Jianna Cezar, owner Barbara Kurst, Jeannette Gilmore, Kimberly Marsala and (front) Jenni Gilmore are all part of the staff at Barbara’s Hair Gallery in Hamilton Square.

Barbara Kurst, owner of Barbara’s Hair Gallery, has been a hair stylist for over three decades. In 1999, she opened her first salon in Yardville. This month marks her eighth year in her latest location on Nottingham Way, near St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church.

Kurst feels opening her own salon was a natural step to take after working in a salon.

“People would tell me, ‘You are always the person everyone goes to, the one who has the answers,’ that’s why I opened the salon,” she said. “It evolved. I went to the top and took the plunge. I am really happy.”

Kurst still works five days a week, saying, “I do what has to be done. I take walk-ins. I’m working my 18th year as a business owner.”

“We are a family-friendly salon,” Kurst said. “We are a smaller salon. We give individualized attention.”

They cut hair for everyone in the family: men, women, and children. Her five hair stylists are all local, and the group has worked together over five years.

“We are educated in every technique, but they all offer their own flair,” Kurst said.

They are certified with the Aloxxi International, Framesi, Redken, and Schwartzkopf Igora 10. Kurst describes the Schwartzkopf Igora 10 as “a permanent hair color line that can color in 10 minutes, which is perfect for lunch time. It provides 100 percent coverage of grey hairs. It is a popular color line because we can do touch-ups with it. It makes people’s lives easier because they can do it in a short time, and it is a permanent hair color. People are in a hurry and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the salon, but they want 100 percent grey coverage. It won’t fade off. It is a great color product.”

‘It’s great satisfaction when clients say ‘I love it!’ when they see themselves in the mirror.’

In addition to hair styling techniques, the staff at Barbara’s Hair Gallery is certified with Bodyography and Oxyplex Mineral Makeup lines. They combine their hair and make-up skills to perform makeovers, which is Kurst’s great passion.

“We try to do before and after photos because of the satisfaction we get from doing a makeover is unbelievable,” Kurst said. “We totally hand people 10 years back. We make them feel good about themselves. It is great satisfaction when they turn around and say ‘I love it!’ when they see themselves in the mirror. That is great business.”

Another area of expertise is color corrective hair coloring, “by far what we are known for,” Kurst said. This happens when someone makes a drastic change in hair color—such as dying blond hair really black—and wants to change it back. Kurst and her team can do that. They can also help you change it dramatically in a good way through ombre, which looks as if your hair has been dipped in another color, to balayage, a hair coloring technique that gives the dye a graduated, natural-looking effect. They also offer Brazilian blowouts, highlights, lowlights, foils, facial waxing and individualized eyelash extensions.

Kurst and her staff enjoy helping women get ready for special events, such as proms and weddings. In addition to styling hair using the latest techniques, the staff also gives those clients full make-up.

They have ammonia-free and organic hair dyes, as well as have Aquage, shampoos and conditioners that are free from paraben and sodium. Aquage is a specialty line only sold through independent salons.

“We work hard,” Kurst said. “We enjoy what we do. We are priced reasonable.”

Barbara’s Hair Gallery is located at 4615 Nottingham Way in Hamilton. Phone: (609) 588-0010.