Hair stylists often learn things about their clients that nobody else would ever hear, and in a college town such as Moscow, there is plenty of conversation to go around.
Michael Woodall, a licensed cosmetologist, has worked at Canopy Aveda Salon in downtown Moscow since he first opened the shop two years ago.
Since then, Woodall said he has heard plenty of stories from the 3,000 plus clients he has served.
He said a large part of his job is talking with clients about their lives and creating an environment in which they feel secure.
“One of my favorite things about being a hair stylist is being able to share an interaction with someone, an interaction that makes them feel safe,” Woodall said.
Woodall worked his way through beauty college as a janitor and after he graduated he began working at various salons until eventually opening his own in Moscow.
The hair stylist said his career has allowed him to interact with the people of Moscow in an interesting way.
Client Sharon Adams said she has come to know the salon owner well over the past year and she”s seen that Woodall always treats his clients with care.
“He really tries to make it a personal experience,” she said. “He”s a small business owner with great enthusiasm and love for the community.”
A small business owner herself, Adams said she has grown to appreciate the interactions Woodall has with other businesses and his devotion to his craft.
“He”s very creative,” Adams said. “He”s not just cutting hair – he”s an artist.”
Woodall said he loves the Moscow community and Canopy has opened his eyes to how diverse it really is.
“We have an opportunity to live in a community that is so diverse,” Woodall said. “Whether it”s politics, religion, sexual orientation, skin color or culture, the community is so diverse.”
The experience that Canopy provides for the community would not be possible without the effort of his whole team, Woodall said, especially his partner Will Butler.
He said he appreciates that Moscow acts as a safe haven for a lot of people and attracts people from around the globe. Woodall said he has helped clients from an endless list of countries and is excited by the thought that his haircuts travel all over the world.
“I believe everybody”s beautiful, I just make it more obvious,” Woodall said.
Woodall”s work at Canopy has created a network of people who continue to visit the salon not just for a great haircut, but also for a chance to see him.
“As a salon we act as this nucleus of experiences from all these people from all walks of life,” Woodall said. “Each person brings their stories, their lives, their challenges and their troubles.”