A workout is great for getting in shape but you might not like the way it leaves your hair. Now there’s a new hair salon located at the Michigan Athletic Club (MAC) in East Lansing that helps your hair look and feel its best after a workout or any time, giving you that polished look from the time you walk out of the salon to three to four days later. “I think of a hair blow out as an ‘affordable luxury,’” said owner Molly Chan. “When you treat yourself, you feel good.” Customers of Heat do not have to be a MAC member or exercise enthusiast to visit Heat Blow Dry and Beauty Boutique opened last month. Molly founded Heat with Chief Stylist Dan Buccilli, formerly of Douglas J Salons. Buccilli had not only been Molly’s stylist but also her friend and listening ear when tragedy struck her family. Molly’s husband Edward was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 39, and, sadly, died in April of this year — just short of a year after he was first diagnosed. Before Edward became ill, the husband and wife team were successful entrepreneurs in the Lansing area. Edward launched Alliance Payment Solutions in 2003, and served as its owner and president. Molly helped him run the Okemos-based company and took over as the lead after Edward’s death. A couple of years ago, they and their three young children traveled to the West Coast where Molly discovered a new trend — hair blow-out bars — salons that offered hair styling to women who didn’t have a lot of time and didn’t want to spend a lot of money to look their best. This was a perfect solution for Molly’s hectic schedule. When they returned from their vacation, Molly asked Buccilli if he could blow dry and style her hair twice a week. It saved her time and trouble. “You can go into a salon with your hair looking bland and walk out a short time later looking and feeling great!” Molly said. Molly wanted other women to have the same option. It wasn’t long before she and Edward started to make plans to open a salon of their own. “I felt passionate about opening this business and offering our unique services to women in this area,” she said. Just as their dream for a new business venture began to blossom, Edward was diagnosed with cancer and they had to put their plans on hold while he was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. After his death, Molly took some time to cope with her loss. Buccilli was a great support to her. She kept her twice-weekly appointments with him and said they became “more like therapy than a hair appointment. Dan was amazing,” Molly said. “My appointments with him were a lifesaver, a safe haven.” When she was ready, the two friends decided to put their attention back to opening a salon and Heat Blow Dry and Beauty Boutique was born. Molly found a space that would be perfect for this venture — the MAC in East Lansing. She asked Buccilli to serve as Chief Stylist and also gave him creative control as the interior designer. He applied his skill and expertise to creating the perfect shop. The result is a comfortable place for guests to relax and an elegant space bathed in rich, warm colors and accented with sparkling chandeliers. “It is his creative vision,” Molly said proudly. She runs the business side. Heat officially opened its doors to the public on Thursday, Aug. 4. During that week, the salon gave a portion of its proceeds to Ele’s Place, a healing center for grieving children and their families, in appreciation for the support Molly and her family received from the organization after Edward’s death. Besides blowouts and hair styling for all kinds of hair textures and tastes, Heat offers other beauty services, including haircuts, make-up application, spray tans, botox (also known as Blo-tox) applications, hand treatments and much more. Customers can also purchase products to keep themselves looking great and feeling fresh. In addition, Heat is a great venue for private parties like birthdays, bachelorette, weddings and much more. Walk-ins and guests of all ages are welcome. Heat is located at the Michigan Athletic Club at 2900 Hannah Blvd., East Lansing, MI 48823. For more information on the Heat, visit www.heatblowdry.com.
Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.