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Coast River Business Journal | Seaside Signal | Hipfish



Article in the Coast River Business Journal
“Beach Blonde Salon’s Ferrell works hair magic”

November 2010 by LeeAnn Neal

When a new customer visits Beach Blonde Salon, located in Seaside, she’s in for a hair conversion, of sorts.

“I invoke the Goddess,” said owner and operator Michael Ferrell. “Many times, I put my hands on their heads and say, ‘Let there be beauty!’”

Ferrell, who opened his doors last summer, works his hair magic from the salon, located on 1st Avenue next to Klahowya Cafe (previously Phannie Phatt’s).

He and his partner purchased the building and adjoining house last spring after visiting the north Oregon Coast from their home in Portland

Originally offered for sale as four separate apartments, the 3,900-square-foot space was built in 1904. In the years leading up to Ferrell’s purchase, it had begun to look shabby and was, as he put it, “a blemish on Seaside.”


Since then, Ferrell and his partner have improved the property, including planting trees outside.

“We got the signs from Sign One,” he said. “We did everything with local businesses — it’s very important to do that.”

When a neighbor discovered the place had been purchased she was so happy, “she wept,” said Ferrell.

Born in Eastern Oregon, Ferrell has been doing hair since 1973.

“I moved to Portland to go to beauty school a month after I graduated from high school,” he said.

After graduating from beauty school he taught for many year’s at Phagan’s School of Hair Design, in Portland.

“I thought I had to give back to the biz,” said Ferrell.

Over the years, Ferrell has owned and operated four salons including Michael’s on Main, in Tigard; Pumpkin Ridge Hair Design, in North Plains; Salon Zen-Do, in Portland, and now Beach Blonde.

He has served as a platform artist for several hair product lines, including Wella Color, Inc., Image Products and Big Sexy Hair and as a makeup artist during a Yosh Salons, of San Francisco, presentation in Portland.

Ferrell has done hair and makeup for regional theater, as well as for trade shows.

“A lot of my notoriety has come from doing huge stages at the Northwest Women’s Shows. We had standing-room only (spectators).”

The KATU morning show AM Northwest began featuring Ferrell during the Northwest Women’s Shows.

“That segued into a segment called, ‘Fabulous Over 50,’” he said.

“Now my claim to fame is the fabulous line of Dikson hair color I use,” he said. “Color is my specialty — I believe I’m a color authority. I’ve got ‘it.’ I can’t imagine being involved in this craft if you aren’t plugged into what hair’s going to do under all circumstances — that would be stressful. You can’t get in trouble if you understand color.”

Ferrell prefers women clients ages 40 to 80. “They know how dangerous it is to get a bad color and cut,” he said. “I don’t do a lot of young kids, because they’re not appreciative — they’re already gorgeous.”

He works with the Clatsop County Women’s Resource Center, Ferrell said, to help women who have been abused and need a leg-up.

“I do their hair and makeup. Of course, it’s free. I really want Beach Blonde to be a place where I give back.”

Ferrell hopes to coordinate with other local salons to hold “model nights,” during which women can volunteer as models and receive free makeup, haircuts and color while local stylists exchange tips and techniques. “If I have an expert weaving technique, why would I want to hold that close to my chest,” he said. “Like I could do everybody’s hair in Seaside?”

So far, Ferrell has felt warmly welcomed by the Seaside business community, particularly the Seaside Downtown Development Association of which he is a member.

“I’m so delighted to be involved with a group of such friendly people,” he said. “I’ve always known I would retire at the beach.”

However, after a second’s reflection, he added, “I will never retire. I will cut hair as long as I am able to lift my hands to my shoulders. Doing hair is not work. Making people pretty? How hard is that?”

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Article in the Seaside Signal
“Stylist looking to give back to local community”

May 4, 2011, By Rosemary Dellinger, Editor

Stylist Michael Ferrell welcomes customers to his shop in Seaside. Ferrell is working with a local women’s resource program to provide free hair cuts to local women preparing to reenter the work force.

