1. Salon Marc Harris
When your salon is one of 80 along ritzy Newbury Street, you have to step up your game to draw clients in, and that's exactly what Marc Harris has been doing for 17 years. "We approach our business with a strong operational perspective," says Harris, who is co-owner of the Newbury Street salon, along with two other locations. Personnel management, for example, is a top priority, as is education. The team also focuses on editorial work and local fashion shows. "I like to provide creative outlets for my staff, not just opportunities that come from being behind the chair," he says.
As for his clientele, Harris says that although many people may think of Boston as being a conservative place when it comes to trends, he sees lots of upscale, professional people at the salon who want to be associated with what's going on in fashion. "They're image-conscious, and they want quality and value," he says.
In Stock: Marc Harris products, Kérastase, Bumble and bumble
2. Umi Salon
Jeffrey Dauksevich, who trained with world-renowned hairstylists Trevor Sorbie and Anthony Mascolo during his 23 years in the business, opened his Newbury Street Umi Salon almost seven years ago. Dauksevich says that the way he trains his employees is what sets his salon apart. "Our culture is focused on the history and future of hairdressing," he explains, adding that his education program is more like design school. "We teach the history of hair design, which allows us to bring a different perspective to our clients."
The result is a staff that can do things not many others can. For example, many clients seek out a hard-core, geometric Sassoon cut. "We're one of the only salons with a staff who knows how to do that," Dauksevich says. "We provide a design service even though we're hairdressers."
In Stock: Bumble and bumble, Umi products
3. Shimon Salon
Before Shimon Sharon became a hairdresser 20 years ago, he was an engineer in his native Israel. After visiting his sister's hair salon in Concord, MA, he decided to enter the business and attended hairdressing school in Israel. He then traveled throughout Europe, eventually moving his entire family to Newton, a suburb of Boston. Following various stints in local salons, he opened Shimon Salon two years ago.
Shimon Salon's location brings in a diverse group of clients. While it sits across the street from Boston Common, it's also close to Emerson College and Suffolk University, as well as the Boston Opera House. According to Merav Sharon, Shimon's daughter and business partner, the salon caters to everyone from young, conservative professionals to trendy artists and actors.
In Stock: Goldwell, Bumble and bumble
4. Beaucáge Salon & Spa
Owner Dean Boudreau says he employs his salon with people right out of hairdressing school, putting them directly into an apprentice program that lasts between 18 and 24 months. "We groom our team," he explains. Boudreau says he has a very low turnover rate and many employees are now in double-digit years of service. He holds continuing-education classes three Tuesdays a month, teaching not only technique, but also things like how to best communicate with clients.
Boudreau says the salon's clients are quite sophisticated. "They don't want to have a flashing light on top of their heads, but they do want to look their best," he says. "We create colors and shapes with the hair that give them a beautiful, high-quality look—nothing shocking." After all, he adds, it's a challenge for clients to drive into the city, so when somebody makes the effort, it shows that they have faith in the staff.
In Stock: Kérastase, Bumble and bumble, Redken, Environ skincare, Eminence, Dermalogica