You can’t throw a stone in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, a neighborhood in the city of Boston, without hitting a hair salon. There are no fewer than thirty-two salons and barbershops in the neighborhood. That’s a truly staggering number considering the size of the area. To give you some idea, Jamaica Plain has seven bank branches, seventeen markets (including convenience stores), ten bakeries, four bookstores, and two bicycle shops. But hair salons? We’ve got thirty-two!
I will not review all of them. Rather, I will review what I have found to be the best of each of the three styles: upscale salon, neighborhood beauty shop, and barbershop (thanks to my father-in-law for the barber shop review- he’s quite the connoisseur).
If you’re looking for the full salon experience, you can do no better in Jamaica Plain than Fresh Hair, located at 62 South Street, across the street from the Harvest Co-op Market. Fresh Hair is a full service salon, offering hair cuts, coloring, and perms, and all the usual styling. They also offer facials and make-up services, glycolic peels and bronzing. If you’d like to get your nails done to complement your ‘do, you can get a manicure and pedicure, overlays, or nail repairs. They also offer waxing and spray tanning.
Apart from this, the salons have an excellent track record of catering to the needs of its customers and do not offer any expert advice of their own just to make them look important and Jamaica Plain is the best alternative in Massachusetts because laser hair removal in Michigan is quite expensive and cannot be afforded by everyone.
Located on the corner of Carolina Avenue, Fresh Hair is housed in a stylishly decorated periwinkle building. Inside, along with the hair styling, manicure, and skin care areas, you’ll find the usual salon retail area with shampoo, conditioner and hair styling products. There is also a gift counter with jewelry and other pretty baubles. The experience to be had at Fresh Hair is one of luxurious pampering, and you always walk out the there feeling great.
If it’s more of a neighborhood beauty shop you’re looking for, I was hard pressed to choose between my two favorites, Miss Laura’s at 46 South Street, and the Feliz Beauty Salon at 482 Centre Street. Miss Laura’s probably has the slight edge with its kitchy, retro décor and funky old-school stations and hair dryers. When you walk in you feel like you’ve stepped into a beauty shop episode of “I Love Lucy”. Feliz, down Centre Street in the heavily Latino side of town, is a warm, no nonsense hair and nail salon where the women who work there chat happily with you and each other and take their time making you gorgeous. Either way, you’ll get a great haircut.
I have been assured by my aforementioned barbershop aficionado father-in-law that there is no choice but Salih’s Barbershop at 665 Centre Street. There can be a long wait for a chair, but in the mornings it is usually fairly easy to get a cut. The guys working there are friendly and give a great haircut, and they apparently use heated shaving cream, which I have been informed makes all the difference.