Lather Hair Salon Tops National Magazine’s List of Best In The City

The Lather team: L-R Whitney Page, Rebecca Bartlett, Jessica Williams, Lauren Lawson, Alissa Phillips

December 9, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – When American Salon magazine came to Raleigh to discover the best of the city’s trendy hair salons, the editors set their sights on Lather Hair Salon, a relatively small salon in a shopping center off Glenwood North/Highway 70 that just celebrated its first year of doing business.

In the December edition of American Salon, one of the leading hair salon industry magazines, Lather tops the list of Raleigh salons that associate editor Nicole Palmieri calls “four of the best.”

“Lather is an upscale salon without the attitude,” owner Jessica Williams told Palmieri. “We offer all the quality of an upscale salon, from extremely talented and continually educated stylists to fine products, yet we keep the salon environment causal and friendly with a strong emphasis on customer service.”

The article, which appears in the magazine’s “Our Town” section, describes Lather’s “comfortable and fun atmosphere” comprised of large, black-framed mirrors, stained concrete flooring, and “sophisticated and whimsical” furnishings. 

Palmieri also notes the salon’s various community outreach efforts, including its recent cut-a-thon to raise money for Habitat for Humanity of Wake County.

“Needless to say, we are thrilled to be featured in American Salon,” Williams said, “especially since we’ve only been open for a year. We keep the magazine in our salon and I’ve dreamed of the day we might be included in it. I couldn’t be happier.”

The three other salons featured in “Our Town” are Primp Salonbar, Marigold Parlour, and Alter Ego.

“I’m sure they’re all just as excited as I am!” Williams said.

American Salon is available on newsstands and in most hair salons. To read the article online go to and click on the December 2009 icon.

Lather Hair Salon is located at 8521 Cantilever Way just off North Glenwood Avenue/Highway 70 West near Carmax. For more information, visit

About Lather Hair Salon:

Lather Hair Salon is a full-service, upscale salon specializing in color, cuts, waxing, deep conditioning treatments, shine glossing, perms, anti-curl treatments, and both trendy and classic styling. Lather also offers special wedding party services both in-salon or on location.. Lather’s stylists maintain “Hair Academy 101,” an on-going blog on hair care, styling, products, and DIY techniques. Lather Hair Salon is also available on Facebook and through Citysearch. For more information visit or call 919-792-0715.

Six Tips For Springing Into Spring With Style

May 20, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Spring is here and you know what that means in the South: unpredictable weather.  It can be hot, chilly, humid, rainy, and windy, and all in the same day!  Here are five tips from Lather Hair Salon in Raleigh ( to help you beat the South’s extreme Spring weather and get the look you want.

Rain Date

Tip 1. Rain can definitely put a damper on a finished hairstyle, so make sure you protect that ‘do. When you get out of the shower, apply an anti-frizz serum to your hair such as Sebastian’s Liquid Steel. It will shield your hair against the warm humidity. And always have an umbrella handy. Rain means damp hair, and damp hair means frizzy fly-aways.

Tip 2. To defeat that tricky sideways rain, embrace your Jackie-O style and grab a cute scarf to tie around your head. You’ll look stylish and, by the time you’ve reached your destination, you can unwrap a perfectly “together” ‘do.

It’s also always a good idea to have a “rescue bag” in your purse just in case you get caught without an umbrella or scarf.  Put a few bobby pins, a hair tie, a travel-sized hair spray (Sebastian Re-Shaper works really well), and a mini comb in a plastic baggie, drop it in your purse, and you’ll be set.

Tip 3. If the worst-case scenario happens — you end up drenched – you can still rally with style. When your hair is partially dry, teasing the top portion for height, then pull the rest back into a tightly secured ponytail. It’s a stylish twist on a classic pony that will allow you to slick back and secure otherwise frizzy hair.

A stylish ponytail.
A stylish ponytail.

Spring-Fresh Face and a Classic Cut

Tip 4. Coming out of winter, everyone craves a new, fresh look. Start by brightening up your skin: Exfoliate those dead, winter cells away. You want to start the season with healthy, shining skin.

Tip 5. Now is the perfect time for a new spring style.  A great haircut for spring and summer is a classic bob, customized to your desired length and cut.  A bob is almost hassle-free and won’t frizz or curl like a style with many layers. Bobs also bring attention to your eyes so you can wear less makeup in the summer heat.

Medium-length, classic "bob"
Medium-length, classic "bob"

Tip 6. To brighten up your hair for sunny weather, try a few highlights in the front, framing your face. This is a great and inexpensive way to change your look.

Spring weather can be a challenging, but if you keep these styling tricks up your sleeve, you’ll always look great and fashionable — despite the weather!

For more hair styling and hair care tips year-round, visit www.latherhairsalonnc, click on “specials” then on “Hair Academy 101.”

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Lather Hair Salon To Prepare Models For “Threads”

Threads logo lather-logo2

April 13, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Lather, a Raleigh hair salon, is donating its stylists’ hair and make-up expertise to prepare the runway models for “Threads: Senior Collection 2009” to be held Thursday, April 16, at College of Textile’s Courtyard, North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, NC, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

“Threads” will showcase the work of 21 seniors from the College of Textile’s Senior Design Studio. Each student designer created three to six ensembles that the models will present during the show.

