A lot like ‘Steel Magnolias’

Published 10:26 am Thursday, March 28, 2019

In business since 1938, salon still thrives today

Starting off as a local beauty shop more than 80 years ago, Generations Salon and the Hair Depot remain one of the oldest operated family-owned small businesses in Jessamine County. What also remains is a focus on making customers feel like family.
“I would say we have the most experience in town,” Generations Salon Owner Kelly Combs said. “We have young and we have older, so it encompasses everything.
“If you want a salon that can work together as a team, is family-oriented and has tons of experience, then there is nothing in town like us.”
Combs comes from a long line of hair stylists. Her mother, Marilyn Welch, is also a hair stylist. Welch’s mother and grandmother were hair stylists as well. Her grandmother was the original owner of the beauty salon in Nicholasville in 1938, making four genereations of the family in the hair business.
“Then she opened a beauty school in Lexington and they taught cosmetology for years,” Welch said. “Then, my grandmother came back to Nicholasville and bought a shop. My grandmother was a hairdresser, my mother was a hairdresser, I am a hairdresser and my daughter is a hairdresser. My granddaughter broke the mold and graduated college.”
Hair Depot Owner Debra Hood said the shop they occupy now was originally a barbershop. Having never worked anywhere but in its current location, Hood left the shop for one week during her 41-year career before coming back.
“We probably have 200 years experience combined,” Hood said.
Welch has been in the business 52 years. Hairdresser Mickey Houp, who also works for the salon, has been doing hair for 53 years. Hood has 41 years’ experience, and Combs has 34 to 35 years under her belt.
“It is amazing,” Combs said. “We all complement each other. We are selfless people. If you don’t know how to do something, I don’t care to (have to) show you.”
Hairdresser Erin Brooks agrees.
“It is honestly like family,” Brooks said. “And honestly, it is a lot like ‘Steel Magnolias’ here.”
Generations Hair Salon and The Hair Depot is a full-service salon located at 721 E. Maple St. in Nicholasville. The salon offers waxing above the neck, men’s haircuts, partial and full highlights, woman’s haircuts, cut and style, shampoos and sets, blow dry and hair extensions.
The salon even has its own product line, Gen Hair, which offers shampoo, conditioner and styling products and is 98 percent natural.
“(We also offer) hair restoration called Evolve,” Combs said. “You can’t see anything. It is for thinning hair and the hair has to be 2-1/2 inches long at least to do it. It is fabulous. We would love to branch out in that also… We are willing to train someone to do that and work here. It is a huge business. It has a silicone base which attaches to your hair and you integrate it with the other hair.”
Combs said Generations Salon is looking to hire more staff all around. Offering booth rental to other hairdressers, Combs is looking to hire someone who can also put the Generations Salon stamp of approval on their clients.
“With my name on the salon, I also want to instill the quality,” Combs said. “We like to also put our stamp on things. We have calls every day wanting appointments. My grandmother instilled in us to not turn anyone away. I am looking for a couple of established hair stylists.”
In addition to new stylists for Generations Hair Salon, Jaisa Miracle will be starting April 23 for The Hair Depot and will offer men’s shaves and facials by appointment and walk-in.
“Jaisa is going to specialize in the barbering business,” Hood said. “Razor, shaves and facials for men.”
Combs said the salon also offers parties for people who want to get a select group of people together when the shop is closed.
“We offer everything between all of us,” Combs said. “There isn’t anything we can’t do.”
For more information, call 859-885-5971.