Defining-Image co-owner Nichole is a Portland native with over 17 years’ experience in the beauty industry. Her interest in color theory stems from her early education as an art student, and has informed the advanced color techniques and formulations she employs at the salon.
Nichole initially trained at Phagan’s School of Hair Design, but her ongoing education keeps her at the top of her game and abreast of beauty and fashion trends. She is both a certified master colorist and a certified curl specialist, skilled with both natural and permed textures and happy to tackle color challenges from home dye correction to helping her clients find – and maintain – the elusive perfect red. Her other certifications include Olaplex and Keratherapy smoothing treatments, and she has trained with Dimitrios Tsioumas for balayage and with Derrick Zeno on advanced color concepts, achieving Level 3. Nichole is also one of Defining Image’s two makeup artists.
As an involved pet “mom,” Nichole is currently guiding resident salon dog Tripp through advanced training and handling classes. She loves reading, cooking, and traveling – especially to warm, tropical places where she can make use of her three SCUBA certifications.
Maria’s career began in 2007 at a Portland barber shop, where she enjoyed employing her International Beauty School education on a wide variety of short, funky styles. She joined Defining Image in 2009, wanting to expand her repertoire and learn more about color – the salon’s specialty. While she still enjoys exploring pixie cuts and volumizing strategies for fine hair with her clients, she is skilled in addressing all textures and lengths, as well as in highlights, lowlights, corrections, and all types of color work.
Over the years, Maria has continued her education, becoming certified with Keratherapy smoothing systems and training with Dimitrios Tsioumas for ombre and balayage and with Derrick Zeno on advanced color concepts. She regularly attends cut and color classes to ensure that her talents are well-supported by the latest technologies and techniques.
Born in Tallinn, Estonia, Maria brings a warm and personal touch to her chair and to the salon. Her goal is not only to make sure her clients get the most out of their hair, but also to ensure their experience is comfortable, relaxing, and fun.
Christina followed her university degree with cosmetology training at the Aveda Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and she has been with Defining Image since 2008. She views hair as the perfect medium for creativity, and loves forging close relationships with her clients over time and helping them along their hair journeys.
Christina’s continuing education has included study with Vidal Sassoon, Pureology, Redkin, and Goldwell, and she is always on the lookout for ways to master new discoveries, trends, and techniques in the hair industry. In addition to her skill with all types of haircuts, she is known for low-maintenance, natural color strategies. Her chair is a stress-free zone where clients are free to ask questions and collaborate on the best look for them… especially because she recalls some of her own teenage mishaps with color before she embarked on her career as a hairstylist.
Outside the salon, Christina enjoys travel, gardening, board games, and food. Although she is a certified dietician, she occasionally indulges in hot fudge and nacho cheese sauce – the cheaper and gooier, the better!
A graduate of Portland’s Paul Mitchell beauty school, Kaleena brings seven years of experience with all hair types and colors, as well as makeup artistry, to Defining Image. Since childhood, she has loved the ever-changing glamour of the beauty industry, and she is passionate about working with clients to change up their look.
Kaleena is Olaplex certified and the salon’s resident hair extension expert, having been certified with Donna Bella Milan. She has undertaken a wide variety of classes in master and creative color techniques, and is skilled with textured hair as well as event and wedding styling. In her free time, Kaleena enjoys caring for her collection of fish, particularly those in her large saltwater tank.
Lane’s nearly ten-year career in hair followed a degree in English Literature from the University of Oregon. From a young age, he enjoyed the transformative properties of hair color and style, experimenting with his own frequently before attending the Aveda Institute to formally hone his skillset. Over the years, he worked both for Aveda and for a popular local barbershop before joining Defining Image in 2017.
Lane continuously strives to learn and grow as a stylist, taking classes ranging from balayage to advanced color formulation. He has been impressed with the quality and brilliance of the Goldwell color line in use at Defining Image, and is always looking for cuts and color that suit his clients’ personalities and personal aesthetics.
Lane’s English Literature background continues to be of use to him as a fiction writer. He has self-published on Amazon and has a novel in the works, slated for release in 2021.
Salon resident (and client favorite) Tripp was born in Amboy, Washington, and he has been with Defining Image since 2019. While he boasts no formal cosmetology training or certifications, he has thrown his Malinois energy into advanced training with mom Nichole, who aspires to a search-and-rescue career for Tripp and his brother Finn.
Tripp’s skills inside and outside Defining Image include trying to trick clients into playing with him although he knows that’s not allowed. He is also adept at jumping onto high surfaces when least expected, locating fresh hair clippings in which to sit or lie down before they can be swept up, and devout attention to anything ball-shaped.