COBBLE HILL — Hairstylist Brooke Hunt knew she was ready to leave the big salon experience behind and begin a small venture of her own.
She was unhappy working in a large salon environment because of the long hours and lack of social connections.
“In a big salon, clients are often treated like cattle and are herded around,” said Hunt. “This assistant is going to wash your hair, and this assistant is going to do your blow out. There are no personal connections being made.”
After three years at high-end Manhattan hair salons, Hunt, 28, knew she had to strike out on her own.
The Bird House hair salon is small — tiny, really — with only about 100 square-feet of space.
Despite close quarters, it manages to carry the basics like the stylist booth, a sink, and just recently, a display of hair products for sale.
From the outside, The Bird House barely exists. There is no sign and no storefront, just an unmarked wooden door. Anyone seeking Hunt’s services must either hear about the salon from word of mouth or from Yelp, Hunt noted.
“I like to call it underground,” said Hunt.
Hunt, a mother of a 2-year-old daughter, said long hours and lack of control made it hard for her to work in a big salon. The freedom of running her own shop has made it easier for her to manage her time.
Most of Hunt's clients are parents or students, she explained. She originally began advertising for her business in local forums like the BoCoCa Parents Yahoo group. She says many of her clients enjoy her salon for the intimacy and one-on-one attention.
The salon — barely big enough to fit two people — takes clients by appointment only.
Hunt says she doesn’t offer heavy chemical processes due to the lack of ventilation in the space, which, she says, she procured on Craigslist.
The service menu includes cuts, styles, highlights and deep conditions, but leaves out perms and hair smoothening treatments.
“It’s like fine dining,” said Hunt. “What you get is done really well.”
Prices for cuts range from $25-$60, color and highlights from $75-$160, style from $35-$75, and deep conditioning for $40. Some prices vary depending on time required.