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Be Well - Inside & out: Theresa likes to wear a bit of color in her hair

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Cosmetologist Theresa Tong, of TT Hair Salon & Supplies, can do it all. She cuts and tints all kinds of hair for a wide variety of styles, provides face-waxing services, plucks eyebrows and offers a paraffin dip for pampering hands. She provides all these services for the elderly, for adults, teens and children alike.

Tong also offers traditional facials but uses creams that she makes herself from fresh cucumbers or bananas and she can even mix up a face massage cream from avocados.

While Tong accepts walk-in customers, at 6411 6th Ave., #14, she strongly advises folks who want a facial to please schedule that type of service in advance. That’s so she can be sure to have all the fresh ingredients on hand for making her fresh Bahama or other facial mask and she can have it all prepared ahead of time for her customer’s convenience. To make an appointment, call TT Hair Salon & Supplies at 253 507 3795.

“I prefer to work with natural products on the face,” Tong said, “And I don’t wear a lot of makeup myself.”

What’s bright about Tong’s appearance is her contagious smile and a couple of long and colorful clip-on hairpieces that she clips to her long, dark brown, straight hair. She sells such hair accessories, including barrettes for small children, stretchy headbands and ponytail Scrunchies at reasonable salon prices.

She also sells a wide variety of hair products, including shampoo, conditioners, gels, sprays, pomades, and waxes. The products she stocks are by companies such as Alterna, Bed Head, Biosilk, Cationic Hydration Interlink (CHI), It’s a 10, Joico, Kenra, Matrix®, Nioxin, Redken, Paul Mitchell, Pureology and Sexy Hair.    

When someone approaches her about changing their hair color to something really bright and vibrant, Tong feels her first job is to educate her customers about how the full hair tinting process works and she feels obligated to warn them whenever what they are asking for could badly damage their hair.

“With very bright colors, I must first get your hair to the appropriate shade for tinting and that usually involves bleaching,” Tong said. “Then, after that bleaching process, I have to add more color back in. That’s in order to make it the color you want. Bleaching is very damaging to someone’s hair, so I ask my customer, why would you want to do that? I don’t ever want to damage my customer’s hair.”

Meanwhile, Tong said if a customer is very persistent, completely realizes the potential for damaging their hair by bleaching, then she will accommodate their wishes and will do her best to provide the most professional service anyone can offer but she really strongly advises against using too much bleach as hair can get burned and becomes brittle and completely breaks off.

Beyond that, Tong said that tinting with vibrant colors means the shade does not last nearly as long as natural colors do. “Color corrections are costly at $130 and up,” she said.

The price for adding color to hair depends on the customer’s hair length and thickness. The longer the hair and the thicker it is, the more salon products for a color change, permanent wave, or hair straightening service will be needed.

Bleaching costs $65, and if she must remove all the color of your hair and repeat a similar process for adding the new desired color then someone’s wallet is going to feel a bit lighter because for the cosmetologist to spend time removing and adding the color, then conditioning the hair and styling it, well, the entire process in total (depending on length and thickness of hair) would cost somewhere between $130-and-$150.

Tong graduated from Everett Community College more than a decade ago with1800 hours in beauty school training. For the next ten years, she worked at Regis Hair Salon in Seattle, tinting and cutting hair. Then she moved to the southernmost part of Tacoma three years ago. That’s when she started working in Renton, as a manager at Great Clips.

“The commute to work took me three hours,” Tong said. “So after I was a manager for Great Clips in Renton I worked for another Great Clips closer to home for over a year and finally decided to work for myself.”

When she opened her salon last month, she named it after herself, TT Hair Salon & Supplies, and celebrated the grand opening on June 1.

The beautiful 1500 square-feet of space inside her salon is tastefully designed and displayed. Tong said she is now ready to rent out 3 or 4 of her existing 5 stations at $400 per month. In addition to all the hair products and accessories she sells there, a friend of hers also sells women’s clothing and jewelry at the salon.

The parking lot at TT Hair Salon & Supplies allows customers the luxury of choosing any free parking space as the property butts up against the Grocery Outlet store’s lot, a great landmark for making Tong’s hair salon easy to find.

“I'm willing to offer 10% off the total of purchase for products and services when customers mentioned they saw this story and my advertisement in this paper,” Tong said.