Sisu Hair Salon: On the Cutting Edge
Sisu Hair Salon (sisulincoln.com) owner Anna Evans signs off every email with a quote from Coco Chanel: “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”
This Chanel-ism is something of a driving force behind Evans and her team at Sisu, which recently moved from its south Lincoln location to a lower level suite at 801 R St. in the Haymarket.
“For me, it’s not just a cut and color service,” Evans said. “It’s about finding out who you are and then bringing that out.”
Evans opened Sisu six years ago when she realized she needed her own salon in order to pursue her unique passion and ideology when it comes to hair.
“I just always want to do things that inspire me,” she said. “I was working at a salon that I loved, and they changed the direction they wanted to take the company. When that changed, I knew I had no choice. I had to open up a salon. I never wanted to be a business owner. But it wasn’t a plan, it was a necessity.”
Since then, Sisu has been named one of Elle Magazine’s top 100 salons in the USA and has become a Lincoln salon known for pushing boundaries and staying on the cutting edge of hair design. Even the name, “Sisu,” is the Finnish word for “resilience.”
“Education is the core of what I do,” Evans said. “I feel like it’s so important to stay up on the trends and to stay up-to-date with techniques. Also, I just like to teach other people and share that, so we do a lot of mentoring and training when stylists come into the salon.”
Besides in-house education at Sisu, all of Sisu’s stylists went to America’s Beauty Show (ABT) in Chicago this year, and travel to New York City every year for education at the TIGI Academy.
“It’s a little obsessive,” Evans said. “We’re pretty big nerds about hair.”
When the opportunity opened up to relocate Sisu to the Haymarket this year, Evans knew it was time to move the business.
“I mean, the community, the art, the culture—it’s just my favorite part of the city,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to bring us here.”
With only two months to move the salon across town while juggling a long list of clients Sisu had already, Evans turned to local contractors, Lincoln home decor store Loft & Craft, and the Sisu stylists to get the downtown location staged and running smoothly.
“You have to build a team around you,” Evans said. “And there’s so much talent here locally.”
With only four chairs and five stylists at Sisu, the new Haymarket salon space is always busy—but Evans describes it as “quality over quantity.”
“I really wanted to work with like-minded people,” she said. “Everyone is about education and technique. I think that our quality standards just really set us apart. I don’t do a lot of recruiting for stylists—the ones that stick come to us because they’re attracted to what we do here.
Founded in 1967, the Downtown Lincoln Association provides services and champions initiatives for maintaining and enhancing our vibrant downtown. Our vision is to create an energetic downtown environment where we live, learn, work, invest and play. DLA has evolved into a multi-faceted organization supporting a wide range of programs and activities including maintenance, economic development and advocacy.