New Yorkers are known as some of the most stylish people on the planet and that’s no coincidence. Fifth Avenue in New York City is synonymous with exclusive stores and services only available to the rich and the famous, but one entrepreneur was determined to change that. Alonso Salguero, the owner of Salon Ziba, believes that everyone should have access to quality hair care and styling. When he couldn’t find a hair salon that was reasonably priced and offered the same services as high-end salons, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
Salguero has never had a career as a hairstylist, but in the late 1980s he noticed a considerable gap in the hair salon industry.
“At that time you only had high-end Madison Avenue salons and then you had your barber shops and low-end hair salons, so there was a niche for professional salons with talented stylists that would be sort of midrange in terms of price,” Salguero explains.
Salguero didn’t have any experience as a hairstylist, so he teamed up with two stylists to create Salon Ziba before buying them out and becoming the sole owner.
“We opened in 1989 and followed what we called a quick-service concept, meaning no appointments were given. We wanted to make an effort to bring professional services with highly talented stylists at a not-so-expensive price point.”
While the salon only offered a handful of services when it first opened, Salguero says its quick-service concept helped it to become one of the first salons to introduce the balayage technique to New York City.
“When I first opened Salon Ziba, I knew that we had to deliver very professional services but within a specific time frame. During the first few years of Salon Ziba, if you were to walk in and request foils we would deny it because the only technique we offered was balayage,” Salguero says.
Because Salguero creates Salon Ziba with the purpose of providing high-end services at a midrange price, the location of the salon was of the utmost importance. Salguero wanted to be in New York City and needed a location that would bring in a lot of foot traffic. In 1989, the entrepreneur opened up Salon Ziba on 57th Street and 7th Avenue before relocating to its current home on between 5th and 6th Avenues.
“Our 57th Street location has a very luxurious environment. What we did was open it up to make it bright and choose white-on-white decor to really create a bright location. It is very important for our colorists to have a bright location. We built the salon around the needs of the stylists and colorists,” Salguero says.
After over two decades of success, Salguero decided it was time to expand and opened up a second location in Greenwich Village. While the second location is much smaller than the original, it remains true to the brand with its high ceilings and bright white walls.
While Salon Ziba began as a quick service salon, over the years it’s expanded to offer a full range of services. The salon offers blowouts ($50 to $70), men’s haircuts ($50 to $80), women’s haircuts ($75 to $120), and wedding day hair ($200).
Salon Ziba still offers the quick service balayage highlights ($140 to $175) that made them a beauty industry staple. Additionally, the salon offers a full range of color services including single-process color ($85 to $95), double process bleach ($135), gloss-toner ($75 to $85), and full head highlights ($195 to $300).
While clients flock to the salon for stunning haircuts, styles, and colors, Salguero says the services they offer and their approach to hair goes much deeper than just how it looks.
“I think the most important thing for potential clients to know is that we definitely care about your hair and we think hair care starts at the scalp. We want to address any concerns you have about your scalp and hair by bringing in a whole range of treatments clients can choose from,” he explains.
The salon offers specialized services to help treat a range of hair and scalp issues including trichotillomania, a mental health disorder in which people feel the urge to pull their hair out. Many people suffering from trichotillomania avoid or have had embarrassing experiences at hair salons. Stylist Sheila Chung joined the Salon Ziba team a few years ago, bringing along with her years of experience working with trichotillomania clients. At Salon Ziba, Chung meets with her clients in a private room for a private and relaxing experience.
Much like the salon services, Salguero stocks his salon with high-end hair care products.
“We are strictly a Kérastase, Shu Uemura, Oribe, and Aveda salon,” Salguero explains. “We developed our own small line that is tested by our stylists and we don’t release anything on the floor until it has been highly approved by our professionals.”
Salon Ziba is located at 50 West 57th Street and 485 6th Avenue, New York. To book an appointment at the 57th street location, call 212-767-0577. To book an appointment at the Greenwich Village location call 646-559-8723. You can also book online by visiting www.salonziba.com. Follow the salon on Instagram and Facebook for more information.