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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

All-Natural Approach to Beauty : Anthony Ashley Hair Design

Feb 07, 2012 03:06PM ● By Beth Davis


From the time she was in middle school, Nina Tulio knew she wanted to be in the beauty industry. Her dream was to own a salon, but she knew it would take time to get there.

After graduating from the Allentown School of Cosmetology, she began working for Robin Turner and Ray Holland, prominent individuals in the industry. Tulio worked her way up to a district manager position, where she handled the operations for eight salons. Obviously impressed by her work ethic and talent, the couple invited Tulio to help them open four new salons in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“Robin and Ray are my mentors,” explains Tulio. “I owe everything to them. They taught me how a business should be run.”

After seven years of working with the couple, Tulio decided it was time for her to move on and work on her own dreams. She moved back to Allentown and in 2006, opened Anthony Ashley Hair Design. At the time, it was a small studio—only about 600 square feet—and she was alone. It was not easy, but Tulio was determined to make it work.

“I was literally down to my last $800 and decided to run an ad in The Morning Call,” she says. Tulio purchased ad space that would run in limited distribution—about 17,000 households—but as luck would have it, she received a call that her ad would actually run full distribution, which meant it would reach about 120,000 readers. It is a moment that not only completely changed her business, but also her life. The next morning, she had 22 voice mails; and she has been going strong (and growing) ever since.

The current location of the salon is about three times the size of the original and a team of dedicated stylists work with her to provide a wide range of services including haircuts, color, highlights, textured haircuts and even spa manicures and pedicures, facial waxing and makeup application. “What makes our team so special is that we genuinely care about each other,” notes Tulio. “We take care of each other and support one another; therefore it allows us to better care for our clients—they can see the difference.”

About three years ago, the salon began using organic or natural products. A representative from All-Nutrient came into the salon offering organic hair color. Tulio told the rep that she would try it on her own hair and if it worked, she would consider using it in the salon. What happened next surprised her. “My hair was transformed,” she explains. “It was shinier, healthier and the color lasted longer. I just fell in love with it and it continues to amaze me even now.”

From there, the decision was a simple one. She made the switch and began using only natural or organic hair products—including the brands All-Nutrient and Pureology—as well as Enjoy, a sulfate-free line, and all natural makeup. Tulio notes, “It just made sense. The products are better for the environment, better for our clients and better for the staff.”

Tulio says she and her team are completely dedicated to making clients (both men and women) feel better about themselves. “Our clients understand that this is not just a job for us, it is a career and it’s one for which we are all very passionate.”

The salon recently began offering in-house education to the public including makeup classes that show women how to create a “five-minute face” and a “Master Your Own Blowout” class where participants can learn how to style their hair. Not only do the classes help Tulio build a foundation for her business, but it’s also important for her to help support the community that has supported her so much over the years.

At the end of January, she launched a new on-location division called Anthony Ashley Too which offers on-site hair and makeup services to help individuals get ready for their special day—from weddings and birthday parties to photo shoots and more. A team of girls will travel to the location, making it much more convenient for clients.

So why does she go the extra mile and offer more classes and services? She says it’s simple. “Taking care of clients is not an obligation, but a privilege and I feel so blessed that I get to help people feel like the best version of themselves.”

Anthony Ashley Hair Design is located at 1740 W Allen Street, Allentown. For information, call 610-434-0180 or visit

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