Bel Air’s NVS Salon stylists work the runway at New York Fashion Week

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Tammy, Carole, Becca, and Erin backstage at Pier 59

Owner of Bel Air’s NVS Salon Tammy Ehrbaker and three of her stylists Carole Golley, Becca Conte, and Erin Thompson recently upped their glamor quotient with a backstage pass to New York Fashion Week. They styled models for designers including A Détacher, Eugenia Kim — who has designed hats for Beyonce, Ben Stiller, and Madonna — Concept Korea featuring LIE by Chung Chung Lee and Greedilous by Younhee Park runway shows.

“It was very electric,” said Ehrbaker, “It was fast paced and fun. There was no room for

Becca, Erin, and Carole styling hair at Eugenia Kim Show

error. Every hair had to be in place.”

Ehrbaker’s NVS Merle Norman Salon & Spa is an Aveda Concept Salon and her team trained for the fashion shows at the Aveda Institute New York. During the show, three stylists worked on each model’s hair at a time.

“We had very specific hair styles,” Ehrbaker said. “Even straight wasn’t straight enough.”

Ehrbaker’s stylists got to meet stars like Miss J. Alexander of America’s Next Top Model and fashion writer Claire Sulmers.

This was NVS’ second trip to Fashion Week’s backstage. The Aveda Institute chose Ehrbaker’s team to work the fashion shows based on their reputation, Ehrbaker said. Her salon was named one of the country’s top 100 small businesses winning the United States Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Award in 2013 and 2014 and NVS has been listed as one of the country’s 200 top salons by industry magazine Salon Today for the past several years.
Photo of Becca with Claire Sulmers

“For me, it feels real good,” said Ehrbaker, who expanded her formerly 900-square foot business to a larger space on South Main Street last year. “We started with four employees and now I have 40.”

Some customers come to NVS from as far away as New York City and NVS has earned a reputation as the go-to place for hair extensions. They were the official salon for the Ravens Cheerleaders a couple of years ago. She said she believes her Aveda salon’s environmentally friendly footprint and inclusion in the Maryland Green Registry helped her get that job. Seven NVS stylists spent home game Sundays at the stadium making sure the cheerleaders’ hair looked great. NVS traveled with the cheerleaders to Jamaica and styled their hair for the team’s 2014 calendar shoot.

Ehrbaker said it’s tryout season right now and cheerleading hopefuls for the Ravens, Redskins and teams even farther away are coming to NVS for hair tips and advice from NVS hair extension expert and former Ravens cheerleader Angel Palmere.

“The girls will ask her a thousand questions,” Ehrbaker said. “It doesn’t matter what team they’re trying out for. They want to get in her chair.”

Of her success, Ehrbaker said, “You got to dream big. You can’t care what other people say. Honestly, I surround myself with really amazing women. You don’t work alone. You work as a team. When you have the support of 40 women, everything is possible.”