Sarai Speer has made a name for herself as the Platinum Giraffe, with more than 37k Instagram followers, a dedicated clientele grateful to have found someone who can create the perfect blonde they’d always been seeking and coast to coast coverage on all the major news channels and glossy magazines. Ironically, though, her headline-grabbing activities are not for her color, but for the innovative cutting technique she’s called the “Whoville Christmas Tree”. She’s even been on the Today Show, demonstrating how she can quickly reduce bulk and create interior layering and movement by running her shears down twists of hair. Scary AF, says Sarai, but the results are rad.
Yet color, blondes in particular, is definitely Sarai’s beat. Her constant companion when she’s hard at work behind the chair or traveling to educate for her favorite brands is not a giraffe, but instead Pudgy the Ping, her automated mixer from ECOHEADS.
‘When I first saw the Ping I thought, why go automated when I’m perfectly capable of mixing color myself?’ says Kansas City-based Sarai, who has become one of the most active members of the ECOHEADS online community. ‘Yet I’d been so impressed with other ECOHEADS products that I decided to try it. But then, wow!, it gave me such a better mix than I could ever hope to achieve by hand. I was stunned. Buying Pudgy the Ping was definitely a good move.’
Pudgy helps cut down Sarai’s time mixing color, but she’s used that extra time to do even more clients. This is a woman who works in super-drive all the time.
‘I haven’t always made good choices in my life. Three years ago, I’d sunk right to the bottom: homeless, a junkie and an alcoholic. I’d lost everything, including my marriage and my salon. It took another salon owner to call me out on my shit. But it worked,’ Sarai says now, three years sober. ‘The best choice (besides buying Pudgy) I ever made in my life was to choose hairdressing as career. Through all the bad times, it is hairdressing that has got me through.’
She dragged herself up from the bottom by throwing herself into her craft, often working as many as 100 hours a week. She also embraced the hairdressing community online, setting up a profile on Instagram and sharing her determination to get herself sober and her career back on track. It gave her the perfect vehicle to showcase her amazing blonde work, and to add in some gorgeous vivids and amazing color. Soon others were coming to her for advice and inspiration, and to give her their support as she rebuilt her life.
Sarai now works out of With Love Salon in Kansas City, a salon where love and caring are more than just catch-words. Every month, the team raises money and awareness for good causes. And of course, it values protecting the planet, so has ECOHEADS showerheads on every basin.
‘I love working in a nurturing environment and I feel I have it at With Love, with owners Kat and Andrew and the rest of team,’ adds Sarai. ‘Plus I have it with my online community, where clients and fellow professionals and guys like those from ECOHEADS are so supportive and encouraging. It is so cool being able to share your passion with others from all over the country and the world.’