Sessions Salon in South Lake Tahoe celebrates 30 years |

Sessions Salon in South Lake Tahoe celebrates 30 years

Claire Cudahy
Phil Blowney and LaDonna Faedi opened Sessions Salon together in January 1987.
Claire Cudahy / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Sitting in a salon chair while Sessions’ owner Phil Blowney trims my messy locks, it’s clear why his business has lasted 30 years on the South Shore — he loves his job.

Blowney moved to Lake Tahoe from Huntington Beach in 1978 on a whim, and after selling wine and cutting hair on the side for a number of years, he took the dive and opened Sessions Salon with his business partner LaDonna Faedi in January 1987.

Since then, Sessions Salon has been a fixture on the South Shore. Together Blowney and Faedi have trained countless stylists fresh out of beauty school who were looking for their first break.

“Dozens of young people have started here and gone on to open their own salons,” said Blowney, who enjoys passing on his years of experience to industry newcomers.

Sessions Salon has received 13 Best of Tahoe awards over the years, and its resident nail technician Sherry Hawks has earned 12.

Located on the second floor of a building on Sandy Way in South Lake Tahoe, the salon features large windows overlooking the lake.

“You can sit here, get pampered, and watch the world go by,” explained Blowney. “I think Sessions has been successful because of the personal service. We believe in making people comfortable, and allowing people the opportunity to talk about their lives.”

Coupled with a fresh cappuccino or a glass of wine, it’s not tough to imagine.

“We’ve had people come back on their 15th anniversary. They say, ‘I had my hair done here for my wedding. We’re up visiting Tahoe and I thought I’d come back here and get my hair done again.’ It’s a really cool thing,” said Blowney.

“Being here 30 years, I’ve done people’s hair since they were young, and now they are bringing their kids in. That is a treat.”

Sessions is also well known by its customers for embracing holiday spirit year round.

In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, Blowney is busy taking down Christmas decorations and adorning the salon with hearts.

“We are also offering free haircuts during February to those who want to donate their hair for Locks of Love,” said Blowney.

Locks of Love is a nonprofit that provides hairpieces to disadvantaged children who suffer form long-term medical hair loss. At least 10 inches of hair are required for a donation.

“Hopefully it benefits the kids, and we end up sending out big boxes of hair,” added Blowney.

Inspired by the creativity of his job, Blowney is excited to keep innovating and trying new things at Sessions.

“So many good things are happening across town right now with businesses,” said Blowney. “It’s a really exciting time to be here.”

Oh, and in case you were wondering, my hair looks great.

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