Neither Here Nor There

The right fit…. a difficult thing to find whether you’re looking for a doctor, a dentist or a hair stylist. When you move to a new place, there is a whole slew of service professionals you need to help you feel connected and settled in.

Here at Hair By Joey Salon Seattle, I consider myself blessed to be constantly meeting new people from all over the country.  Seattle is a magnet city and a transient place as well.  People are drawn into the bustle and the beauty of the Northwest… some fall in love (with the city or their soul mate 🙂 and never leave; others finish school or internships, contract jobs or relationships and move on.  It’s a blessing and a curse as a Seattle hair stylist.  For every new person I have the pleasure of getting to know as a client I have another long time favorite client who’s moving on to Chicago, San Francisco, Colorado or who knows where.  Whether you’re from here,  just moved here, you’re visiting or you’re here for a bit and moving on soon you’re after one thing when it comes to getting your hair taken care of…. a good fit.  How do you find that?  People find me all sorts of ways… the internet, friends, someone with cute hair in the grocery line.  Some people like variety and excitement when it comes to a salon experience while others are looking more for consistency and predictability.    What do you like?  What kind of hair experience leaves you feeling most relaxed and refreshed?  

I’ve found most salons fall into one of three categories…. 

First, you’ve got your trendy, upscale Salons.  Fancy, expensive, noisy, high energy Meccas for people looking for edgy looks, fun conversation and a high fashion atmosphere.  These places are often staffed with dozens of busy ultra hip stylists, support people, front desk people, technicians and assistants pushing the coolest, hippest and newest cuts, colors and products on the market.  They’ve got high energy music, coffee bars, different departments and a lot going on.  Retail is everywhere…. stacked up in dazzling, multicolored, eye catching displays from floor to ceiling.   If you call one of these places you’re likely to be paired with a well trained newer stylist who’s working on building their clientele.  From what my clients tell me, it can be an exciting experience but can also be a little hit or miss.  You’ll seldom get the same person doing your cut and color and unless you go out of your way to pre-book, you’re unlikely to get the same stylist twice.  The big places can have a lot of turnover and if your stylist leaves….good luck on getting any information as to their whereabouts.   These places offer some of the best education around to young stylists fresh out of school which is great;  just remember,  when you’re shooting for great hair, it comes down to experience.  Seasoned stylists at high end salons are booked and expensive (often charging between $80 and $150 for the haircut alone.)  Gene Juarez ( and Seven ( are two big Seattle hair salons in this category and I’ve seen some great work and stylists come out of them.

Second, you’ve got your budget shops, your barber shops and your grandma’s beauty shop type places.  Easy to find and a great bet for that spur of the moment walk-in client, these types of salons tend to be low key, inexpensive and fast.  Many times, folks who have English as a second language find a good home in these types of salons and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Honestly, when I’m not cutting my own hair I like to swing into a budget place to get my hair cut.  I’m not much for conversation when I’m in the chair so the language thing isn’t a big deal and I’ve found by and large you can get a clean, fast, basic cut at a budget shop.  Not surprisingly, low budget places tend to be light on atmosphere, not super pampering and rather impersonal.  Most are clean and decent.   The staff is usually a mixed bag of fresh beauty school recruits, foreign stylists and part timers who just aren’t into all the fancy, regimented high end stuff.  Stylists are used to just working with whoever walks in so they’re less motivated to build a lasting connection with a new client.   Retail is promoted pretty strongly (as the owners depend on product sales to make up for their small profit margins) and the product is usually a little lower end (and therefore less expensive) than what you find in the fancier shops.  If you’re looking for decent cuts on a budget or just want a cheap kids cut or two these places are great.  For a start, check out or

Lastly, you have your boutique salons.  These places are more independent, far smaller and a little less organized than the corporate chop shops.  They vary widely from very chic to the super quirky.  Like great indie coffee shops these salons can come with a lot of attitude or a lot of love depending on your service person.  Many great stylists end up making their way to one of these places after doing their time on the corporate production line.  You’ll find these little shops downtown and in cool neighborhoods all over Seattle.  They can be loud (with 5-10 stylists in a smaller space) and busy but usually have a little more laid back atmosphere than the mega salons.  Boutique salons tend have a more personal touch and less focus on retail sales than the upscale places or the budget beauty shops.  These stylists often have a greater degree of autonomy and investment and work hard to build and retain a regular clientele.  If you like a hipster downtown vibe or want a place with a great fashion forward focus on the 20-something crowd, you may like Vain,  Derby or Salon Blast

So where does Hair By Joey fit in and why am I telling you about the competition? Well… like I said at the beginning of this blog post I believe finding the right fit is the most important thing when it comes to finding the right hairstylist or hair colorist in Seattle for you.  HBJ isn’t the right fit for everyone and (as the guy running the show here) I’d much rather have you find a place that’s right for you than come see me if I’m not what you’re looking for.

HBJ is neither here… nor there.  I’m a one man show.  I love what I do with all my heart.  I’ve got over 20,000 hours and nearly 20 years behind the chair doing haircuts and colors in Seattle.  Our private hair studio offers the upscale feel of a high-end salon/spa combined with the more relaxed atmosphere of a mellow boutique shop.  It’s a place of private, quiet retreat… when you’re here, you’re usually the only client in the shop.  Here you can chat the whole time, or just relax and not say a word.  You can choose the music you’re in the mood for and even relax in a state-of-the-art massage chair while your color processes.  I’m a perfectionist so I always check in with clients the week after to make sure they love their hair and back everything I do and every product I sell with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

As a stylist I spend most of my time on the consultation, the scalp massage and the finish.  When it comes down to the actual cutting and coloring, I’m very fast. Some first timers are a little startled at my speed but find when it’s coupled with gentle, accurate work it can be a nice benefit.  At this point in my career, I work on instinct more than anything else.  I cut and color to the shape of the head, the structure of the face and texture of the hair.  I can do the finest of fine trims if you’re trying to grow your hair out and, if you’re looking for a change, I’m not afraid to do big, bold chops; even on thick or curly hair because my experience tells me how the hair will turn out before the scissors close.  Because of low overhead (I don’t have to split the income with the owner) I’m able to keep my prices at the mid range for a senior stylist and even offer express (insert link to express services here alex) cuts and colors as an option for clients who are looking for a budget price but really love the attention, care and expertise of a seasoned pro.  I carry the best hair products on the planet but I never push them.   If you like natural, nuanced, classic hair and cuts and colors that are easy to style and keep up,  if you like a quiet personalized atmosphere and prefer consistency to novelty,  if you’re looking for YOUR stylist (not just another random hairperson) HBJ might be the perfect fit for you.

Call now for your free consultation 206-228-5639

Or book online at

Scroll to Top