Rachel Bell the owner and sole stylist at Shank, claims she is the one to seek out in Taos for undone, edgy cuts.

This may be true, but whenever I’ve visited this salon, I’ve noted that for the most part, her chair is occupied by well heeled women of a certain age in the process of being given very classic, short haircuts executed with the utmost precision by the uber stylish and up on the latest trends, Ms. Bell.

 The wall across from her shampoo station, covered in certificates from the Vidal Sassoon Institute further appear to confirm my observation that Rachel is actually the go to stylist for easy, wash and wear crops which maintain their shape without much effort. Rachel is a fan of cutting into the hair which depending on the texture of yours may or may not work for you, but for many, her technique can give a little boost in volume.

Inside this Salon one feels as if one is part of an an Art Installation. Decorative painting covers two walls with feathers and flying silhouettes of birds. A red glass chandelier hangs in one window while another contains it’s twin, a cardboard cutout of the real thing.

An assemblage of disembodied mannequins is grouped in one corner together with old wire baskets and other curiosities. Mercury glass vases and tiny lamps created from porcelain Moors paired with a few bold and interesting pieces of furniture further decorate the space.

Piles of the latest glossy fashion magazines cover the surface of a table and a huge glass ginger jar is always well stocked with chocolates, a boon for those forced under the hood of her dryer for half an hour while highlights and low lights process.

The wall space surrounding the mirror opposite her chair, is hung salon style with a collection of art and photography that would make the most avid collector drool. Rachel changes these out occasionally and thanks to her father, the Internationally acclaimed Artist, and long time Taos resident Larry Bell, she has his lifetime collection of amazing work, to choose from.

Colour might be this young woman’s true forte. Her Blondes are never brassy and her Brunettes are rich and dark, sans the reddish tint that is a dead giveaway of chemically processed hair.

Rachel does carry a few high end product lines, but hair not shopping, is the main objective here.

Be sure you make an appointment well in advance. Her chair is coveted by many.

Visit her website linked below for more information.

Photographs of Rachel Bell at Shank by Bill Curry