Katy Dahl is an American-born Chinese extension specialist in Salt Lake City, who's worked in the hair business for almost 13 years.

SLUG Style: Katy Dahl

Art and Fashion

Katy Dahl is an American-born Chinese (ABC) extension specialist in Salt Lake City who’s worked in the hair business for almost 13 years. Her current style is rooted in a love for ‘60s/‘70s era, but she finds new influences everywhere, allowing her style to fluctuate daily. Follow Dahl on Instagram @katy.slc

Every month, “SLUG Style” features a distinct and unique member of the community and asks them why they do what they do. Exploring more than just clothing, “SLUG Style” is an attempt to feature the people who give Salt Lake City flavor through personality and panache.

SLUG: What are your stylistic influences? This could be a band, decade, fictional character—anything.

I take influence from everywhere. I try to keep somewhat of an open wardrobe so I can dress according to how I’m feeling that day. Recently I have been more influenced … by the ’60s/’70s era. As a hairstylist, I love me a good all-black ensemble with a pop of color. I can be influenced [by] anywhere from punk, to athleisure, to fantasy to sassy business woman. There are too many fun styles to keep it in one box!

Katy Dahl
Photo: Spencer Dahl (@capturedslc)

SLUG: What are your interests or hobbies? What is the hobby or interest that you have that no one would realize to ask you about?

Work generally takes up most of my bandwidth, but when I do have time to do something else, I LOVE to bake! My husband and I have recently gone gluten-free for medical reasons, so it’s been a learning curve switching to gluten-free alternatives. One other hobby people might not know I enjoy is puzzles! It’s so satisfying. Iykyk.

SLUG: Are you always “on” or would someone see you at the grocery store, for example, with less elements of your style?

I would say I’m “on” about 95% of the time. It’s something I sort of struggled with at one point thinking I was “too much” for dressing up only to go to the grocery store. But I decided that it’s for me and no one else. It makes me feel good and confident, so I do try to have just a good sweat set when I’m not feeling completely into figuring out an entire fit. (I will say, on the makeup front, I have a routine where I can get ready in 10 min. So I really try not to take too much time overall because I’m also a tad lazy. Work smarter, not harder!)

SLUG: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would those be? 

Extroverted/introvert, quiet, but also a show-off. ??‍♀️  #leo

Katy Dahl
Photo: Spencer Dahl (@capturedslc)

SLUG: How has your personal style evolved over time?

Oooh how it’s changed. I’m a ’90s baby, so we’ve been through it all when it comes to styles. Kids have it easy these days. I was everywhere from the Abercrombie layered shirts and denim skirts, shopping exclusively at Limited Too to massive, bell-bottom True Religions when I was in college. When I got to my mid 20s I think I finally started refining what was quintessentially “ME.” Here I am now in my 30s. [My style] has become a tiny bit more mature, but I still want to have fun and not let my age entirely determine how I dress.

SLUG: You say in your IG that you’re an “extension specialist”—tell us about that! What sort of work do you do with hair?

Katy Dahl
Photo: Spencer Dahl (@capturedslc)

Yes! So I’ve been doing hair for almost 13 years now. I found my love for extensions about nine years ago. Man, has it changed my career path. There’s nothing more gratifying than when a client is crying in my chair with happy tears, saying they’ve never felt more beautiful or felt more like themselves until I helped them out. It’s not even about the extensions and “enhancing” their hair to great lengths or thickness. It has been literally life changing for some of my wonderful clients. Seeing that spark come back into their eyes—I have no words. I’m simply honored to have the career I do in helping give women (shoutout to my guys and everyone in between, too) their confidence back in whatever way possible.

SLUG: How does your work with hair influence your sense of style? 

When’s the last time you stepped into a salon… Have you seen those people?! ?  In all seriousness, the beauty industry is no joke when it comes to style. That’s why I absolutely love it. It’s such an expressive industry in every single way possible. You can have tattoos, piercings, eclectic jewelry, hats, etc.! It drew me in the second I toured a cosmetology school. How much fun are these people having? I want in.

SLUG: Do you have any tips for people who are interested in changing up their hair? And how that might affect their relationship to their wardrobe?

Katy Dahl
Photo: Spencer Dahl (@capturedslc)

This may be controversial to hairstylists, but at this point in life, I say if you want to try it, TRY IT! People ask, “What color would look good with my skin tone?,” or, “I’ve always wanted to but I don’t think it would look good on me.” I say, you never know until you try! While yes, there may be some colors that aren’t made for everyone, overall I think you’d be surprised with what works on you! At the end of the day, as long as it is all done with care and thought (aka keeping the integrity of the hair), you can always change the color again. 

Same goes with wardrobe. I hear it time and time again when people compliment my outfits: “I love that! But only YOU could pull that off! I would never!” Then I reply, “Well, have you ever actually tried on a skirt/shirt/dress/pants/etc. like this before?” The answer is generally no. This is why it’s awesome that you can try before you buy with clothes! Even if you’re ordering online, you can always send it back! Just go for it! I’ll give you my little secret: You could be wearing the craziest thing known to man; it’s all about the confidence you exude. So be LOUD and PROUD of who YOU are, and you will shine brighter than before, outfit on point or not.