Lather is a full-service, upscale Raleigh hair salon that specializes in complete makeovers, including airbrush makeup application, so owner and senior stylist Jessica Williams was delighted when the budding fashion designers at N.C. State asked her to design the hair and makeup for their models.

“Preparing models for the runway is just like doing a complete makeover,” said Lather’s owner and senior stylist Jessica Williams. “And we always enjoy doing hair and makeup on location. It allows us to be really creative. Besides that, we love working with up-and-coming designers, such as the seniors in the College of Textiles. I was honored when they asked us to participate. I can’t wait to see the fashions they’ve created!”

Opened in October 2008, Lather Hair Salon marked its sixth month in business last month by going on location to provide professional hair styling for a fashion spread for Social The Magazine featuring spring couture from Catch 22, a boutique in Raleigh’s trendy Glenwood South district.

“Threads: Senior Collection 2009” coincides with the College of Textile’s Industry Open House. Seats are available for $5. Standing room is free. For more information, email

Lather Hair Salon in Raleigh is located at 8521 Cantilever Way near the corner of Glenwood Ave./Highway 70 and Ebenezer Church Road. . For more information, including business hours and the salon’s “Hair Academy” blog, go to Lather is also available on Facebook and at

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Lather Hair Salon Extends Reach, Online Presence By Blogging

lather-logo1April 7, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – “Contrary to popular opinion, the ‘perfect blowout’ is not rocket science.” That’s the headline for just one of the many on-going advise columns Lather, a Raleigh hair salon, offers visitors to its website ( in a helpful-hints-and-tips blog called “Hair Academy 101.”

Lather has found a way to keep visitors coming back to its website, to extend its professional services beyond the confines of the salon itself, and to increase its SEO (search engine optimization) by consistently posting fresh, useful content — advice and how-tos — on its blog.

Recently, Lather’s “Hair Academy” even offered ideas for making visits to the salon – any salon – less frequent in this difficult economy through a post entitled “Hair Tips for Tough Times.” That might seem counter-intuitive to competitors, but to Lather’s owner and master stylist Jessica Williams, it’s good karma.

“In these tough economic times we recognize that customers cannot always come in to the salon as frequently as they were accustomed to,” Williams said. “I have no problem giving helpful tips to customers that will help them save money and help maintain their current style.  In the long run, clients will really appreciate the thought behind it.”

Other recent posts offer Lather Hair Salon stylists’ “insider tips” on products and color maintenance; advice on how to choose the right brush and bristles for specific types of hair: the truth about drugstore-brand products versus professional salon hair care products; and what to do in the event of a “home hair color disaster.”

About the latter, Williams notes, “We do write about helpful hints specifically to be helpful. But we don’t want to encourage clients to take professional hair care services into their own hand. Some things really should be left up to professionals.”

Then there’s the technological advantage to Lather’s blog:

“A blog is an easy, do-it-yourself way for Lather to keep offering fresh information and to create links back to the salon’s website,” said David Killian, art director at Raleigh graphic design firm Killer Creative. “It gives Lather more ‘searchable’ content. A blog is more of a living thing than a website, constantly changing. Search engines love that.”

Lather Hair Salon’s blog is accessed on the website’s landing page by clicking on “Specials” then scrolling down to “Hair Academy 101.”

A full-service hair salon, Lather opened as an upscale Raleigh hair salon in October of 2008 just off Glenwood North/Highway 70 at 8521 Cantilever Way, For more information, including business hours, appointments, and other specials, go to Lather is also available on Facebook and at

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From Lather Hair Salon: Hair Care for Hard Times

March 2, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) — Lets face it.  In this climate of economic insecurity, taking care of your hair isn’t quite the priority it once was. You may not be able to handle the cost of a monthly haircut, much less color maintenance. So here are some tips from the professional stylists at Lather, a Raleigh hair salon,  to help you stretch the time between maintenance visits, save some money, and still take good care of your hair:

* Choose a low maintenance hairstyle.  A “bob “is high on the list of cost effective cuts that last for months.

* This a great time to change hair color habits. Avoid dramatic colors reminiscent of crayola. They require a huge amount of maintenance.

* Consider low lights instead of high-lights. Low lights last for months.

* If you simply love your highlights and can’t imagine life with them, try to keep them a bit more subtle — no more then four shades lighter then your own natural hair. You won’t have to touch them up nearly as often.

* For those who want to cover up just a little grey, opt for a demi-permanent dye similar to your own color. This will last six to nine weeks with NO re-growth lines.

* For those who need to cover a lot of grey, keep it natural.  Get a permanent color that is within one to two shades of your natural hair color.

* Root Lifts are a great “economically friendly” way to maintain highlights without having to pay for a full or partial highlight every time.

* Excessive shampooing and conditioning can leave hair full of residue and it strips the hair of it’s natural oils. Reducing the frequency of shampooing will allow your hair’s natural oils to do the job of conditioning and save you some money on product purchases.

