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BIG FISH, SMALL POND: Ka Nui Salon

In every small town across America, there’s at least one salon that raises the bar for everyone else. Redmond, OR, (population 26,646) has Ka Nui Salon.

In the heart of Oregon sits Redmond, a small farming community located on the eastern side of the vast Cascade Range. A tranquil, tight-knit town in the summer and a booming ski and snowboarding mecca in the winter, Redmond remains a hot spot for visitors and locals alike. Downtown is Dawson Station, a popular shopping and eating area with quaint coffeehouses, clothing and jewelry boutiques as well as Ka Nui Salon, the ideal place for relaxing and getting gorgeous. Ka Nui Salon owner Kristine Smalling opened up her Hawaiian-inspired shop in 2004 to celebrate her love of hairdressing and her passion for the Aloha State.

Decked out with vibrant, punchy colors like orange and fuchsia, Ka Nui (Hawaiian for “the greatest”) is a Paul Mitchell Focus salon specializing in cuts, styling, color and color correction. “We color everyone’s world,” says Smalling of the work she and her staff of three stylists do in the 950-square-foot space that includes a Paul Mitchell color bar. The salon also features an area for the staff massage therapist to work and a small retail section chock full of artsy and distinctive gifts perfect for fun purchases beyond shampoo.

When not servicing clients, the staff continues its education with quarterly visits from Paul Mitchell educators. Stylist-on-staff Brittanie Rasmussen is also a certified Paul Mitchell educator and heads special classes for the team as well. Smalling makes a point of keeping the business involved in community events such as doing the hair and makeup for Hot Trash, a local fashion show, and holding various food and clothing drives throughout the year for those in need. Through it all, Smalling emphasizes that she is ultimately dedicated to creating happy customers. “I want my clients to come in and feel like they can leave their problems at the door; we can do any color they want and they can feel really good about themselves,” she says. ✂ —Jolene Turner

Photography: McKenzie Bailey

Ka Nui Salon
222 NW 7th Street
Redmond, OR 97756
541/504-4544; kanuisalon.com

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About the Author

Jolene Turner

In addition to serving as senior editor for American Salon, Jolene Turner is responsible for spearheading the publication's digital media activities. Turner writes and researches topics related to hair and skincare, from new technological advancements to what salon owners are doing to make their businesses a success. Outside of work, Jolene volunteers for the NYC-based non-profit Anjellicle Cats Rescue and writes and performs comedy theater.