Bio & Background
During High School & College I always worked at Hair Salons but never envisioned doing Hair as a career while living in Southern California. In 2007 I moved to NYC with a strong plan to have fun (and a loose plan to start Grad School if I could tolerate the Winters) and got a job working for Nick Arrojo to bide the time. Fate intervened however by giving us a mild Winter and by Nick Arrojo inspiring me to become a hairstylist. I spent 5 years pouring into my new craft at ARROJO Studio, learning from and practicing alongside some of the most brilliant hairstylists in the industry. It was the foundation that will forever give me such an excitement, passion and gratitude for my craft.
Forever grateful for that season of my career and for all of the connections I made, in 2013 I decided to move my clientele to Fringe Salon where I had fallen in love with the creative, colorful and artist environment nurtured by owner Amy Schiappa. I felt inspired at Fringe as both a stylist and a colorist and delighted myself in being a part of its happy, hairstylist family.
In 2017 I decided to take the plunge and become my own boss by launching Rachel Downing Hair. With much success, in 2018 I decided to lease a private salon suite in order to provide a more luxurious and personalized experience for my beloved clients. The suite is located inside of a big building dedicated to artists in the beauty industry and i am fully enjoying the perks of running my own salon space. Come see!
My cutting background is precision driven using both a straight-edge razor and my fancy Hikari Scissors as tools. Choice of razor vs. scissors depends on the desired outcome and the preference of my client. 75% of my clients are cut with traditional scissors because they want a clean, crisp shape. But for the 25% of my clients who I use the straight edge razor on, it is a total hair GAME CHANGER. The razor collapses hair that tends to get puffy and it opens up beach waves in hair that falls stiff and straight.
Regardless of tools, I like to give precision based haircuts that will grow out strong and true to form while the hair is wet, and then define each persons signature movement and body once the hair is dry. I always consider what will benefit each clients lifestyle and bring the most out of every individual face shape.
For my blondes, I mostly use a hand-painted "balayage" technique which means I artistically place highlights and/or lowlights on top of the hair in order to bring out the haircut's shape and reflect the most light. Because of this technique, my highlights continue to look bright, dimensional and natural as they grow out; no harsh lines. You will look good for the entire grow out process.
For my reds & browns, I pull from a full backbar of L'oreal Professionnel hair color which I view to be the best color line in the world. Loreal offers potent gray coverage, a beautiful spectrum of cool and warm tones, and are the leaders in the industry offering "ammonia free" hair color i.e. my color is SUPER HEALTHY for your hair.
Most of my clients utilize the option to "+add Olaplex" to their color services which prevents all damage during the coloring process. Olaplex is a magical chemical which gets added to any bowl of color I apply to your head. It sits on your hair during the entire color service, working to hold the cuticle of the hair in place.
When not behind the chair:
I consider my job to be one of the greatest joys of my life and I truly cherish the close relationships I've kept with my beautiful clients over the years. On my days off from behind the chair, I find inspiration through gardening in my outdoor space, hiking into far-off woods, camping next to big lakes in my little green tent, taking my 2 puppies “Moose” & “Duckie” on crazy adventures in my JEEP, cooking clean from home and through my daily yoga practice. Follow all the fun, here!