?: Jyl Straub (L) pictured with her daughter, Miranda (R) during March First Friday.

Thirty years ago, Jyl Straub got a wild hair that she wanted to open a salon on Cedar Street in downtown Camas. After three decades, the vivacious stylist is going strong with a customer list in the thousands and a family business, The Wild Hair, that is an anchor for the downtown corridor.

Jyl was raised in Camas and graduated from CHS. Downtown has been in her blood her whole life. Her first job was at the Dairy Queen, on Cedar Street, the same street she lived on with her parents above the family’s funeral home.

After she graduated from cosmetology school, she plied her trade in a couple of salons in Vancouver. But the siren’s song of downtown Camas kept calling. “I knew that I wanted to be in Camas,” Jyl said. “And after walking around town one day, I saw that there was a space open on Cedar Street.”

Cedar Street!

“It really was meant to be and when I left that other salon, The Wild Hair was born.”

Flash forward 20 years, and Jyl’s daughter Miranda was looking to go to Cedar’s Makeup Academy. “I knew that was a sign … and now she works at the Wild Hair as well, doing makeup. You could say that I have a love for Cedar Street!”

Hair is a lifelong passion for Jyl. “Ever since I was a little girl, I had a passion for doing hair. My favorite toy was a big Barbie head that came with purple plastic rollers and makeup,” she said.

At Camas High School, Jyl said she was the go-to girl for styling big hair, even for the guys, since it was the 1980s. “I was also the hair and make-up person for the theater at school. I knew that as soon as I graduated high school, I was going to enroll in cosmetology school to begin my career. I had no doubt that doing hair and helping people to look and feel their best, was my life’s path.”

Looking back on The Wild Hair’s opening day 30 years ago, Jyl said everything was new and exciting. “The only challenge we faced starting from scratch, was building a clientele. We didn’t have social media back then, so we worked extra hard to get the word out about the salon. It was basically word of mouth, and I have never had to pay to advertise even to this day.”

Being part of a downtown community came easy for Jyl. “I’ve always been involved with many activities in the community and know a lot of people in different circles, so it didn’t take long to get the salon growing. Luckily, I have family and friends in the Portland music scene and local theater. So doing all of their electrifying color gets my work out there and seen on stage. I have also worked with local photographers doing photo shoots and entered many national coloring contests.”

Hard work aside, not one event goes by where Jyl and The Wild Hair aren’t involved. Getting back to her roots, “I also strongly believe in giving back to the community and have always tried my best to do that.”

When it comes to her clients, the Wild Hair does it all. “We do mild to wild, so what a customer wants varies, although we do specialize in color and those clients come in for self expression and we do our best to match their vision. Our clients like to stand out in a crowd, get the hottest trends and look their best with an edgy cut or a fun color.”

Satisfaction in a job well done is paramount for Jyl. “Client satisfaction is so important to us and when a client is happy, they are a walking billboard for our services. People see what we can do and ask where they get their hair done. They often will make appointments for family and visitors from out of town. We have clients from all over. Many drive hours to their appointments, and we even have international clients as well.”

One of her favorite hair creations is worn by a local rock musician, and it consists of three hidden rainbows underneath a crown of several shades of blue. “Her color takes me about 10 hours to do each time, so however she wears it, she is in full color and the hair looks different from every angle.”

She said she’s grateful that more companies are carrying the bright, vivid colors for hair. “It used to be very difficult to find them. When my daughter wanted extreme colors when she was young, I had to buy it at stores at the mall like Hot Topic! Color has come a long way.”

And Jyl brings that color to everything she does downtown. “We love rocking your locks in downtown Camas and are very honored to be nominated into the top five salons in Clark County. I feel very blessed to live and work in the best city ever!” Do you have a wild hair and want to try a new color? Book your appointment today! (360) 834-1010