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Expert Interview Series: Kristin Hull About What Busy Moms Want From a Salon


Today’s moms are often so busy dedicating themselves to their children that they don’t have time to follow trends, dig through stores for the best-priced items or study their closets to put chic ensembles together.

“And as for a beauty regimen, if they find a moment to just wash their face, they’re lucky,” says Kristin Hull, founder and editor-in-chief of The Mommy Stylist. The site helps moms on the go feel more stylish and confident on a budget.

We recently checked in with Kristin to learn more about her site and get her take on what salons can do to make busy moms look and feel their best. Here’s what she had to say:

How did you become the Mommy Stylist?

Five years ago, when I was working as the Fashion Editor at D Magazine, the city magazine for Dallas, Texas, my mom friends (and especially my sister, who has two boys) would ask me for advice on what to wear to “mom” events like PTA meetings and chaperoning field trips. They were tired of feeling frumpy and wanted to look put-together, but didn’t have time to come up with cute outfits, let alone follow fashion and know what the trends were.

To make things even harder, they needed these outfits to be functional for their lifestyle as well. This meant nothing too short or too low-cut because moms are bending down a lot, and nothing too expensive because they were sure to get little footprints and lots of tears (snot) on them. It was really fulfilling for me to be able to help them, and I began thinking about how nice it would be to be able to help even more moms in the same way. And that’s how The Mommy Stylist was born.

Why do you think moms need a site like the Mommy Stylist?

Because they don’t have time to think about fashion, but they still want to look good. We all know a cute outfit can make us stand a little bit taller and feel more confident. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Moms are too busy doing the most important job in the world to keep up with fashion. They sacrifice so much for their children. It’s a beautiful and noble role to play in life. But what comes with that role is not enough time for themselves, which often leads to lower self-esteem and just a general “blah” feeling. That, in turn, can affect how they interact with their families. There’s no one to blame; it’s just one of those things.

But, The Mommy Stylist aims to help by doing for them what they don’t have time to do. We focus on providing outfit ideas that encompass a mom’s needs – versatility, functionality, affordability (most items on the site are well under $100) – but also offer style. This, in turn, increases their happiness and self-esteem.

We know life isn’t about how you look, but how you feel; so we focus on showing them that looking a little better (not all decked out, just cute and put-together) can make them feel better about themselves.

What do you think moms are looking for when they visit a salon?

Relaxation! They want quiet; they want to feel pampered; they want to leave feeling revived and “freshened up.”

What are the most common frustrations you think moms have about going to the salon?

First, finding someone to watch the kids. Second, not being able to re-create what the stylist did to their hair.

What types of questions do you think stylists should be asking their clients before doing their hair – especially if their client is a mom?

Before asking any questions, a hair stylist should first look at a mom’s body shape to make sure to give them a style that will compliment them as a whole (not just their face). Moms are insecure about their changed bodies, so helping to balance them out is important.

Then, ask how much time they are able to spend on their hair each day and cut that in half. Women often overestimate this number – especially moms, who are HOPING to have that much time but never do. Ask them to peruse magazines while they are waiting to show the stylist what they consider their personal “style,” not just for hair, but overall style. This will help the stylist decide whether to give them an edgy pixie cut, lots of layers or a preppy bob. Don’t just ask them what their style is because most people can’t define it; but they can definitely show you photos of it.

What can stylists do to make a busy mom feel extra special and taken care of during their visits?

Take extra time when washing their hair to give them a head and neck massage, or have an assistant give them a hand massage while they are in your chair (or both!). A mom will worship you for this! Don’t talk too much. Let them talk if they want to. Since they normally face a constant barrage of conversations (kids, teachers, instructors, coaches, other moms, etc.) they may really appreciate some quiet time.

What are your favorite hairstyle and/or beauty trends for busy moms right now?

My favorite hair trend for moms is counter to what most think. I am all for long layers. A common misconception is that shorter hair is easier, but I find the opposite to be true. As cute as short cuts can be, you have to actually DO short hair every day or it doesn’t look right. This is just not conducive to a mom’s lifestyle. With long layers (just below the shoulder or longer) a mom can get her hair done in several different stylish ways in no time. She can put it in a low ponytail, pull the sides back and clip them with a barrette in the back, braid it, or just let it hang down naturally (and add a little product to give it that beachy look). Or (my favorite) she can throw on a hat, leaving hair hanging down and letting the layers create some interest. If she has a little extra time, she can also flat iron it to give it a really sleek, sophisticated look.

As for beauty, I am in love with lip stain. Apply it in the morning, do a little touch-up mid-day, and you are set. I am also addicted to tinted lip balm. We apply lip balm often, so having one with a tint will freshen you up a bit every time you apply it. For the eyes, I love a cat eye. It looks sophisticated, opens up the eyes and is perfect for any occasion. It isn’t as difficult as you think, and it’s perfect for a mom because it will stay in place all day. The cat eye can be thin and subtle for daytime or thick and dramatic for date night. Learn it once and you are set for life.

What about your favorite style trends heading into the colder months?

For the colder months, moms will fare well with a couple of beanie hats. They’re on-trend, they keep you from having to do your hair, and they’ll provide warmth. Scarves are always a great accessory for moms as well, since they are inexpensive and easy to wear. Suede (or faux suede) is one of my favorite current trends. It’s warm, acts as a windbreaker, and is super versatile and always classy.

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