That’s right Boston hijabis, no more getting a trim from your sister’s best friend’s mom in their basement as the dad and brothers have lunch upstairs. No more sitting in the break room for your cut. No more waiting months before you can find a decent place to get your hair fixed without worrying about whether a male client might walk in just as you’re taking off your hijab.
Enter Faron Salon. A quick walk from the Porter Square T stop, the salon is modern and vibrant with tasteful splashes of red in the chic furniture. Cambodian beauty Master Stylist Faron has over 20 years of experience in the industry. The plight of hijabi women having difficulty finding a hair salon was brought to her attention by her Egyptian husband’s acquaintances and by the Harvard Muslim community she befriended.
Faron felt a calling to provide her services for these women so they wouldn’t have to resort to being hidden away in the back rooms. She wanted to allow them to feel secure. “It’s not something to be ashamed of,” she said of wearing the hijab. “It’s something to embrace. To respect.”
The answer to this calling was Women’s Day Sundays. When the salon was previously located in Harvard Square, Faron took appointments on Sundays for women who wear the Islamic head covering or desired privacy from the public for their hair cut. She blocked the windows and ensured that none of her male staff was in attendance. She advertised to the Harvard Muslim community and got a pleasing response. However, Sundays are still Sundays and both the clients and Faron had family duties. Plus, she said, “I didn’t want these women to be limited to just Sundays. I wanted them to have the option of coming in anytime and day at their convenience like the rest of my clients.”
When Faron decided to move her business to Porter Square, she realized that this was the perfect opportunity to convert her ideas into reality. As designs for the new salon were underway, she included a room in the back to be outfitted like a mini-salon, complete with wash basin, full-length mirror, bamboo shoots and candles for decor, and hangers for coats and clothing. The door is even marked “Private.” Faron said she wanted to give it a “comfortable” feeling and provide a warmth to show that this room was indeed part of the salon and not the odd back storage room.
Don’t worry. You’re going to love it!
I was recently able to experience the Faron Salon magic for myself. Usually, I get my hair done by a friend in Richmond when I happen to be in town. She does a great job, but at the end of the day, her house isn’t a salon and every once in a while, a girl and her hair crave pampering. Especially if said hair is constantly covered. So I began to search for “women’s only salons” in Boston, but ran into the same problem as always: While these salons have mostly female clientele, there will be the occasional male client or male stylists. And how awkward is it to call up and ask, “Hey, so when I make an appointment with you, could you not book any dudes at the same time?” And as a side note add, “I promise I’m not a crazy man-hater, but they can’t see my hair so please have that one hour of your appointments revolve solely around me.”
I began to ask my friends and one said she had heard of a salon doing a women’s day. After a few inquires, she emailed me the information. As any Google addict would do, I looked up “Faron Salon.” It seemed reasonable and I really, really need to see a stylist before my hair got so bad that I began to wear my hijab inside the apartment before my roommate. I took the plunge and made the call.
I must say, it’s one of the best plunges I went for. I roped in my friend Becca to join me so we could have a “salon date” (she could experience the non-hijabi salon experience) while I was escorted to the hijabi-friendly room. As soon as I met Faron, I realized that she was passionate, not just about hair, but about life. She introduced herself and I expressed my gratitude for creating such an accommodating atmosphere specifically for covering Muslim women. I’m not a salon expert, but from what I do know, I am not aware of any other stylist, Muslim or otherwise, who has consciously created a private mini-salon room specifically for hijabis.
We began with Faron asking me, “So tell me about your hair.” I replied that it had been an embarrassing amount of time since my last proper trim and to beware of split ends and dry strands. Then I explained that the past year consisted of much traveling and events and moving and family responsibilities that overshadowed any hair care needs along with the inability to actually find someone to take care of it.
She then asked what it was I was looking for. “Something different,” I said. I usually prefer long layers or when my hair reaches a certain length, go in for the big chop. It was high time for the latter option, but it’s been tried and done. Faron listened attentively and we discussed options. I offered the master stylist free reign, so long as I could still put my hair up and I didn’t end up with bangs.
“Your face is like a canvas to me, your hair the paint I use to create a new picture,” Faron said while she snipped away. “Don’t worry. You’re going to love it!”
If I could, I would post the selfie I took after she was completely done. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a huge genuine grin of ecstatic surprise as I did when my hair was blow dried and given a bit of style. New picture indeed! Truth be told, I was half-afraid I’d look like a teenager as I tend to when I end up choosing the shorter styles. But no, this new style is age-appropriate, light, and so much fun!
Becca was pleasantly stunned to see my after-self and agreed that Faron did an excellent job. All in all, I am glad to say that I am more than satisfied with this place. Everyone was so friendly and Faron truly provides individualized care to her clients. Her energetic personality and passion for the art along with her generous spirit to the hijabis-in-hair-care-need has sealed the deal for me. Even if I move away from Boston, I will have to set aside airfare to return just for Faron Salon.
On a final note, one might wonder why a girl who covers her hair from the world is excited about a new haircut that can’t be showed off to the world. That’s one of the perks of a great new style, right? Make the world jealous of its awesomeness. But for me, it’s not about the flaunt-quality to strangers. It’s about renewed self-confidence and the feeling of awesomeness that manifests itself outwardly in the form of a perpetual smile. And technically, I do get to share my joy of a great look with the world: My world of my family and friends. It’s absolutely sufficient for me.
Faron Salon, Porter Square 1784 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140 617-354-3313 Website: www.faronsalon.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/faronsalon Faron Salon Hijabi services are available Mon-Sat with Faron or Shea by appointment only. New clients receive 15% off. Buy 1 product, get the 2nd 50% off.