August 2008

Teals Take Home North American Hairstyling Awards Victory

By Mandy Zelinka

Ryan and DeAnnalyn Teal of Capello salon in Milwaukie, Oregon took home one of this year’s North American Hairstyling Awards.

There has always been an overwhelming sense of childlike ambition in Ryan Teal. Upon first meeting him, he seems like that big teddy bear of a man that, at the end of the day, just wants to be hugged or patted on the head.

It was a real joy to see the Teals had won. As a young pup, I apprenticed under them, and many of the color techniques I learned from DeAnnalyn I still use today. While their teaching styles are each very different from the other, both are effective in their own right.

Ryan and DeAnnalyn Teal of Capello Salon, Ore
Ryan and DeAnnalyn Teal of Capello salon in Milwaukie, Oregon took home one of this year’s North American Hairstyling Awards

In my adult years, I have often thought about the Saturday evenings we would spend at the local bar, talking shop and obsessing about hair. If only I had known then what I have come to know now, that people like these two are not only rare in our industry, but are also responsible for maintaining a level of excellence that so often can get lost in the shuffle of the hair world.

The Teals have worn many hats, ranging from teachers within their own salon, to entrepreneurs, multiple location owners, platform artists and so forth. This was their year to win the award, as the two have somewhat come full circle. They have lessened their distractions from what they are best at: the art of the photo shoot. They realized it would be best to close their second location to enhance their focus.

To visit Capello salon, one would assume a tornado came and picked up this fabulously quaint storefront—with touches reminiscent of a French boutique—and gently dropped it into downtown Milwaukie. The location has the Willamette River on one side and a restaurant on the other. It is safe to assume this area is on the verge of greatness, and the Teals’ win could just be the propellant the little community needs.

The Teals are on a personal mission to educate the community about the immensity of the North American Hairstyling Awards. “We would like the local media to realize what it means—and that it means the world to us,” especially since, as DeAnnalyn said, “we are a tiny salon that just cares about our clients.”

The care she expressed really is true. DeAnnalyn Teal’s compassion wraps around you upon entering their doors.

Ryan Teal’s hair career was born out of a job schlepping pies at Pizza Hut. With encouragement from his already successful hairstylist partner, DeAnnalyn, he was off to try his hand at hair. Today you could say they are each other’s greatest inspiration. That’s lucky, since, as Ryan will tell you, “If you constantly look for inspiration you don’t find it.”

The concept for their award winning photos was born out of a trip to New York. After wandering into the Bumble and Bumble Academy’s hair library, they spent the next three months hand sewing hair “hats” on their days off. Then through the entirety of their two-day photo shoot with photographer Babak, at the cost of $9,000, DeAnnalyn provided hand cooked meals for the entire team. The cost of the photographer would pay off in the end, but this choice wasn’t just about the money.

Surprisingly, this was their first real financial expenditure on a photographer for the awards even after ten tries. “If you want something great something needs to be sacrificed—it’s biblical. In order for us to win the North American Hairstyling Awards, we had to sacrifice something: money. When you pay that kind of money for a photographer you better bring [your best game].”

And bring it they did. Their victory in the team competition came complete with a trophy, speech and press junket the following day. Not only that, but DeAnnalyn was trapped for a while in an elevator with Vivian Mackinder, one of the greatest hairdressers of the world. Now that’s not an everyday occurrence.

Unfortunately, it is hard to translate such an award into dollars walking into your salon. It has troubled the couple that very little local media sources have taken on the story, but at least the Willamette Week has been more than giving in their attention.

A North American Hairstyling Award is a key to becoming the ultimate hairdresser, and, within the industry, it does elevate them to an elite status. However, very few potential clients know the difference between a stylist having the potential to be among one of the greats and another stylist down the street. As Ryan put it, “We have a personal victory,” but very little they can do with it. On the other hand, he always puts 100 percent into his cuts, adding, “my haircut value has gone up—my own personal value has gone up.”