Color Connoisseur




Haircuts aren't on the menu at Robert James Color, a new hair studio in San Francisco's Nob Hill neighborhood devoted to haircolor, hair and scalp treatments and all-natural extensions, which are made from human hair and affixed to existing hair with an organic resin bond.


"I've always dreamed of focusing a business on the art of haircolor," says owner Robert James Clayborn, who began his career as a colorist in 1996 in Beverly Hills, CA, where he worked with celebrities Gwen Stefani and Carmen Electra, and was co-owner of the salon Oud in San Francisco before opening Robert James Color.

The 600-square-foot playfully modern space includes such eye-catching elements as pop-themed art, vintage Eames chairs and a thriving EcoSphere—a self-contained, self-sustaining ecosystem enclosed in glass. A 100-percent recycled cardboard wall by MIO Culture separates the salon's color treatment chairs from the shampoo area.

According to Clayborn, the best thing about running a smaller, boutique-style hair studio is that he is able to provide his primarily upscale clientele with the personalized attention he says is lacking in larger salons. "Specializing has allowed me to make each person feel like an individual as opposed to just another slot in my day." —L.A.