I was having lunch with a friend a week ago and he commented that the only hair salon he ever saw anything about on taoStyle, was Salon X.
“Well they are one of my Sponsors,” I responded a bit defensively, “and I have done a piece on Shank,”
Later, reflecting on his observation I decided to include a new salon or stylist once a month and Heather Miro seemed the perfect starting point.
After three years doing hair at Salon X, Heather Miro has reopened Heather Miro Hair Design in a new location.
For eight years Heather had her namesake salon on the North Side of town before joining Delta at Salon X. The two women remain friendly but Heather felt it was time to once more go it alone.
“I heard about this space,” she explains, “and it was really the answer to my prayers. Right in town with the perfect light.”
“My old salon had this light.” She recalls. “I missed that.”
The charming space once belonged to Shawna Yambire and the chandelier she left behind adds an offbeat touch to the Mod Lounge vibe Heather has created. Her husband’s art hangs on the walls and a collection of ceramic shoes made by a friend, decorates a shelf behind the cosy seating area.
Heather moved to Taos fifteen years ago with her husband, artist Michael Miro. She says it was his idea to come here and when she first visited with him, it captivated her as well.
“I fell in love with Taos immediately,” She says. “I left everything behind to move here.”
Heather grew up in the Bay Area. The daughter of celebrated Photographer Pearl Jones Tranter, her’s was a liberal, Bohemian upbringing.
“I was a street kid,” she says, “I left home at fourteen and fell into hairdressing because it was one of the few things I could do without a high school diploma.”
“My first job right out of beauty school was at Macy’s Magic Hair Salon for. You had to learn magic tricks or illusions as they called them.”
“You’d do a trick for the kids before you cut their hair.”
From Macy’s she moved on to apprentice with Peter Thomas Hair Design in Berkeley.
“That’s where I got the idea for my name, ” she smiles. “I ended up working for Peter for several years before going to London during the early 80’s.”
“I trained at Jingles (in London) in cutting and styling in order to become an educator which I did not end up doing, instead I returned to the Bay Area and started out on my own.”
Heather continued (and still does) to take classes in order to stay current as a stylist. She’s studied with Toni and Guy, taken courses at the Sassoon Academy and has taken classes at the American Board of Certified Colorists Summit. (Contrary to an article about Heather in last week’s Taos News, the only stylist in Taos to have passed the grueling Board exam, is taoStyle Sponsor Delta Cosette-Bayer of Salon X who is now a member of that prestigious Board).
A talented all round stylist, Heather’s real forte is cutting. She’s a whiz with the shears, turning out one unique cut after the other. She takes an hour or more – unheard of these days except in the most exclusive salons, and her cuts are precisely executed. Like most Sassoon trained cutters she is a bit scissor happy, so be prepared to lose at least an inch even if you ask for half of that off. If it’s a tiny trim you are after, she’s not your girl.
I asked Heather what has changed in the Industry since she stated out over four decades ago.
“Well for one thing you don’t have the kind of classical training and apprenticeships that were common then, and the stuff they teach at beauty school is far more rudimentary, and now they teach things like hygiene – how to combat spreading germs – stuff like that.”
Clearly they don’t teach the cutting techniques Heather’s gleaned over the years in hands on experience and her studies with the best of the best.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” she smiles. “Practice makes perfect.”
Heather Miro Hair Design is located at 126B West Plaza Lane
Photographs taken on my iphone