Salons aim for Newbury style, JP attitude

December 2, 2011
By

Central JP is undergoing a salon boom. With Q Salon scheduled to open by the end of the year, the Centre/South corridor will be home to no fewer than 12 hair salons.

With the boom comes pressure to provide Newbury Street quality cuts without the Newbury attitude and snobbery, say salon owners.

“We’re professional. We’re talented. I’m not SuperCuts and I’m not Newbury Street. I emphasize friendliness,” Fresh Hair owner Joy Silverstein said of Fresh Hair at 62 South St.

Of those 12, four of them are full service salons that also offer other services. Q Salon and Spa, opening soon at 676 Centre St., will also be a full-service salon, offering hair, nail and other spa services.

“It will be a Newbury Street type of salon with JP service,” owner Jennifer Lydon told the Gazette last month. “It won’t have that aloof feeling.”

Richard Repetta, owner of We Are Hair, told the Gazette that he wants his business to be a true neighborhood salon.

“We want the neighborhood vibe without Newbury Street. We’re going for quality without all the negatives,” Repetta said, mentioning the high prices and pressure to look a certain way. “You don’t need to get your hair done to get your hair done.”

“We’ve had people come in who have been rejected from not-child-friendly salons,” Repetta said. “We want to offer a quality of work that you would get on Newbury Street, but not the price.”

Silverstein has been in business since 1982. She is also the former boss of eight hair stylists in a two-mile radius.

“Some people left and opened their own place right away, some left and came back to it,” Silverstein told the Gazette. “I try and remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Someone once said that, like a teacher, I give [my employees] roots and wings.”

Along with Q’s Lydon, Fresh Hair alumni now work at or own Hidden Hair on Perkins Street, Xposure by Noe’l at 606 Centre St., I2 in Brookline, Miss Laura’s at 46 South St., and We Are Hair, the latest addition to Soleil Salon at 708 Centre St.

“Yes, it’s more competition for me, but maybe it’s a good thing. It’s kept me on my feet. I haven’t gotten complacent,” Silverstein said. “We’ll see which of these salons will last.”

“I’ve been beautifying JP for years. I hope to keep doing it for years,” she added.