Oanh Walton has been cutting and styling hair professionally for close to 15 years but got her start in hair much sooner.
“I cut every single one of my Barbie’s hair,” Walton says from Artisan Hair by Oanh, the salon she has owned since 2010.
By age 12, she had given her friend a haircut. Around that same time, she began offering clipper cuts for her two brothers and all the neighborhood boys.
“I would practice on anyone and everyone,” She says. “I would take any opportunity to touch someone’s hair.”
A 2004 Bucks County Technical High School graduate, Walton, of Falls Township, says hair artistry is a way of life.
“We come from a long line of family members that do hair,” she says, gesturing to her mother, Lily Trinh, who helps runs the business, providing services for women, men and children, including haircuts, color, highlights, color correction, updos and waxing services. “It runs through our veins.”
Before branching out on her own, Walton worked at her aunt’s salon, along with her mother. Beginning at age 9, Walton swept the floors. By 13, she began washing customers’ hair. By 10th grade she had given her first (official) haircut in beauty school.
In order to grow, Walton left behind the comfort of her aunt’s shop and “took a leap of faith” to open her salon on New Falls Road. The space had previously been used as a salon, making it easy for Walton to open for business.
“In two months, I opened the business with no business plan,” she recalls. “I kind of went into the business not knowing anything.”
She has become more business savvy simply from the experience and stays up-to-date on the latest hair trends and products.
All that’s missing are more stylists to help fill the space. Currently, she and her mother occupy two of the five chairs. She would like to fill the others with beauticians.
“We’re just a small little salon trying to rise,” Walton says.
Together, the mother-daughter team provides hair services to more than 500 regular clients.
“I love what I do,” Walton says. “I love being behind the chair.”
Walton will come from behind the chair to the front of the classroom as she begins teaching the next generation of stylists at her alma mater. With countless haircuts, highlights and conditioning treatments under her belt, she’s always looking for young talent to intern at her salon.
“I wanted to give back to the community,” she says. “I have a passion for hair.”
Cutting short hair is among Walton’s favorite styles. For spring and summer, she says long bob hairstyles, as well as curls and a high ponytail are popular choices. Balayage highlighting – or sweeping on color to create a graduated, natural-looking effect – is the preferred hair color method. To perfect the look, Walton says hair color “melts from dark to light.”
While other salons may offer the same or similar services, Walton says her customers “come back because of our kindness.”
“We’re nice and kind to one another,” she says, adding, “there’s a stylist for everyone.”
To learn more
Artisan Hair by Oanh LLC is located at 8624 New Falls Road in Levittown. The salon is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on Artisan Hair, visit https://www.facebook.com/artisanhairby1/, email Artisanhairbyoanh@gmail.com or call 215-949-3707.