salon secrets

Part 1 2-in-1 Salons: Hairstyling Plus Much More

February 19th 2016

To set themselves apart and attract new clients, many hairdressers have decided to turn their salons into a hybrid space: salon/restaurant, salon/art gallery, salon/thrift store, etc. The originality and friendliness that result have been a success. These 2-in-1 concepts have become a real trend and living spaces where customers can have a good time. So it turns out that diversity is the key!

Giving Character And Offering a Unique Experience

Marco Marchetta is a barber in Geneva. As a son and grandson of hairdressers, he quickly grew tired of “white, sterile salons without any personality.” In 2013, he took the leap of reinventing his work and launching a new concept: Wood. Half barbershop, half antique shop, the boutique welcomes men in a friendly atmosphere combining beard trims, retro items and furniture, old vinyl records and vintage used clothes. Sometimes, tattoo artists and musicians come to add to the atmosphere of the salon, which has had such success that Marci is now working on opening a second location. Marco is pleased with his choice. “This type of salon is a different experience for hairdressers as well as clients. We offer a journey, a friendly environment and the possibility of sharing a good time together. This creates a pleasant relationship with clients. Men come to Wood as if they were having a beer with their friends.”

Wood: Half barbershop, half antique shop
Photo Credit ©Wood
Wood: Half barbershop, half antique shop
Marco Marchetta creator of the salon Wood in Geneva. Photo Credits ©Wood

Having arrived in London in 2000, Ki-Chul Lee, a hairdresser originally from South Korea, has always exercised his many talents simultaneously. He knows better than anyone how a second activity can give a salon uniqueness and a certain authenticity. First, he ran a high-end salon/vintage shop and designed a clothing line. At the time, his clients included Kate Moss and Pete Doherty. In 2004, shaken by the economic crisis, Ki-Chul Lee thought of changing his positioning. In his three Hurwundeki locations, you can now enjoy a dry haircut in 15 minutes, just after you finish your traditionally prepared, flavorful and affordable Korean meal. Everything is surrounded with unusual yet warm décor combining giant pumpkins, foxhunting scenes, drop-bead chandeliers and industrial bricks. In these places full of character, “everything is a question of lifestyle,” says the hairdresser. “It’s a source of inspiration for clients as well as those who work with me.”

Hairdresser Ki-Chul-Lee in his London salon Hurwunderki
Hairdresser Ki-Chul Lee in his Londonian salon Hurwundeki. Photo Credit ©Hurwunderki
Kimchi Fried Rice, a South Korean recipe. Photo Credits ©Hurwundeki

Reinventing The Traditional Hair Salon

On the price board at Lily Maila in London, you’ll find the price for a blow-dry next to the price for a delicious latte macchiato served at the counter. The Cabin West in Los Angeles is both a hair salon and a bookstore, opened by the lovely young woman Kristen Shaw, this trendy place attracts locals from Venice as well as famous actresses like Chloe Sevigny. In the middle of Michigan, IC hair offers a selection of cowboy shirts, cowgirl dresses and western boots. Heather McGartland, the owner, also trims mustaches in the purest “Wild West” style and also does saloon-style sausage curls. In Sydney, Marie France focus on “à la française” chic, combining hair aesthetics and art. Exhibits of paintings, sculptures and photography are regularly put on in an elegant atmosphere. All over the world, these dual-role salons are gaining ground.

Elif creative hairedressing salon Lily Maila_Photo Credits Victor Preda
Elif Ocay creator of Londonian salon Lily Maila. Photo Credits ©Victor Preda
Lily Maila
Photo Credits ©Lily Maila
Cabin West
Photo Credits ©Cabin West
Hairdresser Kristen Shaw and his companion in front of their salon West Cabin in Venice Beach, Los Angeles. Photo Credits ©Cabin West
Hairdresser Kristen Shaw and his companion in front of their salon West Cabin in Venice Beach, Los Angeles. Photo Credits ©Cabin West
Cabin West. Marcus Haney
Cabin West. Photo Credits ©Marcus Haney

Although each of these owners generally chooses the second activity due to their personal taste, all these hairdressers have one thing in common: a desire to offer a new concept of their jobs. The hair salon is no longer just a place to stop in for the chore of maintaining your hair. It has become a real living and socializing space. You can really take the time to meet, chat and discover another world. Often, these new kinds of salon help to create ties between people who share the same interests. They are also sometimes a way to create a community within a neighborhood. In Sydney, the Marie France salons are proud to be a place where local artists are showcased.

Hybrid salons have hit the nail on the head. They are a way for hairdressers to express their interests, but also to offer a little something extra to pamper their clients. These unusual spaces attract the curious and create loyalty in a population that appreciates a little extra soul.