October/November 2022 The Brand – Steel Magnolias Salon



Written by: Ava Grace

At Steel Magnolias Salon, clients get more than an updo for a wedding or a contemporary style for their big date.
That’s because the talented stylists and associates are also experts at listening, caring, bonding, just being there. “I love making people feel beautiful, both inside and out,” says owner and master stylist Michell Vazquez.
Salon workers in the 1989 movie “Steel Magnolias” operated as a team and became close friends, with one another and their clients. It is that kind of atmosphere at Steel Magnolias Salon in Fort Myers, which opened in 2004 with stylist and owner Wendy Haines, who has since retired.
For more than 17 years this family-run salon has been a place to blow off steam, to relax and enjoy the time while getting a perfect color, an amazing style, a fabulous manicure/eyebrows or skin treatments.
Another perk is wine, coffee, assorted mimosas, beer and wine seltzers.
While the Steel Magnolias atmosphere might offer old-fashioned warmth, the colors, styles and manicures are the latest. “Our stylists and nail technicians regularly attend beauty shows and take classes. Educators also come into the salon to teach our staff new things,” adds Vazquez, a Level 5 stylist.
The salon now has a licensed esthetician, Lisa Miles, from Naples. Her services include cellulite removal on legs, arms, stomach and neck using a captivation and radio frequency device, dermaplaning for a smoother complexion, micro-blading for enhanced


  —Michell Vazquez, owner and master stylist

Michell, Beatriz, and Paula are just some of the professional stylists and technicians at Steel Magnolias Salon.

Master nail technician Angie Soto knows the newest trends.
Soto has been with Steel Magnolias for over 10 years. Nail associate
Beatriz Ortiz spends her free time perfecting her craft.
The salon staff not only listens carefully to what their
clients want but are also eager to find out about the news
they bring—photos of their beautiful new grandchild,
updates on their wedding plans or an exciting new
relationship. Of course, not all news is good, and that’s
okay. “We understand,” says Paula Watson, a Level 5 stylist.
From pixie cuts to wedges to undercuts to bobs—from
blue to silver hair to lowlights and highlights, from gels
to French manicures to shimmering polishes, from facials
to brow treatments, whether it’s for the big day … or any
day—it’s all important at Steel Magnolias Salon.
“We always want our clients to look good and feel good,
no matter the occasion,” says Vazquez, who has retired but
remains part of the Steel Magnolias Salon team. “I still
work at the salon a few days a week … and am running it
on a daily basis,” she says. FCM