NEW HARTFORD — For Litchfield native Jenny Matthews, hair care goes way beyond just creating a certain look for a customer.
Matthews recently opened iDentity Hair Salon at 280 Main Street Suite B.
In an interview with The Winsted Phoenix, Matthews said that she has been a licensed cosmetologist for over 30 years and is a graduate of Oliver Wolcott Technical School.
During her career, she has worked at hair salons throughout the Northwest Corner, including Farmington, Collinsville, and Torrington.
“I lost my last salon job during the pandemic,” Matthews said. “I was trying to find somewhere that was close enough to home. Most of my customers are out in the New Hartford area anyway, so I started searching for a commercial property in town where I could open a new salon myself. I came over to 280 Main Street and as soon as I saw it, I said this is the spot.”
Matthews said that, to her, a hairstyle is more than just a look.
“To me, a great hairstyle is a foundation of a home,” she said. “It has to be built upon who you are and what you represent. It’s about your inner identity and outer identity aligning into your true identity and creating who you are to be more of a projection for the world, instead of hiding yourself behind a thing that’s not you.”
She said that she takes a much different approach to hairdressing than other salons.
“The first thing I always ask customers is what do you hate about your hair, what do you not like, and what do you not want to draw attention to?” she said. “How can I structure your hair to give you what is going to enhance you at your best? You don’t just want a hairstyle that’s going to be ordinary. You want a hairstyle that fits and enhances you.”
Matthews does not even use typical hairstyling names for what she offers.
For example, she calls a haircut a hair alignment.
“That’s because it’s about aligning you with who you are,” she said. “It’s more of a mission of what I want to do. I never liked the name haircut because haircut is a style. You are more than just a haircut. You are a multitude of different blends of haircuts all into one that creates an individual look that is individual to you.”
Matthews said that IDentity is a chemical-free environment and that everything that she uses in the studio, including shampoos and other hair styling products, are all organic.
“A lot of salons work with toxic chemicals,” she said. “I use organic products for my customer’s safety and well-being. It’s a very important thing for me to create a safe place for my guests.”
IDentity Organic Hair Studio is open Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. For more information call 601-287-5717 or go to www.identityorganichair.com