Depending on who you talk to, Newbury Street is either an over-crowded tourist trap of generic commercialization or a bastion of high-end culture and style. If you ask us, the truth is somewhere in-between. On a sunny day, strolling the boutique, restaurant and salon-packed stretch beats a trip to the mall hands-down and, of late, two new additions to the latter group have upped that ante.
Walk into most salons on a Saturday morning and you're aurally assaulted with hangover-aggravating club beats. Not so at newly opened SalonCapri, where a live jazz group alternates between familiar standards and improvisation, throwing out mellow grooves for the salon’s Saturday jazz brunch. That's right, this salon offers brunch. With its clean white-on-white design, warmed by rustic reclaimed upstate New York barn wood, SalonCapri's ambience is calm and cool. Their continental brunch spread includes pastries, Mimosas, and cappuccinos. It’s salon owner Nick Penna, Jr.’s way of saying hello to his new neighborhood. “The jazz brunch is a fun way to introduce us to the city,” Penna says. “We’ll throw the windows open and people will hear the music and hopefully notice us.” (Complimentary jazz brunch with pre-booked hair appointments: Saturdays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. 11 Newbury St., 2nd Floor. 617-236-0020. saloncapri.com)
Down the street at Camille Albane, the stateside flagship of the Paris mainstay,“mixologists” literally shake up a personalized shampoo, on the spot,. The expert colorists at this airy, monochromatic salon mix up custom products to protect and serve a client's individual hair color, and even tweak it slightly. If, for example, your blond is looking a bit rusty, they'll create a shampoo to remove the brassy tones. Or, if one of the mixologists thinks your 'do could benefit from an emphasis on your red tones, they'll shake up a bespoke shampoo that would make Jessica Rabbit envious. It's all part of a day's work for creative director Nicolas Tisler — he’s worked his magic on the tresses of Robin Wright, Bridget Fonda, and Jack Nicholson, to name a few (though we suspect the latter didn’t take long) — who is over from Paris for a few months to oversee the salon's U.S. launch. In keeping with the salon's European roots, clients can also get a real French manicure while they're in for a color consultation. (252 Newbury St. 617-379-3220. camillealbane.com/en)
Newbury Street isn't the only area to welcome new hair specialists. Over in Chestnut Hill, Be Styled Blowdry Lounge does one thing and one thing only: treat customers to top-notch, expert blow-outs. They know their stuff, and offer different blow-outs depending on hair length, texture and style. Plus, they offer free mimosas, candy and yogurt-coated pretzels in goodie bags to go, and chick flicks to watch while you're being styled. Plus, they're bring two new locations to the 'burbs this summer! Visit their website for details.
(49 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill. 617-734-4000. bestyled.com)