When you specialize in eight different methods of hair extensions, blonding services and cuts, have styled the hair of mega-celebrities like Green Day and the Lumineers, it’s safe to say you know a thing or two about hair. Courtney Hennessey, a proud ninth generation local, certainly does, and she’s seen a few places too, having traveled all over the country to work on artists at countless music festivals with Idle Hand Collective, a group that provides a VIP pop-up barber shop experience at music and sporting events.
Courtney officially started doing hair 13 years ago, but her passion for it blossomed long before that. After people told her she wouldn’t make money doing hair, she began studying business and psychology at Wesley College, but transferred to Delaware Learning Institute of Cosmetology her sophomore year. “I started cutting hair in my college dorm room; I cut the whole lacrosse team’s hair because there was no barbershop nearby.”
These days, she’s garnered notoriety for being the go-to source for fantasy braiding — a type of braiding that involves intricate designs and patterns inspired by fantasy or sci-fi themes.
Success doesn’t stop at hair. For the last eight years, she’s coached the Cape cheerleading squad to Nationals every year. She credits her work ethic for the pace she keeps. “Nothing has been given to me and I enjoy the hustle,” she says.
Tell us about opening Dirty Blonde Salon. I was booth renting at a great salon and then Covid hit and I wasn’t making a penny. I really wanted to go out on my own, but I was so scared we were going to get shut down again. So, I started working for Sam at Mirror Mirror Salon and she kind of pushed and taught me the business side of things. I opened my own space inside Willow Marie but when the land was sold, I went back to booth renting. Then, I found and opened this space in January 2023 with my business partner, Kristina. We got it up and running in, I think, 45 days. We just try to make it a little hub where everyone feels welcome.
And there’s a dog? Yes, Sir Freddie, our little mascot. He’s a French bulldog and the biggest snuggle bug you’ve ever meet. He will sit in clients’ laps and snore all day. My assistant has his brother, Mr. Hank.
What’s an interesting thing most people don’t know about you? I don’t drink coffee. And I love to crab on Fridays in the summer.
What is the best/worst part of your job? The best part is connecting and building relationships with people. I’ve been with some of my clients for many years. I remember every detail about my client’s lives, except which way they part their hair. The worst part is sweeping the floor. Or the glitter.
What’s next for you? I’ve been given the opportunity to cut on the Morgan Wallen tour in August, my cheerleading season has already started, I’m working Ocean’s Calling in October and EDC Vegas in May.