Michael Ferrell is hoping to use his 37 years of hair styling experience to benefit others in his newly found community of Seaside.

According to Ferrell, doing hair is what he does best. “Beauty is my business,” Ferrell said, noting when he begins working with someone’s hair he already has the finished style in his head. “It is exciting work. I can take a mature woman and bring her out of the ashes. I make her feel pretty again,”

It is one of the reasons he is motivated to work with the local women’s agency to help local women in need by offering free haircuts. “If nothing else, I have given her a higher level of self esteem. She can hold her head up,” he said. “A new look may just be what she needs to make a difference and start over.”

Ferrell isn’t concerned about giving away a free haircut… “It isn’t about the money. It is about giving a gift. I want to make a difference, so that is what I’m going to do.”

Ferrell dubs himself a “color authority,” noting it is important for a woman to have the perfect look – including cut, color and style. He carries Farmavita, a line of top quality skin care products and hair care products, including color.

“For all those Baby Boomers who are so interested in color,” he said.

Beach Blonde Salon offers cuts and color for both men and women.

Although he is “somewhat retired in Seaside” he continues to attend classes and keep up with the trends. “I can see myself cutting hair in a wheelchair,” he said, noting his love for his work. “It makes me happy. It’s a fun job.”

Ferrell noted the latest trend is medium to shoulder length hair with soft layers and highlights. “However, women are really wearing everything from really, really short cuts to really long hair,” he said. “But, those Baby Boomers want the softer look with highlights for a fantastic finish.”

Born and raised on his family’s wheat and cattle ranch in Wallawa County, Ferrell said he wanted to be a hair stylist since high school.

Ferrell came to Seaside a year ago to retire. “I wanted to come here, find a little room, have a little studio and that was the extent of it,” Ferrell said. “I was going to stay here and just retire.” However, his retirement quickly became a memory.

“I stumbled across this fabulous house,” he said about finding the property at 720 First Ave. Ferrell purchased the house and created Beach Blonde Salon. However, his vision of a small studio has morphed into a full-scale salon, which will include three stations and space for manicures and pedicures.

Coming to the beach was a natural progression for Ferrell. “I always knew I was going to retire at the beach,” he said. “I lived in Hawaii for a while and then came back and worked along the North Coast.”

Ferrell owned four salons in the Portland area at one time and has been a beauty school instructor.

In addition to his work at the salon, Ferrell loves to spend time in his garden and yard. He became a Master Gardener two years ago. “I am enjoying bringing in plants from Portland and seeing what works here,” he said. “It is exciting and I love it here.”

He also enjoys refinishing furniture, sewing and remodeling his house. “Plus, I love to junk shop,” he said.

Ferrell is a member of the Seaside Downtown Development Association and the Hearty Plant Society.
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Article in Hipfish
“Let There be Beauty”

December 8, 2011, by Kate Giese
How Michael Ferrell, a NEW Seasider, finds joy in COMMUNITY!

WHEN HAIRDRESSER Michael Ferrell lacks inspiration as he’s about to cut a client’s hair at Beach Blondes, his salon in Seaside, he places both hands on her head and intones, “let there be beauty!” This invocation to a goddess of beauty hints at the mix of industry and business savvy with a restless spirituality that’s such big part of this guy’s make up.

After buying property at the north coast, Ferrell has demonstrated, in the short time he’s lived here, a willingness to get involved in the community and put his energy and creativity to work for good causes. He views doing hair as a calling, his business acumen continually tempered by a long-standing need to find meaning in this life and help others through his chosen vocation.

“I can make someone pretty and help give her the confidence to go to that job interview or make that life change,” Ferrell explains. That said, he’s done things like free makeovers and beauty consulting for women referred by the Women’s Resource Center. His customers are generally always women, and Ferrell’s wonderfully adept at endearing himself to his “girls.” In no time at all, he’s not just their beauty consultant but a good buddy and confidante. Does he cut men’s hair? “There’s only two haircuts men want, Ferrell quips, “short and shorter.”

