Bowl-Cut & Beautiful
Featured SHE: Melissa Schleicher
Owner of Parlour3, Barbour3, Hunter Paige, Parlour3 Agency
I know well it’s not always the case for everyone, but I had the unique blessing of being raised with a whole tribe of women, who over the years became more like family than friends. Many of Mom’s prayer group girls and Dad’s female employees have watched me bloom, struggle, succeed, and fail for decades. They’ve been everyday aunts and sisters and confidants in ways that beautifully blur the line of flesh and blood. They’ve watched me play years basketball games, learn to drive, graduate from college, and stand before a wedding and a funeral, all in the same year.
Melissa Schleicher is one of those “aunts” – though I hate to say aunt because she’s always looking fabulous, creating remarkable spaces that leave other women looking fabulous, and essentially hasn’t aged a year since 2005. Founder and owner of four thriving businesses as well as full-time personal hair and makeup artist for Carrie Underwood, Melissa’s path hasn’t always been lined with glam and gold. After dropping out of high school as sophomore to pursue her passion for hair and makeup, she fought and stayed true to her passion for beauty, determined to pave her own way and free-lancing for nearly 20 years before opening her first and now booming salon, Parlour3.
Her patience and perseverance over those toiling early years eventually landed Melissa high profile clients that launched her career from teen with a passion to pioneer of style and beauty in the country music world. Her passionate, humble beginning brought Melissa into the worlds of Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Lee Ann Womack, Olivia Newton John, Lisa Marie Presley and Alan Jackson, where I come in.
I was just 7 when Melissa started working with my parents. At first she’d just trim our hair, do Mom’s highlights, or get all of us ready for events or shows. And though all of my childhood spanned the happenings of a celebrity family, the spotlight and glitz felt foreign and unnerving to me as a kid. Let me explain.
Though the oldest of three girls, I was surrounded early on by my parents’ friends’ little male playmates until my sisters came along. I played basketball and rode little red jeeps. I loved flannel and tennis shoes, repulsed by dresses and bows. I like to think now that I’ve grown out of most of that, but somewhere down deep, there’s still a little bit of tomboy left, just now delightfully outshined by diamonds and dry shampoo and pretty purses. But in the early days, when Melissa came into our funny sphere of the ordinary meeting the red carpet, I was 100% bowl-cut.
We cringe a little and laugh a lot about those days now, days when she’d so graciously leave off the lipstick or save for me the shortest fake eyelashes she had. Never once did she put down or dismiss my tomboy-ish look. Never once did she compare me with my long, blonde-haired sisters, to whom no amount to glam was quite enough. She saw me – a little girl with chopped off hair – and made me beautiful in a way that showed I was enough the way I was, not in the way that the world said looked right. This woman’s heart for beauty far surpasses hair and makeup; all who know her know that.
Fortunately my “boy phase,” as friends and family jokingly refer to it, was brief. For over 20 years, Melissa has stood with my sisters and I through watershed moments in our lives, lugging her all-too-heavy magic makeup bag up flights of stairs and across the country to get us ready for proms, graduations, even a couple of trips to the White House. From the bowl-cut days to my wedding day, Melissa has honored who I am and brought out beauty in me that reflects my true heart, without ever conforming my heart to what the world claims is beautiful.
Where can you find her?
GENERAL INQUIRIES: HELLO@PARLOUR3.COM
AGENCY INQUIRIES: AMBER.SHUFF@GMAIL.COM
WEDDINGS & EVENTS: EVENTS@HUNTER-PAIGE.COM
144 FRANKLIN ROAD SUITE B
BRENTWOOD, TENNESSEE 37027