Hairdressing as an occupation dates back thousands of years. Ancient art drawings and paintings have been discovered depicting people working on another person’s hair. Greek writers Aristophanes and Homer both mention hairdressing in their writings. In Africa, it was believed in some cultures that a person’s spirit occupied his or her hair, giving hairdressers high status within these communities. The status of hairdressing encouraged many to develop their skills, and close relationships were built between hairdressers and their clients. Hours would be spent washing, combing, oiling, styling and ornamenting their hair.

Men would work specifically on men, and women on other women. Before a master hairdresser died, they would give their combs and tools to a chosen successor during a special ceremony. In ancient Egypt, hairdressers had specially decorated cases to hold their tools, including lotions, scissors and styling materials.

Blake Dufault, artistic director, HUE Salons, Henrietta, NY. Photo by Brandon Vick,

A hairstylist must show creativity to understand the visual aspect of geometrical cuts with bone structure and hair colors with skin tone to truly enhance the best features of your face. A few snips here and there, a touch of color, some soft curls, some hairspray and loads of creativity, woosh, your hairstylist transforms you into a dazzling diva. Doesn’t matter if you are having a bad day or it is the most special day of your life, a head of good hair can make you feel pretty no matter what. Hairstylists listen to your problems patiently while they do your hair; in a way, you get a therapist and a hairstylist for the price of one!

Blake Dufault is one of them. A hairstylist that listens, designs, gives advice and understands each and every aspect of hair and bone structure. Just stating that, Blake always felt and knew that he wanted to be hairstylist. Being around his best friend’s father’s hair salon growing up, it was Blake’s place of existence and freedom. Even moving away from his best friend to Florida at the age of 18 didn’t stop Blake perusing his dream. In Florida, Blake toured a Paul Mitchell school and fell in love, but life threw a curb ball at Blake. Financial circumstances forced Blake to wait until age of 26 to attend Paul Mitchel School. In a meantime Blake started working for Abercrombie and Fitch, where he ended up being a corporate manager 8 years later. That was the time where Blake finally came back to Paul Mitchel School at the age of 26 to make his dream come true. Blake’s talent and passion was acknowledged by everyone at Paul Mitchel School, but the director of school, Tara Dowdal, stated: “Blake’s talent and skills are fueled by his passion and drive for success.” Blake was on every team the school offered and participated in many events including haircuts for the homeless and assisting Paul Mitchell’s global artistic directors in one of the world’s largest hair shows, Premiere Orlando. Blake also cut, colored and styled celebrity athletes at the PlayStation Pro/Mountain Dew Tour.

Blake Dufault, artistic director, HUE Salons, Henrietta, NY. Photo by Brandon Vick,

Upon graduation, Blake helped Paul Mitchell’s the school owner, Giulio Veglio, open a Paul Mitchell franchise, Lunatic Fringe Salon. “His hunger for knowledge and passion for education is contagious. He has to learn everything and once he does, he gives it all away.” – said Giulio. With his newly acquired skills and corporate management background, Blake landed a career with the largest privately owned salon chain, Ratner Co. Blake continued to build on his resume and implemented business systems for the Ratner Co. brand over the next 4 years, including Manager, a Regional Performing Artist position and a Style Squad member; a team dedicated to leveraging media opportunities.

During his career with Ratner Co. Blake also worked as a Professor with Florida Technical College education, platform artistry along with fashion shows, editorial and magazine print work, and “Battle of the Schools” trophy wins are just some of the things Blake accomplished while at FTC. Ultimately missing New York took its toll on Blake. He had to move back to continue his pursuit for excellence.

Landing a job at Allora Salon and Spa NY as a premiere stylist was first on his list, Rochester, NY’s premiere salon. He attended every class offered by Goldwell NY, including Trend Zoom; a national conference for stylists and salon owners. He was certified in Babe Extensions, a Master Braider for AMIKA and a member of ColorProof’s ambassador program. Blake is now opening his own brand, HUE Salons; a Paul Mitchell Focus Salon, in Rochester NY. Blake’s vision for the brand is very unique. “Inclusivity was the main goal. I wanted to serve the masses.” – Said Blake. When Blake met Amanda Sparrin, his girlfriend and visionary behind the Adaptive Artistry brand within HUE Salons, she quickly informed him that HUE Salons is not “inclusive.” Amanda is a member of the leadership team at CDS Life Transitions, a philanthropist in her efforts to fund a fully adaptive baseball field (Miracle Field of Greater Rochester) and a mother of one very special kid, Bryson “B” Sparrin that touched the hearts of many. Amanda informed Blake to be inclusive you need to be able to accommodate those with different abilities.

With personal experience raising a child with special needs, she has seen what did not work in different salons, when trying to have her son experience what every other child does; acceptance and to feel welcomed!

Blake and Amanda have a passion to give back and want every person to feel they belong at HUE Salons. At HUE Salons they take pride in celebrating everyone’s strengths.  They are there to help make everyone’s experience as memorable as possible. For individuals with different physical abilities and for those that like a quieter setting, they cater to all their needs, as well as the masses.

It has been through Blake and Amanda’s love and dedication that Adaptive Artistry was born, and both are so excited to share this with Rochester and the nation. Inclusion is a fundamental right, and should be celebrated! “We also only hire students. There is something magical in a student’s brain that is missing from matured mind. They are excited to learn.” – Said Blake. At HUE Salons, they give students the knowledge and skills to be great artists and then provide a career path for them to grow. With prices starting at $20 for a cut and $40 for color, HUE Salons is also budget friendly. Aimed to compete with the larger chain salons, HUE Salons promises to deliver something missing from the other brands; an experience.

Step into any HUE Salons location and you’ll immediately feel the difference. With an award winning interior designer and architect, Mark Wadsworth, from Wadsworth Designs and a group of passionate artists bustling you will undoubtedly feel the energy running through your veins. “It has always been about giving back for me. HUE Salons is my way of sharing that with the world.” – Said Blake. Spend five minutes with Blake and you’ll feel more inspired and determined than ever before! It’s no wonder Giulio Veglio said “Blake Dufault, the next Vidal Sassoon of our industry.” – In a Paul Mitchell Newsletter, August 2010.