Biyoshi Hair Salon, a unique and funky addition to Coolidge Corner, may be new to Brookline but it's no stranger to the Boston area.
But after thriving for ten years in its original location on Commonwealth Avenue in Allston, owner Michelle Blain decided it was time for Biyoshi to say "good bye" to the B line and "hello" to the C line.
"The timing was right," Blain said. "We wanted to grow a little more and then I found our current space. Coolidge Corner is a great location and I love being beside the two boutiques [Eva B. Consignment and Vintage Jewelry and Modern Boutique.] In Allston, being on Comm. Ave. was great, but there weren't any other businesses around me and around really wanted to be more commercially located."
Blain, who has also worked for international salon chains like Tony&Guy and L'Oreal, brings a fresh take on color and cut. Biyoshi offers the latest in cutting, coloring, retexturizing and dreadlocks, and the staff is trained in the Sahag technique of drycutting, in which the hair is cut while dry in order to achieve a style that is truer to the client's hair and its unique whims.
Whatever salon service is requested, Blain said her staff will work with the client to create a fashionable look that works for the individual. But the extra attention comes at a price: Biyoshi haircuts start at $50.
"Even though someone might say 'do anything' and try to give a stylist freedom, the client still has a feel for what they want," said Blain. "We take into account the shape of their face, what they do for a living, how much time they're willing to spend styling their hair. A stylist needs to listen to the client."
With white walls, soft lighting, huge mirrors, ambient music playing and a spa-like feng shui to the sink area, one might assume that Biyoshi caters towards the female population. But a quick look at the Craftsman tool chests, acting as styling stations, will change your mind.
"I worked and taught for American Crew," Blain explained. "And in the business classes, we used to tell people how important it was to make your salon male-friendly. A lot of males don't want to go to a salon—they envision froufy perms. When Biyoshi first opened, I felt that the salon supplies were our tools and we needed tool boxes. I said to my husband who is a contractor, 'I need Craftsmans.' He thought I was joking, but I knew that it would appeal to guys. And a lot of male clients comment on them."
In addition to its commercial business, Biyoshi is also the American Cancer Society's largest wig-bank, providing free wigs to cancer patients. Emily Oliveira, a stylist at Biyoshi, heads the effort for the salon.
"If anyone with cancer is interested in a free wig, they can come in and get one," said Blain. "It's a completely free service. The American Cancer Society donates many of the wigs, but a lot of times our clients who have been healed and have grown their hair back after fighting cancer also donate wigs to us."