If Virtue® had a home away from home, it would be at our partner salons. In each Salon Spotlight, we love sharing with you the spaces of creativity across the country that echo our belief that everyone deserves to have truly healthy hair. If we could bottle the feeling we get when leaving our favorite salons, we would. These spaces are our respites, and their stylists are our cheerleaders.

Stylists and salon wonders Heather Sampson & Katie Maguire of TOPKNOT Salon in Baltimore, MD, were ready for the challenge of opening a new salon––and so were their clients. “We were ready to leave our old salon, and we didn’t realize that our clients were as ready for a change as we were,” says Katie. “I love feeling like we did it on our own,” agreed Heather. Now they’ve already got their eyes set on expansion and are as committed as ever. Here they discuss their tactics for staying up to date and getting into the mindset of mastering everything they do.



Q: Is there anyone in the industry or beyond that you really admire, or someone who inspired you in your career?

In the last couple of years, Jamie Sea and the Salt Society Squad. We love their vibe: Do what’s best for you and your career. Their hair-stylist brain is incredible, and they do a great job sharing that with stylists. 


Q: How do you define a “success” after a client leaves your salon?

Katie: The client’s weightlessness, happiness, and shining personality. When we take pictures after an appointment, and that picture replaces the inspo picture they came in with. When they say (or text us) how much they love their hair, or immediately start taking selfies, we feel instant gratification that the appointment was a success.


Q: What’s your favorite way to unwind after work?

Heather: Hanging out with my dogs, my dude, and wine. 

Katie: Going home and being in the quiet. After listening to music, talking, and standing in the salon all day, it’s great to go home, be quiet, and stretch. I also try to get enough sleep. How do you people get eight hours of sleep?!



Q: If you could spend the day with someone who you consider a “style icon” who would it be? What would you do?

Heather: Sarah Jessica Parker in the Vogue closet.

Katie: Hailey Bieber. I love her lived-in style and her always changing, but natural hair.


Q: How do you like to stay up to date on the latest trends, techniques, and styles?

We take a day off once a month to watch videos, and then execute what we learn on a mannequin. We follow all of our favorite hair-people a separate Instagram; we get in the hair mindset on that feed. 


Q: What’s a trend that you hope never goes out of style?

Heather: I hope high-waisted jeans never go out of style. 

Katie: Crimped hair. I have a picture of me and Heather with crimped hair from 2017, we've never stopped! Of course, it’s been modernized, but I still love the triangle crimp sometimes too! We love the waver and we're glad it’s here!



Q: What do you value most about being a Virtue® affiliate? 

Katie: As a small salon, we utilize the Virtue affiliate program all the time. It’s great that our clients can go on our link, shop, and support our business, especially since we can’t stock every product at our size. Clients love that it ships to their house with free two-day shipping because they can’t wash their hair for 48 hours after color treatments anyway!


Q: What was the worst haircut you ever had?

Heather: I had the Rachel from friends. One side looked great; one side looked terrible. It stopped me from going to hair school for a while because I didn’t want to do that to anyone!

Katie: I started working in salons when I was 14, so any bad haircut I had I did to myself. I was my own mannequin for box dye, bangs, you name it! In hair school, I had already done that, and I let the pros I worked with do my hair. 


Q: Worst haircut you ever gave someone else?

Heather: Bangs. I was a junior stylist and the client bullied me into cutting her bangs shorter while they were still wet. When they dried too short, I knew to never let a client bully me again! 

Katie: In hair school, I had a friend with long, beautiful, thick hair who wanted layers. She wanted layers but you have to be careful because the parameter falls out. I thought I knew what I was doing, and I cut it. There was a complete disconnect from the front to back. It was six inches long on one side and not the other. Thank God it was my friend.



Q: What was the first hairstyle or technique that you mastered? The hardest?

Katie: Highlights were the first, which has turned into lived-in color now. Color is our salon’s thing. 

Heather: There’s a gentleman I know who’s been a stylist for some time, and he says he’s still trying to master the bob. I always think about that and how there’s always a way to improve bobs. We were first trained to master natural blondes. Today, we try to master every single thing we do, and do it better than the time before. 


Q: What’s your personal hair routine? Your favorite part of your hair routine?

Heather: I love air drying my hair with Virtue®! I wave my hair and use Texturizing Spray.

Katie: I wash my hair once a week, and use the Exfoliating Scalp Treatment, put Restorative Treatment Mask on the ends for my bleached hair, then wash, spray in the Leave In Conditioner, style with 6-in-1 Styler. 


Q: What other things are you passionate about that aren’t hair related?

Heather: I love my husband and dogs. We love our pilates routines. 

Katie: I’m vegan and it’s a huge part of my life. On my next endeavor, I want to open a food truck with organic, vegan food. I believe that juicing and food with live cells are the reason I’m so energized all the time; I wake up in the morning and get right up. Heather’s better than I am at making time for things that she loves.



Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure to indulge?  

Heather: It’s a tie between tequila and oat milk lattes.

Katie: I love dessert, especially chocolate. I love this vegan bakery close to the salon. On my day off I go there as soon as they open and get whatever they have on special. 


Q: What’s next for your career?

Heather: Hopefully expand TOPKNOT to another location. We love the vibe we have here, and we would love to expand and do it better than where we came from.


Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Heather: Have a helpful heart and keep working. Good things come to people who work hard. Anything you manifest can happen.

Katie: Be patient. Things happen when you put yourself in the right place. Everything takes foreword planning. Ask for help and you’ll receive it. You make something an affirmation when you write it on paper, and then it comes. 


Q: Why Virtue? 

Heather: My hair has never been healthier. Seriously. It has grown so much, and it’s amazing how good my hair looks when I air dry it.

Katie: The first thing Heather said when she used Virtue® for the first time was that her hair had never had a wave before, but it did because Virtue allowed it to be humanly hers.




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