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Oxford’s newest hair and beauty salon offers a fresh look to students

Rooted, a hair and beauty salon, can be found on Spring Street.
Rooted, a hair and beauty salon, can be found on Spring Street.

For a small business, moving to a college town can change everything. Rooted, Oxford’s up-and-coming hair and beauty salon, sprouted a whole new look to serve Miami University students.

Rooted is different from commission-based salons, instead hiring independent stylists who market themselves, set their own prices and make their own hours. The philosophy is to allow its employees' careers to grow to fuller potentials.

Rooted hair stylist Shelby Buck works with eight other women. She becomes closer with them every shift, whether by doing prep and promo in the backroom or through supporting each other on the floor. 

“A lot of our stylists are newer so we all help each other out,” Buck said. “We all want each other to succeed.”

Buck keeps her bookings open from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Her extensions installments, product consultations, highlights and hour-long womens cuts all make up a stylists’ usual routine. With Miami students, Buck does all that and more.

“We have an amazing presence of Miami student customers,” Buck said. “It’s all really good business, and there’s new clients in the chair who are students all the time.” 

Before Rooted opened in early January, Buck worked at its original location in New Miami for a year. Until its owner, Chalee McIntyre, decided to renovate and reopen in Oxford, Buck rarely saw walk-ins.

She spent her time there adjusting to the job, stocking up on the first shears, clippers and gloves of her hairstyling dreams. If not for Rooted’s owner reaching out at her cosmetology school’s career fair, Buck would probably belong to another salon and only earn part of her sales, rather than enjoying her current freedoms.

“It’s a big leap for stylists to go independent right off the bat,” Buck said. “It was scary and not the original plan, but I’m so happy I did it.”

The routine at Rooted gives Buck and her fellow independent stylists the larger clientele they need to touch-up on their resume experience.

“This time of year is the slowest season for hair stylists but we aren’t struggling because we opened near students,” Buck said. “Moving was the perfect fit. We’re never not going to have good customers.”

The team treats each other like family by texting and asking open questions. Once, Buck even took a class taught by Rooted’s owner and went out to eat with her later that day.

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They hustle together around the weekends, filling appointments for students who usually return home for their cuts but have since discovered a quicker fix at Rooted.

As a lifelong lover of hair, Buck feels best about her pursuits knowing Rooted appeals not just to the community, but especially to Miami students.

“We’ve been really lucky that people are wanting to try us out,” Buck said. “Every day there’s something different.”