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Meet Trailblazer Aisha Mahler Salinas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aisha Mahler Salinas.

Aisha, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have been a licensed hairstylist since 2011, however, growing up with a mother who was a cosmetology teacher I have always done hair my whole life. I started out in this industry working as an hourly employee trying to gain as much experience and training as possible. I soon became part of the management team at that salon and was able to learn a lot about the logistics, budgeting and general business. From there, I moved into a commission salon where I assisted the owner and took my own clients. I was able to learn and specialize in curly/textured haircuts and colors as well as natural styling. After being at that salon for about 1.5 years, I had the opportunity to move to Charleston South Carolina for a few years. While I was out there, I learned and specialized in tape in hair extensions and blonding services (all while coming back to San Diego every 8 weeks to do my SoCal clientele’s hair). I moved back to San Diego in 2015 and began working at Plush Salon as a booth renter. I have been lucky enough to be able to run my own personal business as well as manage Plush. About one year ago, I began my journey teaching as an adjunct professor for San Diego City College (my alma mater) in the cosmetology department. I fully believe that being a beauty school teacher makes me a better hairstylist and being a hairstylist makes me a better beauty school teacher!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This industry is a tough one, however, if you are in it for the right reasons and live authentically it will be a very rewarding career. Looking back on the past 7 years I found that, in my own career, I looked at every opportunity and bump in the road as a learning experience, if something went wrong I always put that in my back pocket, so I would know what not to do later. I genuinely try to make the most of every little victory, because it is too easy not to. There are people that all dreamers come across that want to extinguish the fire that is burning under your butt that pushes you forward, I choose to turn their words into a lighter fluid and let that propel me forward. I think if you know what you want, who you are and what you bring to the table that the “obstacles” are turned into puzzles and the “failures” are turned into knowledge.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Aisha Mahler Salinas Hair Services – Located within Plush Salon – what should we know?
I have a few specialties and passions, custom hair color, curly/textured haircuts and colors and tape in extensions. I am currently working towards a Master Color Expert certification through Wella and have several other certifications under my belt. I am in love with creating dynamic haircolor with movement and personality. I believe that hair should be transformational because as people so are we. We are constantly shifting and changing so your hair should do the same. I work with people from all walks of life, in all sorts of industries of all different ages and am super inspired by each person’s individual story and lifestyle.

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
I absolutely believe that nature and nurture molded my specific path. Both of my parents and my grandmother always told me I was a businesswoman from birth. They allowed me to thrive in that capacity since i was a small child, giving me small (at first) opportunities to lead, grow my ideas and follow through with them. I was always encouraged to have big dreams and work towards them at all times. My parents lead by example by always working hard to attain their next goal. Watching my mom teach cosmetology school full time while getting her bachelors and masters degrees and making time to support us kids and nurture our talents definitely made me feel like there was nothing I couldn’t do.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Aisha Mahler Salinas, EMZY Photography, Jay Resh Photography

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