Taos is home to a lot of hairdressers.
Not too surprising, hair stylists are creative types and we know this place is a magnet for them. But in a small town like Taos, the sheer number of stylists is surprising, not to mention confusing to visitors and newcomers.
How does one choose the ‘right’ hairdresser without tumbling down a rabbit hole of disaster? Believe me when I tell you. I’ve been there. But for the past several years, except for one or two forays out of my comfort zone, to test the waters (hence the disasters), I keep coming back to Delta at Salon X. In fact, these days I keep out of those waters, and stay safely in Delta’s consistent chair.
Smart hair is hair that has fewer bad hair days, and smart hair requires a smart stylist; one who understands that each head of hair is unique and calls for a personal (not cookie cutter) approach, which means the ability to listen.
Creative types can often be incredibly self involved and listening is not a strong point (after all they are creatives precisely because they dance to the tune of their own beat), but for a hair stylist in particular, the rare ability to not only be able to quickly evaluate the job confronting them, but to really hear their clients hopes, wishes and fears, elevates them above the pack.
Delta listens. She asks questions and follows through. You will leave her chair with what you asked for. If she doesn’t think it will work with your hair, she’ll tell you. And if you need to grow your hair in order to get the cut you want, she’ll tell you that too and not just hack it all off in the meanwhile. Yes that happens.
She’s clearly smarter than most because she sat for the grueling exam that bestowed upon her the honor of being the only member of the American Board of Certified Colorists in Taos. But she’s even smarter because she practices what she preaches, and Salon X is an eco-friendly salon that recycles everything, and literally focuses their spending into responsible brands and services that support a healthy planet!
Green Circle Salons provides the world’s first, and North America’s only, sustainable salon solution to recover and repurpose beauty waste and Salon X has been a member since May, and has a tiny bag of trash at each week’s end, to prove it works.
All these assets combined with sheer talent and her Parisian training at Jacques Dessange, doesn’t hurt either. Nor does her hip, hidden and very low key space.
Hair is a very personal and intimate affair for many women and the feeling of exclusivity (Delta’s chair is notoriously difficult to get into – she’s booked out weeks, even a month in advance), and privacy make Salon X special.
And if you can’t get on Delta’s books, rest assured the other two stylists at Salon X, Brooke (Garver) and Tianna (Bolchunos) are stellar! “They are both so talented,” Delta commented on her co-workers when we talked about the changes in the salon.
Not only has she downsized even more, closing the facial room, she’s zeroed in on what works and what doesn’t. If you’ve followed my blog for some time, you know she’s gone from a full service salon in a large loft like space, to renovating the back room she once used for storage, and moving in lock, stock and barrel.
The large space morphed into a spice shop she helped her mother open, but after a couple of years, Eliza decided to relocate to Albuquerque. The big space she occupied is currently undergoing renovation as well, and will soon house another, very cool business. More on that to come! In fact the entire block is undergoing some changes, but thankfully Brodsky’s Books, remains a mainstay.
Delta loves being in the back of the building in the just right size (not too big or too small) Goldilocks space, hidden from the street, either you know or you don’t; Salon X has found its sweet spot.
“It’s easy with the three of us in here,” she told me. “We are all busy, but we don’t get in one another’s hair.” Pun I think, intended. “And we all have different strengths so we offer something for everyone,”
“I think for classic cuts and updoes, there is no one better than Brooke in town, and Tianna turns out some of the most creative cuts around.” If you are planning a destination wedding in Taos, Brooke is your girl. Salon X offers makeup for weddings and events as well.
When I asked her if she thought there was enough business in Taos to support all the hairdressers working here, she didn’t hesitate. “Oh sure,” she responded. “Look everyone wants something different and there are a lot of talented stylists here. For example if you want precision you don’t come to me.” She laughed. “There are hairdressers here who do that – I’m all about slightly undone, a little bit messy hair.” That’s that Parisian flair that keeps me in her chair!
“For me it’s all about working with the hair’s texture and growth patterns to create movement and volume.” She explained. “I use color to enhance the looks I create in both subtle and bold ways.”
“That’s my thing.” She exclaimed. “And I like to do it all.” And she’s great at it. Balayage, ombre, shocking pink (or blue) accents to plain old highlights and lowlights, you name it, she’s as good as it gets.
Right now it’s getting super busy at the salon. “It’s that time of year,” Delta noted. “The Holidays are coming up and so is party season. People like to refresh their look as the seasons change, and a new cut and color is an easy way to up your style game.”
“And a lot cheaper and environmentally friendly than going out and buying a bunch of new clothes.” She added thoughtfully.
“Oh and we do use low ammonia color too.” She reminded me.
Creative and smart. That’s the stylist I want. Don’t you?
For more on Salon X and all the services they offer, please visit their site linked below.
All images thanks to Delta Bayer