I have the most amazing hairstylist ever. Selfishly, I almost don’t want to tell you just how much I love her. She already books 3+ months out, because pretty much the entire city of Chicago adores her. I met AJ Schulz through my wedding industry + blogger friends. Every time I would notice someone’s hair gorgeously cut, styled and/or colored, I’d ask where they got it done. Everyone would answer, “AJ.”
While so many women find a best friend and beauty consultant in their stylist, I’ve always struggled to find someone I just adore. I went through my teen years of curly hair and growing out bangs without someone to guide me, the college years of more risqué cuts and bold color without a guru to trust, and most of my adult life feeling like I’d walk out of a salon with hair that was “just ok.” Or if I did happen to like my hair a bit more than usual, I couldn’t bear the hours of forced conversation with someone I couldn’t really connect with. (Yes, I’m an introvert. I LOVE people and can actually be quite social, but I get easily drained chatting with people when we don’t “click.”) To be fair, I did find an excellent gal right before I left Rochester, but when I came to Chicago, a city full of amazing talent, I had to start the quest all over again.
So last year, when I began hearing more and more about AJ, I decided I had to see her. And I dared to get my hopes up that I’d walk out of her salon happy. Well every word about her was true. She is seriously magic! The minute we met, she embraced me in a warm hug (knowing we had mutual friends), and led me over to her chair. With a sweet and yet expertly assertive voice, AJ asked questions about my hair- what I liked, didn’t like, what I envisioned. She gained my trust almost instantly, and I opted for a cut and balyage highlights. Happy doesn’t even scratch the surface of how I felt when I left. I felt beautiful, stylish, adventurous, empowered. And I was overjoyed that I had finally found an expert stylist, someone I trust completely, and the sweetest, kindest new friend. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say, AJ is truly the very best. And brides: she does weddings!!!!
A few months ago, we got together to shoot one of her hair tutorials. AJ is not only amazing in her salon; she is also a fantastic teacher. What I love most about her personal style is that it’s casual and understated, but so elegant and stylish. I tend to wear my hair the same way most days- down. So when I find simple new ways to add some freshness to my look, it’s pure gold. This three-section half-up hair tutorial is the perfect everyday look that could easily transition to cocktails out with the girls.
Check out AJ’s full tutorial with more images, follow her blog, and get into her salon already! xo