Jenna Ripplinger loves helping other women look their best. The local beautician founded 5 Degrees North Salon & Beauty Lounge only a year and a half ago, and since then has decorated Bismarck’s most stylish salon and formed real relationships with a wide range of clientele.
Jenna is a Goldwell Master Colorist, and can turn your hair golden blond or give it natural highlights. She learned the art of hand tied hair extensions from one of America’s leading experts. She offers brow tinting and sculpting and Brazilian waxing as well.
Considering how dearly Jenna loves her craft, it is interesting to learn she only discovered it by chance. “I used to work at the perfume counter of a department store while I was studying graphic design at Minot State,” said Jenna, “and the day the makeup woman didn’t show up for work happened to be the same day as the prom and several wedding bookings. The manager asked me to fill in for her, even though I had never done makeup on somebody else in my life!
“But that’s how I found out I have a great talent for it. Soon I moved to Bismarck where I worked at the cosmetic counter for Estée Lauder, and shortly afterward I found out I was going to become a mother to my son, Jameson. I knew I needed a career that would support us, so I decided to go to cosmetology school while I was pregnant.
“I began working as a beautician as soon as possible. I mainly specialized in colors and lash extensions and built up an amazing clientele. Unfortunately I was involved in two car accidents within six weeks of each other, neither of which were my fault. During my recovery I could no longer do lashes, so I switched up my business to focus on hair extensions instead. Once I had mastered those, I was ready to go into business for myself.
“I wanted 5 Degrees North to be more than a beauty salon. I wanted it to be a lounge, where a lady can get away from her busy day and relax for a little while. I decorated a chic, comfortable space with real houseplants, vintage decor like the antique fridge that shelves product, and a giant chandelier hanging from the ceiling. And this venue was perfect for that – I believe it has a much more unique feel than any other salon I’ve been to.
“I’ve been blessed to work with so many clients who I now consider friends. There are many days when I spend five or six hours with one person. You can really get to know one another in that amount of time.
“A lot of women feel more comfortable speaking with their beautician than they would with a therapist. Some of my clients have told me they’re pregnant even before they’ve told their own mothers! That kind of relationship doesn’t just come from time we share together. The strongest bonds are formed when people touch. The power of touch is incredible, and so is the feeling I get when I help someone transform their appearance. I believe my clients look forward to seeing me just as much as I enjoy catching up with them!
“That’s how I know my craft is important, and why I’ve always been passionate about developing it. When people started coming to me with photos of beautiful hair colors they found on social media, I had to figure out how to give them such brilliant colors myself.
I discovered a lot of those colors were done using hair wefts, and many of those photos had been taken at a certain salon in Gilbert, Arizona. I decided to train in that style of hair extensions, so I flew down to learn straight from the owner. Chrissy Rasmussen taught me an amazingly gentle hair extension technique, which gets you brilliant colors from the root to the tip.
“I have had many women come to me after they had overprocessed their hair with too much dye, gone through the hormonal changes that come naturally with age, or lost some hair after they have had children. Some are even recovering with cancer. Hair extensions are wonderful because they can help all of those women feel more confident about themselves. That’s what I love most about what I do.
“Too many women are never told they’re beautiful. But they all are! They might just need a little help seeing it.”
5 Degrees North Salon & Beauty Lounge is located in the H&D Schilling Building at 1400 43rd Ave NE, Suite 230 in Bismarck. It is worth stopping by just to meet Lennon, Jenna’s big fluffy bernedoodle dog, but you may as well get a free consultation so long as you’re there. You may also reach out to Jenna at (701) 509-0912 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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By David Scheller