By Amy Nicole Tangel
As the perseverance of local businesses continues to grow, a sign of better times ahead can be seen in the recent expansion of one Long Island beauty salon, and for the creator behind it all, it has been 25 years in the making.
Best of LI 2021 winner for best hair salon two years in a row, Tresses & Colours, has recently moved to a new location for the first time since they opened their doors 24 years ago on Carleton Avenue in East Islip, N.Y. Now approaching their 25th anniversary August 1, they have re-located on Montauk Highway in Oakdale, N.Y., and owner Louise Polite, said she couldn’t be happier with the growth in business in spite of the times.
“It has been good. It has been really good. We have lots of new customers from the area, and we also get quite a few from Best of LI,” she said.
Louise said the recent move has also been an expansion of not only Tresses & Colours, but her handmade skin care company, Sonny & Dew is also growing. Just a few months in from her recent grand opening, Louise has already launched a new facial line with Sonny & Dew, brought in new artists, and added more chairs.
The new all-natural facial line includes appropriately named products such as “Bye Bye Puffy Eye” and “Liquid Lift,” along with moisturizers and serums to help skin look and feel healthy. In addition, Louise said the oatmeal scrub cleanser she created is phenomenal and one of her most underrated products.
Sonny & Dew’s Day at the Beach Collection is still “hands down her number one seller,” but she said she is also excited about her new hand lotion line that is bakery inspired. As for hair products, Louise creates those as well, and one of her best sellers is her handmade, Tea Tree Scalp Scrub. In Louise’s experience and with her expertise, she said some of the mass-produced tea tree products that you see are too diluted. She said she believes the good stuff is very hard to get, so she decided to make her own.
“If you have a dry scalp, it is excellent. You take a little bit before you wet your hair in the shower, you take maybe the size of a quarter and you exfoliate your scalp,” she said.
Across Long Island, the work of Tresses & Colours and Sonny & Dew continues to be recognized. In addition to being Best of LI winners, Louise and her companies were recently highlighted in an interview on LI radio station WALK 97.5 with The Anna & Raven Show and were featured in a box-opening video of Sonny & Dew products by Barstool Sports founder, Dave Portnoy. Louise said having Dave do a video opening one of her boxes was a very exciting moment, and she continues to get orders from that plug to this day.
Amidst all the growth, Louise said she continues to be focused on balancing her business by being committed to paying it forward, and to supporting others in her community. When Covid hit, she said she wanted to give back to the nurses who were on the front lines, so she started sending hand lotions as a thank you to nurses at hospitals. Nurses from Syosset, the former Southside now South Shore University Hospital, North Shore University Hospital, and NYU Winthrop Hospital received packages from Louise.
Most recently, Louise gave back to the nurses at Stony Brook University Hospital with Day at the Beach hand lotions and free haircuts. In response, Louise has received countless pictures and posts from nurses all over who have shared their appreciation for the thoughts and care. Louise said her goal is to continue to pay forward to the nurses and first responders any chance she can. She said even though things seem to be getting better, the nurses are still there helping others and should not be forgotten once the dust settles.
“It seems to me like everybody has forgotten about them at this point,” she said.
As part of her recent relocation and expansion, Louise has brought on outside artists to provide services such as facials, permanent makeup, microblading, lifts and tints, and brow lamination. Clients can book an appointment with a fully licensed esthetician and a permanent makeup artist to receive any of these services. Despite the pandemic, Louise said she never stopped working and moving forward with her salon, but there is still a lot of work she wants to do.
One of those goals is being able to return to fairs with her products. In the beginning of the shutdown, Louise said she enjoyed the break of the weekly grind, but now she is deeply missing the in-person connection with her customers.
“Once they pick-up, I will be at the fairs again. Without a doubt, either I will be there, or one of my girls will be there, but Sonny & Dew will be back at the fairs,” she said.
A big worry for Louise, she said, is the fear that people have developed a habit of going onto Amazon and having everything the next day; and she said she worries that those customers won’t come back. Especially for the crafters and handmade people like her, Louise said those artists really need people to come back.
“I am hoping that people are not so in tune to buying online now that they don’t come out to support,” she said.
Setting worries aside, Louise said she is grateful to her customers wherever they come from. While new customers have been a breath of fresh air to the business, Louise said it is her repeat customers who have been the most rewarding. Louise takes pride in being there for her client’s needs and if there ever is a question, she said all someone has to do is call her, and she will gladly help any client find just the right product for their individual needs. For her returning customers, she said they know her products by heart now.
“I don’t have to show them anything anymore. They just walk-in and pick out what they find,” she said.
To learn more about Tresses & Colours and the services they provide, you can visit www.tressesncolours.com. Sonny & Dew is located inside Tresses & Colours at 1227 Montauk Highway in Oakdale where you can shop in-person, or online at www.sonnyndew.com. To book an appointment for hair styling or any other service, call 631-581-9369.