It’s fun. It’s unique. It’s eclectic. It’s a tribute to Rock-N-Roll, where music meets design and fashion and big hair and makeup. It’s Hair-O-Smith in NE Mpls, off Marshall Ave, just down the street from Psycho Suzi’s
As I walk into Hair-O-Smith I am immediately inspired. I am greeted by rock-n-roll legends Motley Crue, Ratt, Aerosmith, Van Halen, and Styx ( that’s just a taste) displayed on concert posters covering every inch of wall space. It’s a throwback to my past, creating a sense of nostalgia reminding me what I loved about discovering my life and love for music and culture. Here, they exercise the “Not too cool for school” rule with lip pillows, vinyl records, neon lights, sleek couches, and comfy chairs. It’s smart, sexy and totally a taste of what the owners are like.
Steph and Leisa are co-owners of this little piece of salon heaven. Their name was trademarked in 2001, but it didn’t become brick and mortar until four years ago, moving to its current location just last year. It is a place where individuals can be themselves. Where everyone is welcome, whether you are a suburban mom or urban environmentalist. Where haircuts and styles encompass basic and simple to complete creative freedom. The staff greets you warmly and openly offering you a beverage while you wait. They show great attention to each customer, creating high end elite customer service, without all of the elite pretentious bullshit. Being a collection of women who appear to have found their own unique path, everyone who comes through their doors instantly feels at ease knowing they have found a place that is creative, fun and talented.
Hair-O-Smith specializes in wigs and extensions while also creating rich colors and skillful cuts for every hair type. (Trust me when I say, they are gentle and will deliver professional cuts and color, whether that means simple or risky. They are true pros.) They are currently working on wigs for two productions at the Old Log Theater; Cinderella and The Wedding Singer. Theater has always been a great love of Steph’s and she is still very involved, but their wig work really started when she started outfitting the members of the rock-n-roll tribute band, Hairball. Since then, Hair-O-Smith has done hair and wigs for dozens of local favorites including Pop Rocks and Kiss Army.
The style of this charismatic duo shows not only in their outfits and salon decor, but also in their business practices. When chatting with Steph during my haircut, she is very candid in her passion about “wanting to have designed a studio that reflected her love and passion, but also where everyone feels welcome.”
I asked Steph what the future plans for Hair-O-Smith were, and she was excited to share that they would love to open a second salon, either in Phoenix or Miami. Until that can happen, they are actively pursuing doing more on site location gigs. They love prepping bands for concerts, doing hair, makeup and wigs.
If you know anything about Gatherhaus, you know that one thing we love is getting the opportunity to meet folks who have carved out their own dream, their own life, their own idea and made it work. This salon is clearly an expression of these two fabulous people who found a way to bring together their love of theater, music and hair.
If you are in the Twin Cities area and are looking for a fun, casual professional place to get your hair done, you must check these gals out! I think you’ll love them! I know I do.