In a recent engaging discussion with Tish Mahtani, we revisited her journey, this time from the refreshing vantage point of a salon owner. Her entrepreneurial story was first captured in our Multi-Glow Getter section, and it has since blossomed with the establishment of Ulo Salon, an eco-conscious beauty hub nestled in the heart of Manila.
From a new perspective recently, Tish returned to us bearing the new and exciting mantle of an eco-friendly salon owner, giving us insights into her evolution and the innovative strides she’s taken with Ulo Salon—a sanctuary for beauty enthusiasts and the environmentally conscious alike.
"I realized only two months ago when speaking with my therapist that every heartbreak, every tragedy, every plot twist, every unsuspecting change in my life is usually a catalyst for something better to come around. That's just how my life operates. I step back and then two steps forward," Tish began, her words resonating with the optimism that seems to be the bedrock of her philosophy. She adds, “I trust my gut and I never stop going and I just have fun with it.”
Her approach to life's unpredictability mirrors her methodology in entrepreneurship, “For me, I don't really think about things too much and I'm not really serious about it. My past job was very analytical, very transactional. Because I was in IT before. And it's a completely different world from where I am right now, which is very free-flowing, very creative, very personal, even.”
The vision for Ulo transcends the mere cutting and styling of hair, too. In fact, it's an emblem of community and personal touch. "We are fortunate at Ulo to offer a three-seater space, which fosters a sense of intimacy. It's a vibe we're passionate about maintaining — a cozy, welcoming, and safe haven for our clients," Tish explains. This intimacy has cultivated a sense of community that stands as a testament to Ulo’s success in Manila's bustling urban environment.
She recalls an interaction that epitomizes the salon's impact, "There's something profoundly rewarding about the work we do. Just earlier, a client was so thrilled with her hair that she hugged me. It's those moments, however small, that fuel my passion. Touching a single life can make a monumental difference."
As our conversation steers towards the salon’s green initiatives, Tish’s experience in Siargao profoundly shaped her perspective. "I lived in Siargao for three years. Living close to the ocean, whenever we would surf, you would notice on the beach little water bottles or plastic, like you could see firsthand directly the negative effects of pollution and how it affects nature and the people who moved to Siargao. I love Siargao so much and want to protect it," she reflects, linking her personal journey with her professional ethos.
This sentiment is woven into the fabric of Ulo Salon’s operations, "We're very proud of the partnerships we’ve cultivated. For instance, our products like the botanical repair treatment are sourced from Aveda, and are 96% derived from plants. It’s not just about the products themselves being remarkable, but about supporting sustainable practices in the industry.”
She adds, “We’re very, very proud of our partners. These companies are sustainable. They are off-grid. They use solar, wind, and water to power their factories. Which I really commend. So, it goes deeper beyond, and these products are amazing.”
During our chat, Tish smilingly mentioned that they’re a curl-friendly salon. It was quite surprising to find out that they have no straightening treatments in their menu of services. And as someone who has gone around her fair share of salons, it was both refreshing and genuine.
Ulo champions the natural beauty inherent in each individual. “We love our curly, curly community. We don't have any straightening treatments. As a curly-friendly salon, we try to research the ingredients. Because most curly girls, they research about their ingredients. They really know what products work for their curly hair. So we adapted that kind of mindset to, what are the ingredients for this? How will it affect your hair?”
Tish understands that beauty treatments are not a one-off affair but a commitment to one’s well-being, "It's so nice to see that people are embracing natural these days. Our most popular treatment is... It's in Parlon. It's our botanical repair treatment from Aveda. We recommend it. It depends on the integrity of our client's hair. We recommend a treatment program... you have to do it consistently at the same time for you to really see the effects of the treatments.”
With her sights set on the horizon, Tish is both running a salon and nurturing a movement, "We’re new, just four months in, but the rapid growth has been astonishing. We’re enjoying the process, meeting all these incredible individuals, and feeling thankful for the influx of blessings. Our ambition for Ulo is to be a pioneer in sustainable beauty practices, to inspire other salons to prioritize the well-being of their clients, their staff, and the environment just as we do."
As we conclude our conversation, it's evident that Tish's aspirations for Ulo Salon extend well beyond its physical space. She envisions it as a beacon in the beauty industry, a place where each snip and style contributes to a larger, more beautiful picture of what the future of beauty should resemble—a place where every treatment and product is a choice for a better world.
In closing, Tish encapsulates her vision of beauty and life, "A beautiful life is achieving your desires. For me, a peaceful home, a strong body, freedom to pursue my dreams, plus healthy and beautiful hair for everyone is what makes life beautiful.”
Find Ulo Salon at 187 N Averilla, San Juan, where beauty and sustainability meet. Book your visit through Parlon to enjoy exclusive deals and save over Php 5,000 on their environmentally conscious services.