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Notorious For Hair

Hair Styles So Good, It's Almost a Crime

"No-no-notorious!" Duran Duran's circa 1986 hit has been playing on a constant loop in my head for weeks, hyping me up for my visit to the salon Notorious For Hair.

Located in what's practically the dead center of the heart of the Castro, Notorious For Hair has been in business for almost 20 years. Notorious is a full-service salon and will take care of your appearance literally from head to toe. Everyday, clients ranging from drag queens to librarians pass through the red door and climb the stairs to the second floor location to have their hair and skin shaped to perfection.

In a city where almost everyone knows a stylist, finding the right one for you can be difficult. Notorious' manager and stylist Noel Shabazian said selecting one can be tougher than choosing a best friend. You've got to be able to trust them to make you look good.

Notorious For Hair has an upbeat and relaxed atmosphere. Though the space is relatively small, the cozy size of the room makes it easy for patrons and stylists to hear each other over the whirring of the hair dryers. It's likely you'll be included in their ongoing conversation, making you feel at home right away. The red of the front door is echoed in the trim of the windows and the workstations in the stylists' work area. Hanging plants and a few pieces of colorful art accent the room.

Though the ambiance lends itself to comfortable socializing, don't let the employees' light-hearted banter and friendly demeanor fool you. They're serious stylists, with over 30 years of combined experience, displaying skills sharpened at local salons such as Maiden Lane Salon, Peter Thomas Hair Design, Glama Rama and BarberElla.

The cost of a haircut starts at $38.00 and includes consultation, shampoo, conditioning, cut and style. As a bonus, first-timers receive a discount of $10.00. Making sure that no one leaves with a style that's not right for his or her hair type, stylists, such as assistant manager Heather Jordan, take time to ask clients questions about their hair needs and the amount of time one can afford or is willing to take to make their coifs look their best.

Other hair services include extensions in both natural and wild styles and colors ($200.00 and up for head), dreads and dread maintenance (prices calculated after consultation), wig styling ($38.00 and up), and creative coloring (bright bold blues, reds, etc. for $60.00 and up).

Within Notorious' location is Prima Facie Skincare Salon. If you'd like to freshen up the skin you're in, aestheticians at Prima Facie provide facials with scrumptious sounding names such as the Deep Pore Cranberry Treatment for $75.00, the Cherry Turnover Mini Peel for $45.00 and the Pumpkin Peel for $60.00. If it's time to do a little "manscaping," you can have your eyebrows expertly arched for $20.00, your back and shoulders waxed clean for $50.00, or the "Boyzillian" for $70.00 and up. Lash and brow tinting is also offered for $33.00. If you'd like to wind down after all that primping, a certified masseuse provides massages ($60.00 for 60 minutes).

If you are looking for a change and you want expert service in an attitude-free zone for a great price, it would be criminal not to check out Notorious. To steal another lyric from Simon Le Bon, "Yeah! that's why I'll do it again."