* Referrals. Stylists are always on the look out for new clients, and almost all of them will show their appreciation if you refer a friend or two to them.

To see many more hints and tips from Lather‘s team of professional stylists, visit the Raleigh hair salon‘s blog — “Hair Academy 101.”

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SOS For Summer-Stressed Hair

Summer can wreck havoc on your hair — the sun, the surf, the salt water and chlorine. Master stylist Jack Ray of Samuel Cole Salon and Salon Moxie in Raleigh offers his top tips and strategies for bringing your hair back to full health as the seasons change…

Jack Ray
Jack Ray

1-    Summer stressed hair is fragile. Don’t “comb” out your hair using a brush. Use a wide tooth comb and start from the bottom up.

2-    Again, fragile: Don’t try to start a fire rubbing your hair in a towel. Squeeze the moisture out (especially helpful if you have curly hair).

3-    Use a foundation product before your styling product: Try a super light leave-in spray that evens porosity and protects your hair from sun and heat styling.

4-    Try medium heat instead of high heat when blow-drying your hair.

5-    Concentrate the majority of your pre-dry time at the first 3 inches of your hair. Save the more fragile ends for the very end.(Do not start finishing your hair with a brush until it is at least 80% dry)

6-    Use Masques. A wide variety is available on the market today. Does your hair need protein or moisture or both? Select an appropriate masque for your specific need. A bit of caution here, though: Don’t overdo protein masques. Ask your stylist for the best selection for your hair’s needs.

7-    Now is the time for “low lights”.: With fall coming, it’s time to add dimension. Demi perm colors for low lights are actually conditioning to hair as well as add depth and shine to make your hair look healthier.

8-    Consider a Glaze, which adds depth and shine to summer stress hair for healthier looking hair.
9-    Consider an in-salon treatment to get rid of summer stressed hair once and for all.
Treatments range from 10 minutes to a one-hour lux treatment.


Successful Salon Owner Keeps Career, Family in Balance “24/7”

Joelle Ray in Skirt! Magazine
Joelle Ray in Skirt! Magazine

August 21, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – Joelle Ray, the driving force behind the award-winning Samuel Cole Salon and Salon Moxie in North Raleigh, is featured this month in the Raleigh version of Skirt! Magazine.

Ray, the mother of two sons (Sam, 15, and Cole, 12) and a master stylist herself, co-owns the salons with her husband, Jack. She is featured in the magazine’s “24/7” section, which spotlights women who are “well known in the community for some positive reason,” according to Skirt/Raleigh editor Faith Dwight.

“I chose Joelle this month because she’s a business-owner who is not only concerned about the bottom line but with the well-being of her employees. I also love that she works with her husband, and that her family is her first priority.  I think she’s a woman who’s got her head on straight and, for that reason, I chose her to be a role model for Skirt! readers: You can be a successful career woman and a woman who puts her family first.”

According to Joelle Ray, she didn’t choose her career. “It chose me! I had four sisters and enjoyed doing their hair. When I went to have my hair done, I always stayed afterwards to ask my stylist questions. So when I was about 19, my hairdresser said, ‘Joelle, why don’t you go to hair school?’  I signed up the next day because I saw a career path that for me had all the right appeal. I could own my own business, which would give me the flexibility for a family, I would be doing something that would help others feel good, and I could become a mentor to young stylists.”

Ray’s love for the mentoring aspect began when she followed her mother to work as a teenager.

“My Mom worked in a nursing home,” she explained. “I often went with her and witnessed the love and joy she brought to her job because she was making people feel better. I realized that I also wanted a career centered on helping people. As a stylist and business owner, I not only help my clients by improving their appearance, I’m often a shoulder to cry on or just someone to listen. And I help young stylists become successful by training and mentoring them. It has been a privilege and immensely gratifying to have so many positive relationships with so many people. Now I’m considering becoming a consultant to help other salon owners improve their businesses.”

As Skirt’s editor pointed out, Joelle Ray somehow manages to keep family and career in balance. How does she do that?

“To create balance, you must be aware of your life’s ‘big picture,’ “ she said. “I keep work and family life balanced by making sure I’m spending my time the way I need to right now. I think about what I can never get back at another time. The answer is always my boys’ growing-up years. I can always make more money, take a vacation, start a new venture, but they will never be children again. That makes my choices simple and easy. I don’t want to miss their childhood years. They need me now, not when they’re adults. And I’m blessed with the best life partner — my husband.  We share every aspect of our lives, from cooking, laundry and homework to running our businesses.”

Having spent time with Ray, Dwight also knew that she could fulfill another requirement for the section. “The 24/7 woman should be witty and have a good sense of humor,” she said. Women in the section are asked to answer a list of questions that “are more interesting if the answers are funny.” When Ray was asked to name her favorite body party, she responded with: “It’s on my husband.” What would make the world a better place? “If we ate dessert first.”

To see Joelle Ray’s complete list of answers, go to

Skirt! was launched 1994 as a monthly magazine for women in the Charleston and Columbia areas of South Carolina. Since then, it has expanded to include print editions in nearly 20 other cities, including Raleigh. For more information, visit

For more information on Joelle Ray’s two salons, including locations and business hours, visit and