His new shop/digs on Seaside’s First Street, just south of Holladay, was a serendipitous find, as he tells it. “We were playing ‘wouldn’t it be lovely if…’ while idly looking at commercial properties in the area and ended up making a silly (low) offer,” he recalls. The seller grabbed at it. Apparently, the house, zoned commercial/residential, had blighted Seaside’s landscape for years; the local police were a constant presence. “When my neighbor to the back found out we’d bought the place, she wept tears of joy,” says Ferrell smiling.

Now, he, his partner Marvin Hampton, and Milo, their black and white Chihuahua mix, divide their time between the north coast and Portland where Ferrell has a house and owns and operates another hair salon called Zen-Do. The couple quickly transformed their newly-acquired, decidedly dilapidated house, inhabited mainly by druggies in its past life. These days, the place simply oozes curb appeal, with the salon at the front and living quarters in the back and on the upper floor. The new owners have worked wonders with the place which remains a bit of a work in progress. Currently awaiting application on the salon’s interior walls are 10 gallons of Ralph Lauren Regent Metallic Colors paint.

Already Ferrell is a member of the Seaside Downtown Development Association, in the throes of preparing for the town’s annual Festival of Trees at the Convention Center. He’s entered floats in the town’s Fourth of July Parade for two consecutive years. (On one float sat 15 females wearing platinum blonde wigs, black false eyelashes and white gloves, including his 80 year old mum. The ladies threw 80 lbs. of saltwater taffy to spectators.) Working with Seaside’s Beautification Committee, he’s also making plans in that busy brain of his to implement a flower box program for area businesses. “Flowers give people a sense of God and slow you down,” he declares.

Ferrell admits to having experimented with many different belief systems over time, including EST, Lifespring, the Church of Scientology, Catholicism and even a Pentecostal cult. “I was trying to fill a God-sized hole in my heart,” he says. Six years ago, he became attracted to Sufism. “It teaches that we’re each of us on a path…that all gods reach the same place. The emphasis is on bridging the differences that divide us and seeking out commonalities.” His Sufi name is Khaliq which means creator.

Every month, Ferrell goes to San Francisco for a World Spirituality Class taught by Mersheda Rabia Ana Perez Christi, a professor who teaches World Religion studies at Berkeley. Eventually, he’ll be a full-fledged Cherag Minister, able to marry and bury people. He says, “I don’t know what’s exactly going on with my life path. It could be hair or it could be something else.”

Already Ferrell is a member of the Seaside Downtown Development Association, in the throes of preparing for the town’s annual Festival of Trees at the Convention Center. He’s entered floats in the town’s Fourth of July Parade for two consecutive years. (On one float sat 15 females wearing platinum blonde wigs, black false eyelashes and white gloves, including his 80 year old mum. The ladies threw 80 lbs. of saltwater taffy to spectators.) Working with Seaside’s Beautification Committee, he’s also making plans in that busy brain of his to implement a flower box program for area businesses. “Flowers give people a sense of God and slow you down,” he declares.

Ferrell admits to having experimented with many different belief systems over time, including EST, Lifespring, the Church of Scientology, Catholicism and even a Pentecostal cult. “I was trying to fill a God-sized hole in my heart,” he says. Six years ago, he became attracted to Sufism. “It teaches that we’re each of us on a path…that all gods reach the same place. The emphasis is on bridging the differences that divide us and seeking out commonalities.” His Sufi name is Khaliq which means creator.

Every month, Ferrell goes to San Francisco for a World Spirituality Class taught by Mersheda Rabia Ana Perez Christi, a professor who teaches World Religion studies at Berkeley. Eventually, he’ll be a full-fledged Cherag Minister, able to marry and bury people. He says, “I don’t know what’s exactly going on with my life path. It could be hair or it could be something else.”

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