“Cayenne” means “hibiscus” and this tropical flower is a symbol for the new full-service salon that opened last year near Oyster Point. It is the fulfillment of a dream for its owner, Katya Dahdah. “I have planned and prepared for this moment since I was 14 years old and growing up in the Dominican Republic,” she says. Dahdah then worked in a salon owned by her mother.
Dahdah came to the United States on a student visa. “I was not allowed to work, so I went to school,” she says. While her husband was a medical resident at Yale University, she attended the Atelier Esthetique Institute of Esthetics in Manhattan. As a licensed esthetician, she worked at the Derma Clinic in Westport, Connecticut.
Dahdah’s husband Khalil is a nephrologist. They have lived in Newport News for 20 years. Dahdah was a stay-at-home mom. After her children were grown, her husband said, “Now it’s time for you to pursue your dream.” “He is very supportive,” adds Dahdah.
Cayenne offers salon services, such as manicures, pedicures, hair styling, hair coloring and makeup. Dahdah teaches makeup classes. “I make up half of the client’s face, then the client copies the makeup to the other side of her face,” says Dahdah.
As a full-service salon, Cayenne also offers state-of-the-art skin treatments. Dahdah has invested in up-to-date equipment. The light technology procedures repair pigmentation, dull skin, vascular lesions, acne, cellulite and unwanted hair. Skin rejuvenation treatments include dermaplaning, oxygen infusion facials and collagen induction therapy. The anti-aging dermal infusion skin treatment is a one-of-a-kind procedure offered only at Cayenne. Dahdah and her husband are excited about the L.E.D. bed (light bed) they are purchasing which promises pain relief.
Customer Susan Freeman Bryant says, “Cayenne is a wonderful new business. I felt like I was in New York. The owner is absolutely delightful. After my facial I was served a lovely glass of pink champagne while my makeup was being done. I rarely pamper myself like this, but I will be back!”
Cayenne also sells a line of cosmetics and skin care products that Dahdah has developed. These quality products are for sale online and they are shipped throughout the U.S. and internationally. “I believe that with the right supplies, some creativity and a touch of confidence, anyone can feel beautiful—inside and out,” Dahdah says. She pampers her clients and regards them as family. “I want my clients to feel cared for. I want them to leave relaxed and calm.”
Cayenne also offers massages and waxing. Dahdah has four employees. Her cosmetologist Diana Fazliyeva is Russian. Michelle Jones, her concierge, handles business matters. “I need more employees, but I am very selective,” says Dahdah.
Dahdah’s clients range from a 14-year-old having acne treatments to an 80-year-old interested in the latest trends. Dahdah offers a free consultation to determine a client’s needs and explain the range of services. Dahdah customizes skin care treatment to meet individual needs. Her clients say she gives “100 percent” to make everyone feel welcome. “I want each client to feel special as though she is my only client,” says Dahdah. There are also services for men, including the “gentleman mani-and-pedi combo.”
Another service at Cayenne is the bridal makeup party. “It’s fun,” says Dahdah. “Everyone goes to the wedding relaxed and happy.” And, Dahdah offers eyelashes for cancer patients.
Dahdah returns to the Dominican Republic twice a year, where her mother still has a salon. She has a 97-year-old grandmother. “I like to travel,” she says. She has lived in Paris and visited London, Europe, Africa, South America and the Holy Land. Still on her list are Asia and Australia. “However, I have no time now for traveling. I am busy building my business.” For her 30-year wedding anniversary, she and her husband are planning a trip to Greece.
Active in her church, Dahdah also enjoys movies, zumba and dancing. Her volunteer activities include working with the Newport News Medical Society Alliance. In 2010, she appealed to the Peninsula medical community and was instrumental in arranging surgeries for a five-year-old from the Dominican Republic who was born with limb deformities. “I love Newport News, says Dahdah. “People here have big hearts.”
Dahdah continues to seek sophisticated and innovative treatments for her clients. “I want them to have a wonderful experience at Cayenne and leave feeling happy,” she says.
TO THE POINT
Cayenne Beauty Bar
Address: 688 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601
Contact: Katya Dahdah, owner, esthetician