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The Refinery Salon

The Refinery Salon has opened its doors in Buffalo (just off Hertel Ave.) with a beauty salon boutique full of amazing stylists, sophisticated decor and a spanking new attitude toward style! The three talented owners, Maggie Ryan, Michele Huntington and Amy Hayes have merged their expertise to bring a refreshing tone for Buffalo salons and those seeking impeccable style.

The Refinery Salon is located at 77 Saranac Ave. just a few doors North of Hertel in a refurbished building. The space is inviting and comfortable from the moment you walk in the front doors. The physical transformation of the space was quite extensive, as they had to literally dig deep to find the original beauty within the building. They tore out the ceiling and reconstructed the entire room. The owners, as interior designers, collectively created a lovely shop with newly exposed original tin ceilings, calming color tones and the addition eclectic of fixtures to enhance their look.

Refinery-Buffalo-NY-156The savvy expertise at The Refinery Salon begins with the three owners, Maggie, Michele and Amy. They met at the popular styling hot spot, Chez Ann and merged their talents to create their own salon that is a “relaxed place where our guests could come and truly enjoy an amazing experience. A place where we love to go to every day and make people happy.”

Maggie Ryan started her career in Buffalo 28 years ago but was scooped up by Bumble and bumble in NYC. She worked there for the last 23 years as senior stylist and as an educator. Maggie and her family relocated back here about five years ago and Buffalo is lucky to have this refined talent back in our grips.

Maggie has a signature style that stems from her philosophy towards hair. She explained to me that her approach to cutting someone’s hair is more organic and she focuses on the individual hair growth patterns and texture to create a style that works for each client which also gives them the ability to easily maintain the look. She focuses on the hair’s actual fall lines from the crown, so it naturally styles itself. She has perfected Bumble and bumble’s signature razor techniques, which allows her to “sculpt” a shape inside a cut, softening and blending layers throughout. Maggie has had 28 years of reading hair and texture, which is the key to helping her clients choose the right cut. She uses this procedure along with color and low lights to create a natural look that lasts longer for her clients.

Maggie believes that reading the client is the key to her success. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure she will gladly put a purple Mohawk on your head if you so desire but take note it will be the best purple Mohawk you’ve ever seen. Maggie also maintains her clients in NYC and travels there every 6 weeks or so. This enables her to keep spreading the love to her dedicated fans in the Big Apple but also to stay up to date on current hair trends, street style and evolving salon techniques. In other words, keeping Buffalo in the style loop!


Michele Huntington is also a seasoned pro that started as an apprentice at Chez Ann and then worked there for nine more years. Michele went to Nardin Academy and then went on to achieve a B.S. in a Health and Wellness from Buffalo State, all the while wishing she had pursued hair. Then at 29, she followed her passion and continued her education at Leon’s Studio One School for Hair. She also trained in Toronto at Vidal Sassoon, in Baltimore at Goldwell’s headquarters and in NYC at L’Oreal and Bumble and bumble. Michele stated, “My love for learning led me to a short stint as a Goldwell Educator. Once I became pregnant with my daughter Charlotte, I realized being behind the chair coloring was where I wanted to be working.” Michele and Maggie met as co-stylists and instantly found that they had like minds with their approach to great hair. Both gals have a following in Buffalo that they knew could support their vision with Refinery Salon.

The third owner, Amy Haynes also worked at Chez Ann. Amy joined forces with her sister Michele and her “other sister,” Maggie and officially made the leap to open Refinery Salon in March 2014. She is “the glue that holds us together” according to Michele. Amy brings the managerial experience to the salon and wears all the other hats necessary to run a successful business. Amy has attended school at Buffalo State for teaching, and Florida Atlantic University for business. Amy has also studied at the New York Institute of Massage for massage therapy and Continental School of Beauty for nails. The gals did hint that Amy is also a professional massage therapist and nail technician, but running the business is her main focus currently.

This talented trio expressed their gratitude for the clientele and the fantastic support team of gals that followed them to North Buffalo. They have another terrific stylist on hand, Grace and an apprentice/assistant, Jen. They hope to add a few more members to The Refinery Salon in the future. Collectively, through lots of sacrifice and hard work, these women have created a terrific new style force to be reckoned with.

The Refinery Salon
77 Saranac Ave
Buffalo, NY 14216


Written by Kristine Hornung-Pottle

Kristine Hornung-Pottle

Kristine Hornung Pottle relocated back to Buffalo from Seattle, where she owned and operated The Wandering Cafe, LLC for twelve years (a catering and events company she began in Buffalo twenty-five years ago). She is currently the COO for Buffalo's echo Art Fair. As an experienced chef and independent event coordinator, Kristine contributes to Buffalo Rising occasionally.

View All Articles by Kristine Hornung-Pottle
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