Barbies with butchered bobs, Decker didn’t want to cut hair. She wanted to be a journalist.
“To me, being able to express yourself in any form is great,” she said. But soon, Decker was disillusioned by the guidelines and restrictions within journalism. She then headed to beauty school, but even there she wasn’t thriving.
Decker remembered the mistakes she made early on that almost led her away from hair altogether.
“Everyone had their little mannequin head,” she said. “And I was sitting there looking at my head of hair like, ‘This just doesn’t look right.’ I had cut a huge hole in the back of the head. I thought, ‘This is so not going to be my thing.’ But it worked.”
Soon Decker started to see the art within styling hair. She moved from working the front desk to owning her own shop.
Part of what kept her moving forward was her drive to do things her way. That meant taking on more difficult stylings, like weddings, to help Decker find an artistic outlet.
“Hair is just art anyways,” she said. “It’s like the jewelry. If the client is wearing this big blingy dress and is having a big wedding, I would just go soft on the hair because people’s eyes are all over the place and you want that one focal point.”
That’s how Decker works. She needs a canvas to start on. So for each bride that she styles, she discusses the dress, flowers, bridesmaids’ gowns, shoes, the wedding itself—everything—all in order to get an overall image of what that special day will look like.
Once she summons that image in her head, Decker can then create a mental image of what the bride’s hair should look like.
And appeasing a soon-to-be bride is no easy task. Just ask Amy Wheelehan. Decker styled Wheelehan’s hair for her engagement party, reception dinner, bridal shower and wedding.
All Wheelehan gave Decker to go off of was “soft, nothing stuffy or overly done.” But Decker knew what to do.
“She just got it,” Wheelehan said. “She was able to create something that was exactly what I had envisioned, but that I hadn’t been able to communicate.”
After stumbling on Decker’s Facebook page, Wheelehan knew she’d found her stylist.
“I fell in love with her hair designs,” she said. But it wasn’t just the hair that Wheelehan had Decker design, it was also her hairpiece.
Wheelehan was getting married sans veil, but still wanted something elegant and eye catching nestled in her hair. So she gave Decker a broach that had belonged to her great grandmother and gave her free rein to create a hairpiece.
“I just said, "Work with it,'” Wheelehan said.
And that’s what Decker loves to hear.
She knows right away, from just looking at someone, what she’s going to do with their hair.
“You get this little inspiration,” she said. “And you’re just dying to get your hands on it.”
Pixies Hair Design is located at 2809 Sutton Blvd.
See related on Patch: