With more than 28 hair salons, many of them clustered along the corridor, the city is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to hair. There’s a hair-cutting place for every taste and budget, plus a couple of specialty barber shops where gents are treated to hot towels. Here’s just a tiny sampling of proprietors, to give you an idea of how you’ll be pampered when you go for the instant makeover that’s the joy of a good hair cut.
Alicia Beisel, owner of Avante, just reopened her shop in an expanded space at 61 Broadway, adjacent to her old location. With twice as much space and a lovely renovation, Beisel has expanded her salon to include full spa service, both massage and facial wraps. The two-floor space is stunning, reminiscent of the premises of a five-star hotel, with its shiny wood floors, high ceilings, and architectural details. There’s even a secluded, leafy patio in the back.
Downstairs, there’s two separate rooms, one for hair cutting, the other for manicures and pedicures. Three massage rooms, including a deluxe space with a marble mantel, are on the second floor, which is a great place to get away from it all without leaving the city. Avante also does body waxing, spray tanning, and makeup, with a brisk business in wedding parties.
Beisel has eight employees, including hair cutter—artist might be a better word–Willie Lennon, who trained under Vidal Sassoon. She just hired an extra receptionist and esthetician (skin care specialist) and hopes to hire a female masseuse soon. The business celebrates its 13th anniversary on July 15, by which time Beisel expects to be completely up to speed in the new location. She lived in the Rondout for many years and loves doing business in the area. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” she said. “It’s so quaint, with the river close by. It’s just a beautiful little area.”
Rage, located at 40 North Front Street, has three owners—Joe Perry, Susan Benincasa and Michael McGowan. They’ve been friends for many years and all worked at the same salon before deciding to open their own business 28 years ago. Rage also has three employees.
Besides hair cutting, hair highlighting and coloring is a big part of their business. Rage specializes in high-quality L’Oreal coloring products, and it is only one of two salons in Ulster County featuring the brand-new color line Inoa, according to Perry. He said that the Inoa line is ammonia free. “It doesn’t dry out the hair,” he said. “It’s an oil-based system and makes the hair healthier.” There also is no chemical smell. “We try to keep up in times,” said Perry. “Inoa is the newest thing in 40 years for color.”
The shop also offers Great Lengths, a service offering 100 percent human hair extensions. The natural extensions are bonded to the client’s hair, adding fullness and body to thin hair. Benincasa and McGowan are the two technicians who do the hair bonding.
Next door, the eponymous owner of Mark Ferraro Hair Design, 56 North Front Street, has styled some famous hair: his clients include Chris Stein, the bass player of 1980s band Blondie, Robbie Dupree, and the CEO for Marc Jacobs, along with many other prominent musicians, including some of the members of Mercury Rev, which regularly tours the world. Ferraro, who trained with Paul Mitchell and worked in the city for some years, is sought out by hipsters everywhere for his creative way with hair. He said before it got popular he did the “upside down shag,” inspired by skater Dorothy Hamill. The sky’s the limit when it comes to hair styling, and Ferraro’s ahead of the game.
Ferraro, whose mom was a hairdresser, began cutting his friends’ hair when he was 12 years old, collecting payment in a coffee can. He said when the Dorothy Hamill wedge got popular—he calls it “the upside down shag”—the 17-year-old haircutter figured out how to do it and was booked solid for six months.
He has been cutting hair at his current location for 21 years and said he couldn’t be happier. “I feel like I’m in a village,” he said. “It’s like St. Mark’s Place upstate. I like that city vibe. I’ll do a homeless person off the street who doesn’t have five cents, then a person whose world famous for their art.”
Tangles Hair Salon, at 693 Broadway, is located in the only octagonal building in Kingston, so you can’t miss it. Owner Suzy Marello and an employee cut hair and do manicures and pedicures, earning a following for their reasonable prices. Marello opened the hair salon 11 years ago after she tired of running the Fountain Lounge, a bar owned by her family that had occupied the space for 30 years. (Before that, the building housed an appliance business.)
The building is one of a handful of octagonal structures in New York State, which were built in the 19th century and promoted by phrenologist Orson Fowler, who believed the octagon allowed for better air circulation than the standard quadrangle. “People come from all over the take pictures,” said Marello. She’s open Tuesday through Saturday.
List of Hair Salons along the Kingston Corridor:
Abeel Street Hair Studio 105 Abeel Street 338-2251
Albrecht’s Hair Design 22 Broadway 339-8272
A Razor’s Edge 290 Fair St 331-2806
Ashe 688 Broadway 331-2297
Avante 61 Broadway 340-4786
Caterino’s Hairstyling 209 Hurley Ave 331-4314
Class Act Hair Designers 1 Albany Ave 331-8955
Cutting Corner Hair Salon 223 Boices Lane 382-2400
Cutting Crew Kingston Plaza 339-2981
The Cut Off Point 349 E. Chester 331-9008
Danny Kay’s Unisex Salon 87 St. James St. 338-6853
Dream Weaver’s 34 N. Front St. 338-4552
Fashinista 474 Broadway 340-0672
Finesse 388 Broadway 331-1718
Mark Ferraro Hair Design 56 North Front 331-4547
Greenberry Hair Inc. 275 Fair St. 338-2100
Hair Affair 460 Albany Ave. 339-1111
Leshag Beauty Salon 276 Fair St. 338-0191
Joseph Roberts Hairstylist 159 Green 338-4175
Rage Hair Salon 40 North Front 331-2211
Secrets Hair & Nail Salon 504 Delaware Ave 338-1339
Anna Sembar Hair Designer 197A Boices Ln 336-4795
Majorie Shorter 38 McEntee 338-2413
Stylorama Beauty Salon 62 Guyon St. 331-1485
Tangles Hair Salon 693 Broadway 338-9481
Taylor’s Haircutting 162 Foxhall 338-7887
Trends Hair Design 29 West Strand 340-9100
A Touch of Class 474 Broadway 331-5676
Uptown Elegance 333 Wall Street 338-6595
Village Nails 49 N. Front 339-6323