To say Kasia Baran came a long way to open her own spa would be no joke. Born and raised in Poland, the 29-year-old owner of Dallash — a Kasia Baran Spa Studio on Oak Lawn got her start in the beauty industry at just 15 years old.
Working as a model, Baran had to learn to do her own hair, makeup, and nails. After she moved to Chicago for a modeling job, she continued utilizing these skills, getting her license as a nail technician and working as a stylist’s assistant. Baran moved to Florida later to become a licensed hair stylist, but over time, she started to notice the mobility in her shoulder was becoming limited after an injury she sustained.
“I worked a lot during the day and night,” she said. “I bartended, I served, I played a lot of sports, and I worked in hair four or five years full-time. My shoulder was giving out on me and it was getting harder and harder to blow dry hair. And a lot of salons can’t keep you if you can’t blow dry.”
Looking to expand her skill set, and at the suggestion of a friend, Baran, who had returned to Chicago, attended courses on lash extensions and received certifications from a variety of lash brands.
“Finding a different love in the beauty industry, which is eyelash extensions, was life-saving and career-changing,” she said.
In March 2015, Baran and her fiancé moved to Dallas, and the aesthetician decided to hunt for a space where she could start her own business.
“My business was happening sooner or later because it was happening in Chicago,” she said. “From a teaching perspective it was a lot of room and potential to properly educate people and have my own spot to provide the service correctly.”
According to Baran, while mascara is one of the top-selling makeup products around the world, eyelash extensions provide a longer lasting, albeit temporary, alternative. Clients go through an initial consultation before the extensions are applied, which allows the technician to sit down and discuss what the person needs, as well as educate them on the process and proper care.
“Extensions will last an average of five to eight weeks,” Baran said. “It’s very important to explain to the client during consultation, almost like a broken record, that your lashes will shed.”
While Dallash, which soft opened on July 1, focuses on quality semi-permanent lash extensions, the business also offers facials, spray tanning, waxing, and microblading, a technique for semi-permanent makeup.
“We want to be a spa experience,” Baran said. “My goal for the studio, the next one will be Dallash Kasia Baran Hair Salon, followed by Dallash Kasia Baran Med Spa.”
Moving to Dallas proved fruitful for Baran in more ways than one. During a visit to Poland last fall, she learned that her cousin was having the same difficulties she was experiencing in her shoulder. Over the summer, Baran went to UT Southwestern, where she was finally diagnosed with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes degeneration of the muscles in the face, shoulder blades, and upper arms.
“I always had shoulder blades sticking out, and my family used to call me an angel,” she said. “Over the decades I’m going to lose everything on [my left] side. Being diagnosed with it finally helps me accept it.”