“It’s not so much that we feel that the industry needed a wake up call as that it just happened.” Says Hairstory founder, Michael Gordon.
Michael, the former owner and founder of Bumble & bumble (whom I have known since I was a teenager in South Africa, when he and his brother Mark first started cutting my hair, and continued until I left NYC in 1990), has with his new venture, caught the wave of the current Zeitgeist: its name is Disruption.
We are seeing its effects on everything from Fashion to Food, and apparently the way hair has been done for decades, is now kaput as well.
Thanks to bloggers, Instagram influencers and social media, glossy Fashion and Beauty magazines which were highly influential for decades, are now struggling to stay in print.
The Salon Model itself has been impacted by this shift and Salons all over are either closing or downsizing due to both this social and economic turn.
Hairstory Studio offers clients a new approach to getting their hair done. In a very private, low-key space, sans all the bells and whistles associated with traditional Salons, one has a more intimate relationship with the stylist and hair itself is approached differently as well. The end result is looser, less contrived and conceptual. More real.
Delta Cosette-Bayer is on the cutting edge (pun intended), of this new hair story; Salon X was included in a National Trade Magazine last October as one of the best Salons in the country.
When Delta made the decision to downsize her space last year, even while other Salons in town were expanding, a lot of people thought she was nuts. Why on earth would the salon voted Best Of Taos for a few years in a row, choose to move from a prime spot on the Paseo into a small back room one needs to work harder to find?
Dwight Miller, an Industry giant himself, was the only American hired by Vidal Sassoon in his eponymous London Salon, and who for many years worked with the late, great John Sahag, agrees with Michael Gordon (who produced the film on Sassoon’s life), that the Industry has changed.
“I cut in a small space attached to my home (in Santa Fe),” he explained when I met him at Bill Curry’s birthday party in January. “I don’t have a shampoo bowl and I cut hair dry, a technique I learned from John.”
Although Salon X does have (one) shampoo bowl, the emphasis here is on the colour and cuts Delta and her associates (Brooke and Tianna), are known for.
Delta, who studied in Paris under Jacques Dessange.has always approached hair in the manner Michael actually pioneered at Bumble & bumble. Her cuts are looser and more undone than traditional cutting techniques allow for. Not quite freeform – they still have structure – there is a tousled and edgy quality to them that many women (and men) find far more appealing than “helmet hair.”
Delta is the only Colorist with the Board of American Certified Colorists here in Taos, and her colour is heads above the rest. From the best blondes in town, to wild (and yes, disruptive) color melting with rainbow brights, she’s your girl.
Brooke Garver is in demand too for classic cuts and colour as well as intricate updoes for special events and weddings, while Tianna Bolchunos holds down her busy chair as well as Salon X’s serene facial room, where her magic touch performs miracles on a myriad of local faces, including my own. Tianna is currently offering a Springtime Facial Special which you can inquire about by visiting the Salon’s site linked below this post.
The small and very private Salon invites a certain type of relationship with one’s stylist and fellow clients. It’s not unusual to find oneself sipping tea and chatting with another client waiting for colour to process, while Delta cuts yet another head of hair.
Clearly this new model is working as well in Taos as it has in NYC, and thinking back to all the naysayers who mourned the loss of her larger and higher profile space, Delta just laughs.
“We are busier now than ever before,” she notes, “and our clients love it in here.”
It’s easy to see why. Less fuss means easier hair to care for once at home without the need for hot appliances (unless you choose to use them), and mountains of toxic products.
For more on Salon X do visit their site linked below.
All images thanks to Delta Cosette-Bayer and Salon X