If you’ve ever wondered what the lovechild of urban minimalism and casual luxury would look like, we present to you, BLACC+BLOND.
Having begun his career at 18, salon owner, Anil Salhan has curated a concrete skill set and loyal client base. After opening his first salon in 2018 and absorbing its success that followed suit, Anil signed the lease to BLACC+BLOND 2.0 exactly one year later.
His new salon took strong influence from the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, wanting to embrace natural tones and textures – seeing the beauty in imperfections. “We have to make room for imperfections and mistakes in life, which I wanted to empower in the salon,” says Anil.
The leading illustration of this is their main wall, comprised of raw plaster.
“At first people would come in and ask if the place was finished, now it’s our unique talking point,” Anil explains. The undone nature of this material highlights how vulnerability can be beautiful, Anil wanted his clients to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings and emotions.
BLACC+BLOND is a true haven where clients can be themselves, express t heir emotions, and leave with fabulous hair.
Name: BLACC+BLOND Address: 17 Lionel Street, B3 1AQ, Birmingham Owner: Anil Salhan Size: 900sqft How long have you been in the premises: Since 2019 How many staff: 2 Budget: £20,000
Similarly, the wash area hosts two backwashes, both tucked away in a private and intimate space, so the client can sit back and relax in peace.
The space boasts five styling stations, each with a barber chair – as 50% of their client base are men, they needed the versatility to do beard services. “Initially we were worried that women wouldn’t like them, but they actually prefer them,” says Anil. Alongside their genderneutral price list, it’s clear that Anil has created a fluid, inclusive space that welcomes each and every.
Anil’s design had a heavy emphasis on using local businesses – every contractor was sourced locally, as well as shop fittings and showerheads that were made nearby.
Another prime focus of theirs is on sustainability, reflected not only in the products they stock such as Attirecare and Form Nutrition, but also in their clientele –a grouping of individuals that appreciate their efforts in sustainability and, too, want to make the world a better place.
For Anil, the crowning stroke of the salon is the reception area: “I love that this is a big open space.
I say: open space, open mind!”
The area is complete with a large coffee table and fine reading material in high-end fashion, frosted with chairs in all different textures – foregrounding their Japanese aesthetic as soon as the client enters the salon. BLACC+BLOND is a true haven where clients can be themselves, express their emotions, and leave with fabulous hair.
ANIL’S TOP TIPS
1 Be involved in the design – don’t leave it all to an architect.
2 Think about the flow of the salon – make it an experience and ensure people aren’t stepping on each other’s toes.
3 Don’t play to salon stereotypes, no more glitter and gold – consumers want authenticity now.