- Edition 6, Chapter 3.6 -


Sam Wardy


She has always done hair.

From Barbies, to learning to round brush my own hair in fourth grade, to prom hair for friends, to gluing extensions into my friends’ hair in college, to cosmetology school at 23 – late, in my opinion.

Motherhood woke her up.

I attempted college and dropped out at 21 when the birth of my son forced me to realize what I needed to do to raise a son with a truly happy mom.

First came Jim...

Cosmetology school is a whirlwind. So much to learn in a very small time, very little of it creative – all textbook and technical. One day a man named Jim came to recruit. He was quiet, slow to choose his words, fastidious, and had one of the most filthy mouths I’ve ever heard. I loved him. He saw something in me, and after school I started an apprenticeship under him. I worked by his side four days a week.

...then Julie…

I took cutting class once a week with a beauty (inside and out) named Julie – absolutely contagious joy (she makes everybody she meets feel like they are the most important person in the room) – always fully present, always.

...and Wes (yes, that Wes).

At the salon I also met a man named Wes. His eye for beauty, his eye for the future, what's going to happen next season? Editorial work. Wes is a student of beauty, however strange. Beauty where some don’t see it. He saw potential in me when I wasn’t sure of myself. He left for New York and left his ENTIRE clientele to me. Wes handed me confidence and a livelihood.

These three together were my family, and the start of my search for true inspiration.

Inspiration is an hourly event.  

When I really sit down and think about it, every single client who sits in my chair is my inspiration. Yes, my son, my coworkers, my teachers, editorial work, stylists on social media, but the core is the client, always. My job is to communicate with them, read their minds, catch their vibes, know their limits, push them, pull them back, LISTEN, SEE, anticipate. Every client is a riddle, a puzzle. I have one chance and about one hour to solve and perfectly execute something they will wear every day. The challenge is to educate, to show them beauty where they cannot see it, to help them project the way they wish to be seen. I want them to feel confident throughout their days with one less thing to worry about. They are why I do what I do.

Ritual Salon in Lawrence, Kansas

Ritual Salon in Lawrence, Kansas