Interview – Meet Sonya Benham of

1. Tell us a little about yourself

I’m an independent hairstylist and beauty blogger living in Chicago, IL.

Sonya Benham

I just celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary with my husband, Sean, and we have a 6-year-old son, Julian.

2. What made you start blogging and what’s the story behind

parlor logo 1

I started my blog, Parlor: Diary of a Hairdresser, after realizing that a lot of my friends and clients ask the same questions.

I thought it would just be convenient to put the answers online.

It was originally intended as a resource for clients but the reach slowly expanded and now I have readers all over the country.

3. Can you remember the moment when you realized that hair styling is your passion? If yes, tell us more…

Hannah K hair style

I came to hairstyling later in life.

I have always been a creative person but I somehow ended up in office jobs and spent a number of years as a professional fundraiser for higher education.

I often complained to my hairstylist (as people do…) and he suggested I try a career in hair.

I thought it was crazy at first but I knew as soon as I started beauty school that it was the right decision.

I never dreaded going; it has never felt like “work” to me.

4. Do you have a hair style that you like working on most? Is there something that puts a smile on your face when you hear a customer request…

different hair cut

Any big change or off-beat look makes me smile.

It’s crazy fun for me when a client dares to try something different and new, like a drastically shorter cut or panels of color.


5. Do you have favorite brands in hair styling products?

redken color products

I like a lot of product lines for different reasons.

For healthy shiny hair, I love L’Oreal Professionnel shampoos and masques.

The entire Oribe line smells heavenly and feels luxurious.

I prefer to work with Redken color.

Other faves include Aquage Transforming Paste, Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Hydrocream Whip, Alterna Bamboo Moldable Shape Paste, and Redken Hair Cleansing Cream.

6. Do you personally prefer classic hair styles or enjoy following trends?

Sonya Benham Hair style cut

Some of both but if I had to pick, I’d say following trends.

I really don’t care for dated haircuts.

I prefer to put a modern twist on classic styles.


7. Please give us your 5 main tips for the the girls out there trying to find their “look”

Sonya Benham hair cut

  • Be true to your personality.
  • Consider your profession and the boundaries that might exist.
  • Look through magazines and tear out images that you like or start a board on Pinterest. This will help you figure out what you gravitate towards.
  • Play. Get out your makeup and your hair supplies and experiment. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
  • Switch it up! You don’t have to stick to one look.

That’s the beauty of hair and makeup… you can reinvent yourself whenever you want.

8. What are your favorite hair styling websites/blogs?

Keiko Lynn logo

My favorite hairstyling blogs are Twist Me Pretty, A Beautiful Mess, The Small Things Blog, and The Beauty Department.

And even though it’s not a hairstyling blog, I’m a little obsessed with Keiko Lynn.


9. A message to your fans.

To my readers or anyone who visits the blog: You have no idea how much it means to me that you follow me. Parlor has changed my life — opened the door to other writing opportunities and allowed be to do what I love and still get to pick my son up from school.

So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

parlor diary of a hairdresser logo

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