In the Business of Haircuts And Nurturing Self-Confidence at Scott J. Aveda Salon

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Marlo Beecher and Kal Morrison. Photos by Tyler Koslow.

Brooklyn Heights is a-changing–and so has the interior at the Scott J. Aveda Salon on Montague Street. The salon just went through another round of renovations, says stylist Marlo Beecher in between haircuts. “It’s such a beautiful setting here in Brooklyn,” she says. “It’s a more city-like neighborhood–it’s almost like the city, but it’s Brooklyn. [The renovations] reflects us.” Much like the everchanging neighborhood: “Now I’m seeing that I’m getting a completely new group of people, young families just moving in, 20-year olds just moving to Brooklyn,” she says. “I like being here” at Scott J.

And more than a handful of friends call Beecher their go-to stylist, like tattoo artist Kal Morrison, who works at Three Kings Studio. The two are Florida natives and found each other in the same circle of friends in the Big Apple. “It’s funny to see how things have progressed,” Beecher says while waiting for Morrison to show up for a trim. “I didn’t even know him back home, but we have friends in common, and it’s like, weird how you go someplace and you end up here, and you’re all in a group now. Like ‘oh, this is who we roll with now?’ … I guess now that we all live in Brooklyn, we’re like our own community.

“Gotta keep those Florida people close, man!” she says with a small giggle.

It’s easy to see how the two friends enjoy each other, in and out of a salon chair. “The experience is always great, comfortable, and swift,” Morrison say. “It’s hard to find people to trust to do things the way you want with stuff. She is always great about doing what you ask but also adding her professional input.”

Silly as it may sound, having that one commonality is what helps Beecher connect with her clients. “You can go anywhere for a haircut,” she says. “There are so many places to go in Brooklyn and New York City, it’s almost overwhelming. It can be [a connection] as stupid as, we both went to school in Tallahassee. It’s just so simple, that one connection–it’s like ‘oh, I can have a little trust in you.'”

Being a heavily tattooed person also helps, she says, to connect with a new clientele. “You can say ‘OK, this is our norm … this is comforting to me,'” she says. “You have to do that for everyone. You can give them a good haircut, but giving them that personal connection for what you’re doing for them, and [that] understanding and that nurturing aspect–it’s my way of saying ‘it is my pleasure to do this for you, thanks for sitting in my chair.'”

Morrison sees the commonalities between his job and Beecher’s job. “I think the two are pretty similar in that you are changing someone’s appearance, whether it be a tattoo forever or a haircut or style until it grows out or changes,” he says. “I think sometimes people are more concerned with a nice haircut. I think the hours are very similar and dealing with every different walk of life and having a pretty major impact on someone’s self confidence.”

Beecher keeps Morrison’s locks long and a bit scraggly, as is the norm with a lot of her clients. “They don’t want to be too clean-cut,” she says. “I see guys growing their hair out, I see girls chopping it off or keeping it one length. It’s really like, kind of just more natural. … Everyone wants to be natural and organic, kind of how they eat. It reflects in their hair–it’s weird.”

Still, that’s what keeps Beecher excited to be at Scott J. Salon and in Brooklyn Heights, a far cry from her home in Bed-Stuy. “Honestly, it’s special that I have so many different types of people that sit in my chair– all ages, all generations. Here I can have people like Kal, then a lawyer that works at the courthouse, then a dude that works in FiDi, all in one day. It’s awesome. It helps me stay well-rounded too, not just doing a specific haircut all the time. It keeps the balance.”

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Scott J. Aveda Salon, 119 Montague Street; Brooklyn Heights

Previously: Bushwick’s Pickthorn Salon, a Hair and Musical Haven
Brooklyn’s Best Salons

with reporting by Tyler Koslow

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