Alternative salon makes home in Marquette

Ian Crane

“I had a girl come here from Pennsylvania to get her hair colored,” Rena Yelle, owner of the Marquette beauty salon, Kolor 2 Dye 4, said when talking about the kinds of customers she gets in the salon.

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NMU alumnus Cameron Leedle gets his hair cut by stylist Tellis Walton at Kolor 2 Dye 4 on US 41. Walton said the open environment and quality of people make Kolor 2 Dye 4 completely different from other salons. (Emma Tembreull/NW)

“It was cheaper for her to drive from Pennsylvania to Marquette to get her hair done than to have it colored at a salon in Pennsylvania,” Yelle said.

Yelle then pulls an image up of a young woman with long sky blue hair on her computer. “See this? In a big city it’d cost around $1500 to get that done,” Yelle said. “It didn’t cost her anywhere near that, and can you argue with those results?”

Kolor 2 Dye 4, an alternative hair salon, located on Highway 41 opened in 2011 and has labeled itself as Marquette’s first rock ‘n’ roll-style hair salon.

The salon has attempted to foster an atmosphere of openness and acceptance that guarantees people a safe place in the area, Yelle said.

“My brother was driven out of Negaunee when he came out of the closet and even though that’s not really as much a concern in Marquette nowadays, I wanted a place in the area where anyone could go and not be judged,” Yelle said.

One method Kolor 2 Dye 4 utilizes to spread its idea of openness to the area is the charity events that they put on, such as those held every Friday the 13th. 

Twenty percent of the profits made on these days are donated to local charities, with the most recent events’ funds going to the Marquette Women’s Center said Yelle.

“We stay open late and encourage people from all walks of life to come down and get their hair styled,” Yelle said. “The salon is packed with people on Friday the 13th, and it’s always a blast.”

When talking about Kolor 2 Dye 4’s ideals, it can be easy to forget that the salon does have seven licensed stylists, such as Orlando, Fla. native and drag queen Tellis Walton.

The open environment and quality of people make Kolor 2 Dye 4 completely different from other salons, Walton said.

There’s no judgement or drama at Kolor 2 Dye 4, and that isn’t always the case with other salons.

“I have possibly the best job in the world,” Walton said. “I get to walk in every day and make people feel as pretty as I think they are.”

The customers of Kolor 2 Dye 4 are just as diverse as the salon’s environment. Laura Fisette is a roller derby girl who has been coming to Kolor 2 Dye 4 for a few years and has found the atmosphere of the salon to be positive.

“It’s the best place to get an alternative hair style, period,” Fisette said. “I haven’t found any place that comes close in Marquette.”

Derby girls aren’t the only type of customer that frequent Kolor 2 Dye 4. Gina Hoffman, a nurse from Gwinn, has been coming to the salon for a year.

“I’ve been satisfied every single time I’ve gotten my hair done here,” Hoffman said, “and they’re such fun people, too.”

Kolor 2 Dye 4 has found itself a niché in the diverse market ofMarquette, Yelle said.

The salon is more laid back than a lot of other salons, both in their attitude and in what kind of styles they’ll do.

“At any given time, we could have an NMU professor, a nurse, an ex-biker and a bunch of drag queens in the salon,” Yelle said. “Where else could all of these people come and hang out?”