Get to Know Kaleido Salon in Houston and Rosenberg, TX

Shane and Elizabeth O’Neill introduce us to Kaleido Hair Salon in Houston and Rosenberg, TX, founded in January 2017.
Shane and Elizabeth O’Neill introduce us to Kaleido Hair Salon in Houston and Rosenberg, TX, founded in January 2017.
Courtesy of Kaleido Hair

Beauty Launchpad is spotlighting the winners of its Top 20 Salons contest for 2024.

Here, Shane and Elizabeth O’Neill introduce us to Kaleido Hair Salon in Houston and Rosenberg, TX, founded in January 2017.


INSTAGRAM: @kaleidohair


Beauty Launchpad (BLP): What is the backstory of your salon? What motivated you to start your business?

Kaleido Hair (KH): Liz is a second-generation hair stylist. Her parents owned a salon in their hometown of Rosenberg, TX, where Liz spent many of her afternoons as a kid soaking up what comes along with a busy life behind the chair. Prior to the birth of Kaleido in 2017, Liz had been working as a hair stylist for over a decade with an emphasis on staying busy in her own craft. As is commonly the case with many artists in the field, she then began to experience real fatigue becoming schedule-locked with clients booked many months out. She married her husband Shane in 2015 and, consequently, decided to quit hair altogether to join him in the real estate business. However, after about 6 short months, her natural love for hair and helping others feel beautiful began its rebirth inside her heart. She then took a position as a commissioned stylist at a Houston salon for a few months before the opportunity arose for something bigger in January 2017. Shane and Liz decided to pool their talents together when they opened a small 4-chair salon in a creative office space in Houston’s Montrose district. At that point, the motivation was clear: Kaleido Hair’s mission was to help other talented artists achieve a balanced lifestyle that would promote success, longevity and happiness within the industry. Shane and Elizabeth O’Neill are co-owners of Kaleido Salon.Shane and Elizabeth O’Neill are co-owners of Kaleido Salon.Courtesy of Kaleido Salon

BLP: What was the most challenging thing that happened while opening your salon?

KH: Kaleido Hair began primarily as a booth rental salon and functioned that way for the first few years in business. We opened our current primary location in January 2019, a little over a year before COVID-19 made its debut. At the time of the pandemic, we had two locations within the Houston area thriving with 19 artists, 16 of which were sole-proprietor booth renters. It wasn’t long before the new world slammed us in the face in early 2020 with shutdowns, restricted schedules, social distancing, required masking, etc. Consequently, we noticed an industry shift toward an increased demand by booth renters for the salon suite environments with little or no restrictions on how they could operate their business going forward. Over the next several months, we began shifting our model to the more traditional salon concept of housing commission-based employee stylists. Due to the exceptional reputation for quality Kaleido had gained since its inception, along with Liz’s wide-reaching presence on social media, it wasn’t long before we were near capacity once again with a handful of new artist faces and a revised business model in place. Looking back, the COVID pandemic was one of the most challenging times for many businesses. For Kaleido, that turned out to be our story as well, and ultimately the best thing that ever happened to us.

BLP: What is the overall aesthetic of your salon? What inspired you when designing the space?

KH: Clean, Neutral, Minimalistic. Our inspiration was born out of a desire to create a space abounding with natural light, white walls and photo-ready backgrounds. We are of the mindset that more is not always better. Minimizing distractions allows the eyes to gravitate toward the real artistry made at Kaleido behind the chair.

BLP: What services do you provide your clients? Are any of these services signature and/or exclusive to your salon?

KH: Kaleido Hair is a full-service salon. We provide haircutting, color treatments of all types, additional add-on services such as smoothing/conditioning treatments and generally just “hair pampering” our guests any chance we get. Kaleido’s signature look and what we are known for is lived-in/natural color; however, we have artists that specialize in just about everything else. The exclusive techniques at Kaleido are Liz’s signature techniques: Gradient Balayage, Strandlights and her customized approach to a Reverse Balayage. We have multiple artists on our team who have learned these techniques and made them their own. 

BLP: What products are used/retailed in your salon? Do you have a personal favorite?

KH: At Kaleido, we primarily use Schwarzkopf Professional for our color services, along with support from Redken, Milbon and Brazilian Blowout. In reference to retail products, we like to label ourselves as an “eclectic” salon. We believe in transparency and honesty with our clients, so we’ve decided to never push a full line of any product manufacturer. We prefer to cherry pick products based on our artists’ faves and clients’ needs. Some brands that we currently retail are Alterna (our collective personal favorite), Kevin Murphy and Living Proof. 

BLP: What makes your salon unique and stand out? Kaleido Salon TeamKaleido Salon TeamCourtesy of Kaleido Salon

KH: Kaleido is really all about the artistry of hair. We are a collection of like-minded artists sharing a space and making memories. Our protocol is to always take necessary steps to make sure our guests’ needs and wants are heard. Each of our artists will conduct a thorough face-to-face consultation before any chemical/color service is performed. Hair integrity is of ultimate importance at Kaleido. Sometimes that means being comfortable saying no to a client who has unreachable goals in mind for their first visit. In the end, our goal for each guest who walks through our doors is to have them leave with a smile on their face. 

BLP: What takeaway do you hope clients have after a visit at your salon?

KH: We want our clients to feel that we care. We want our clients to feel understood. We want our clients to know we are excited to be part of their hair journey.

BLP: What piece of advice would you give to a new salon owner?

KH: Focus on having a healthy culture within your salon. As the saying goes, “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.” Know your numbers, and be fiscally responsible. If you succeed, you will have many people counting on you, in more ways than one. Hire slowly, and don’t be afraid of letting someone go who doesn’t gel with your crew. Always lead by example. Artistry will come with time and training. Being a salon owner can consume your life. Make sure you have boundaries in place to protect your family/personal time. 

BLP: What’s next for your salon? Do you have any goals for the year?

KH: Our immediate short-term goal is to continue building our recently-opened Rosenberg location with the top tier talent Kaleido Hair is known to have. Regarding our long-term goals, they will remain unchanged. We will continue to deliver service excellence and stellar results to our clients, while giving our artists freedom to thrive inside and outside the salon.

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