By Melody Worsham
The small community of Woolmarket is growing, and the need for local businesses is keeping up with the pace. Since Hurricane Katrina, Woolmarket has been the choice of many Coast residents who decided to move a little farther north. Astute Gulf Coast business owners are seeing the potential to serve these new residents. This is where Jeannine Réaux has opened her new salon. J.Réaux (pronounced RAY-oh) opened its doors at the beginning of October. Jeannine said that a lot happened to her after the 2005 hurricane. Before Katrina, she owned a salon in downtown D’Iberville, the Innovation Station located off of Gorenflo Road and Rodriguez. She had taken over the building where her father, Gilbert Réaux, had a barber shop for years. “I guess I’m following the family tradition,” Jeannine said. She is the third generation of hair-care specialists in the family after her father and great uncles. “My father was a barber for 43 years,” she said.
After Katrina, Jeannine went on to perfect her talents at Barnette’s Avada Day Spa, an upscale and popular salon in Ridgeland, just outside of Jackson. Upon her return to the coast in 2007, she began working at Cox’s Barbershop in north Ocean Springs. She recalls the first time a man requested a traditional flat top hair cut. She was carefully taking off the length a little at a time so as not to make a mistake, when one of the seasoned barbers, Robert Murphy, “took off about an inch straight out the middle of the man’s head.” Jeannine said he then told her to even out the rest of the hair on the man’s head to match the cut he just made. “ And that’s how I learned to do a flat top”, she said smiling.
Jeannine sees J.Réaux Salon as an opportunity to become established in a growing community. “After the storm, I wasn’t able to start up a business again right away,” she said. But all things have fallen into place for her now. “Everything happens for a reason and this is a perfect time. Woolmarket is growing and needs some small businesses to help it grow.” Jeannine said she gets a lot of walk-ins and phone calls from locals inquiring about her services and products.
In the casual chic black and burgundy salon, with its blending of wrought iron furniture and satin cushions, J.Réaux carries an equally balanced and sophisticated line of hair-care products by Aquage. “Very healing to the hair,” Jeannine said. This line of botanical hair-care products utilizes the healing properties of natural seaweeds, algae and Irish mosses that are rich in omega fatty acids and hydrating proteins. The scalp needs vitamins A, C and E to remain healthy, promote good hair growth and fight the damages caused by air pollution. Aquage products provide these nutrients. Jeannine said she chose Aquage because of, “the integrity of the products and… it does what it says it does.” From shampoo to up-do, J.Réaux has the Aquage product for every hair-care need.
J. Réaux Salon is located in a new plaza on Hwy 67 just a half mile north of the Woolmarket exit of I-10, right past T&E Salvage. Jeannine and her team, stylists Heather Bogges and Christine Galle, are eager to serve the new residents of the community, from hair cuts to coloring; from glamorous styles to repairing do-it-yourself jobs. Jeannine said that in the future, she will be looking for a full-time aesthetician and massage therapist to join the J.Réaux team. “I want to treat customers with small town hospitality,” she said, “but still have an up-town feel to it.” J.Réaux Salon is open Tuesday through Saturday. Call for an appointment at 228-207-2365 – and walk-ins are always welcome.