Monica Smith, founder of Salon XO in the Hill District, says her passion for hairdressing led her to open her own space in 2016. Voted by Pittsburgh City Paper Readers as this year’s best black homeowner hair salon, Smith’s boutique specializes in styling natural hair, but also offers services for relaxed and fine or fine hair, eyelash and eyebrow extensions, l ‘waxing, makeup, etc.
Described as “the ultimate hair salon experience,” Salon XO’s mission is to focus on basic, healthy hair care first, then add creative flair afterwards. The salon follows hair trends, using premium products that put the health of clients’ hair above all else.
“My favorite thing about what I do is that I can combine my dreams, my personal and professional goals. I’ve always wanted to own a salon, run multiple businesses, and help people, but not necessarily be a stylist. This part found me and it never let me go, ”says Smith. “Just by being in business day in and day out, I found a passion that I didn’t know I had. Since the start of my styling career, it has always been more than just hair for me. I love to educate, serve and make people feel good.
In a WTAE 2020 story, Smith said she sees herself as part of the Hill District revitalization and believes the neighborhood should have the same amenities as communities like Squirrel Hill, Lawrenceville and Mount Lebanon.
Smith says it’s important that every customer who walks through the door feels special and like a queen. The salon has special offers, a loyalty program and a VIP membership that includes two natural hair services per month, protein and moisturizing treatments and 10% off all retail products.
“I love the relationships that are built,” says Smith, adding that no matter what, there are a few common goals for every client who comes to Salon XO: to bring their hair to a healthier condition, to provide a education and sometimes emotional adjustments. on better hair care and health tips, and “encouraging brotherhood, and for them to look and feel their best.”
“I see it as you literally shape the way someone will feel for weeks or even months,” says Smith. “It inspires me from the inside.”