TRUCKEE, Calif. - Children grow up, styles come and go and fads die. Some things never stay the same. Yet for Kellie Baker at Hair for Today in Glenshire, things remain consistent.
This April, Baker will celebrate an anniversary at her location in the Glenshire General Store shopping center, where she has been cutting hair and providing salon services for 21 years, and in the process has built lasting relationships with her clients.
Linda Alvarez is like many of Baker's clients - after 15 years of coming to Hair for Today, she is more like family.
"I know her story," Baker says as she curls Alvarez's purple streaked hair.
Alvarez dyed her hair purple at home first, but decided it would be better to have Baker do it. Occasionally Baker paints Alvarez's nails to match her hair.
"We work together so well," Alvarez said. "She can always work around my schedule."
As the women chat, Baker perfects her 65-year-old client's ringlets, wrapping straight hairs around the curling iron barrel.
"We know each other in and out," Baker said. "She feels like she could fall asleep in my chair if she wanted to."
This is how it is with Baker and most of her clients - they know each other's stories and histories, they share family memories and photos.
On the inside of the salon's supply closet is what Baker calls her "Wall of Fame," a door covered from top to bottom in photos of family vacations, high school proms, first hair cuts, and clients' pets. Scotch tape holds up a child's crayon drawing of a rainbow and happy people with cut hair. It reads: "Thank You Miss Kellie."
"Kids love to come in and look at the pictures of when they were younger," Baker said.
She points to a photo near the top of the wall. It is an old photo, curling up at the edges and yellowing due to age. It shows Kellie in a teased-up 90s haircut holding a young blond boy, fresh from his very first.
"He's a senior in high school now," Baker said, smiling. "It's the coolest thing to see them grow up. I'll cut a kid's hair while he's sitting on my booster and then he'll come back from college to get his hair cut."
Although hair is her main focus and passion, Baker also offers nail care services, tanning, waxing and ear piercing. Hair for Today, although small, has room for everything.
"I turned it into a one-person show," Baker said. "There is a purpose for every space in here."
Baker's phone rings throughout the morning as friends ask to come in for a quick cut or newcomers schedule appointments for perms, dye jobs or shampoos and styles.
A wooden sign behind the manicure table reads, "Behind Every Successful Woman is Herself" - a fitting saying for a salon 21 years in business by the work of one woman.
Baker has seen businesses come and go, as well as families, children and hairstyles. After two decades in the hair industry she knows the fads that repeat and those that stay in the past.
"I used to do a lot of mullets," she said with a laugh. "That was one haircut I was happy to see go."
Baker straightens her own naturally curly hair and admits to cutting it herself, something hairstylists "aren't supposed to do." Baker doesn't do other things she's "supposed to" - such as raising her prices. Since opening in 1992, the price of a haircut has increased only $3. Her tanning prices start at $7.70, and a shampoo, cut and style is $35.
"Families can get their hair cut and not have to go down to Reno," Baker said.
Baker prides her business on being a little social place where friends and families come in for more than just a haircut. Hair for Today is a local, small-town salon where she says, "the story always continues."