A typical conversation between a hairstylist and me goes something like this:
Her: So, tell me your normal morning routine.
Me: My what?
Her: Your normal routine for your hair in the morning.
Me: Oh, yea, right. Well, I usually get up and go running or go for a swim, which leaves me with fifteen minutes to get ready, which, after I debate through five outfit changes, leaves me without about two minutes for my hair. Sometimes I blow-dry, but usually I leave the house with wet hair, looking a bit like a rain soaked dog.
Her (in a slightly disapproving, but this-explains-everything tone): Ohhhh. Any product?
Her: Never mind.
My lack of hair awareness is the main reason I like my salons like I like my bars. They should be 1) unpretentious and 2) have stylists (bartenders) that are not afraid to tell me what kind of hairstyle (drink) they think would suit me best. I like vodka and cranberry, but I’m bored of it; I want to keep my hair long, but it looks like a mop. Suggestions?
When I entered Salon, located on the corner of Polk and Green in the Russian Hill neighborhood in San Francisco, I immediately liked it. The décor is sparse, with clean white walls, high ceilings, and a no frills look about it. There are cutting chairs and a small sitting area and that’s about it. The owner, Sherri Ziesche, who also owns a beauty store next door, greeted me when I entered. Sherri offered me water or a cappuccino, which, after seeing that all their ingredients are imported from Europe, made me sad I turned one down. I do love me a good café au lait.
My stylist, Kelly, was friendly and responsive when I told her that I wanted to keep my hair long, but add some much needed layering and styling. She gave me brief run down on what she planned on doing, all of it sounding great to me. After a wash, she began clipping and we began chatting.
Salon has been open since May and it speaks to their success that when I went in (in November), they still didn’t have a Web site up. Their business seemed to be doing quite well without one. Many of their clients are walk-ins, referrals, word of mouths, and neighborhood locals. They specialize in blow-outs, which you can get without an appointment. For men they offer a complimentary “clean-up” three weeks after a haircut; for dogs they offer doggie treats.
Salon also has unpretentious prices—cuts starting out at $45.
As for my own hair, my main problem with most haircuts is that my hair ends up looking much like it did when I came in (which, according to a friend of mine, is my fault, not the stylist’s). When I do have time to blow-dry, I can tell my hair has much more layering and form than it used to, so I’m happy with the cut. However, when I leave the house with wet hair … well, that’s what ponytail holders are for, right?
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