A mother-daughter duo, originally from Ukraine, are offering Eastern European beauty services in Clarendon.
Natalia Vyberg and her daughter Anna moved to the U.S. four years ago. Upon their arrival, the duo opened two salons in Northern Virginia: Beauty Bar Lashes and Beauty Bar Nails.
Energized by the success of their original locations, they combined them into one salon, now in Clarendon: The Beauty at 3110 Washington Blvd. It offers eyelash services, facials, manicures and pedicures.
Through a translator, Natalia told ARLnow her Ukrainian techniques draw U.S. customers to The Beauty and keep them coming back.
“In Ukraine, beauty services are held to a high standard. Our clients get those high standards of a Ukrainian service that is focused on perfection at The Beauty. It takes a special technique and materials to do this,” she said.
To meet those standards, Natalia, who owns The Beauty, also orders most of her tools and products from Ukraine.
The Vybergs are originally from Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city and one of Russia’s main targets since invading Ukraine last year 2022. Natalia, a 20-year veteran of the beauty industry, opened five salons in Kyiv before opening salons states-side.
Her daughter Anna followed in her footsteps, opening a salon in New York City after The Beauty in Clarendon took off.
Now, she travels almost weekly from Arlington to New York to help run and work at both salons, noted an employee at The Beauty. The employee said this is partly because some clients only want Anna to handle their beauty regimens.
Her mother requires all her employees go through Ukrainian beauty training courses. Natalia said she mostly hires Ukrainian immigrants to work at The Beauty, though she made an exception for two from Russia.
“They are American citizens and have lived here for many years now,” she said. “We are not involved in politics or interested in political questions. We welcome anyone to work at the salon who can provide good services.”
Now, the mother-daughter duo are looking to hire new employees to handle their Clarendon customer base.
A Clarendon salon has decided to stop charging different rates for haircuts depending on your gender.
Casals Salon Collective at 3033 Wilson Blvd says women and men will, starting today, pay the same price for services requiring the same length of time. Before, as is common in the salon business, women were charged more than men.
In a segment that aired on NBC 4 last night, salon co-owner Therese Snow said the decision was partially inspired by awkward instances in which a stylist would have to decide how to charge a non-binary client.
A statement posted on the salon’s website says it “continues to provide a safe space for everyone free of judgement.”
Effective February 1st, we will switch to non-gendered services. We will no longer differentiate between a “woman’s cut” and a “mens cut.”
Hair length or technique does not determine gender, and we believe that hair color and cuts should be individually curated for every guest.
Casals Salon Collective supports our LGBTQIA community and continues to provide a safe space for everyone free of judgement.
Adil’s Salon and Spa is looking to open at 2914 N. Sycamore Street by the end of February or early March, co-owner Adil Karkas tells ARLnow, despite just signing the lease and receiving keys this week.
“We wish we were going to open by Valentine’s Day,” Karkas says.
Karkas and his wife and co-owner, Nancy, have worked at area hair salons for more than two decades, including in D.C., Clarendon and Vienna. This is also their second salon, having previously opened one overseas. They’ll be joined by Karkas’s sister-in-law Linda, who is a colorist, making this business a family affair.
“Arlington is the place to be,” Karkas says on why he decided to open his own salon in the county.
Elsewhere in Williamsburg Shopping Center, a new bank tenant is still being sought to replace United Bank, which closed a year ago. Also in the center is Smoking Kow BBQ, named by the Washington Post in 2019 as one of the best barbecue joints in the region.
“We essentially closed because we used all the operating capital we had available,” said Jonathan Carver, who owned the Clarendon blow dry bar for the past two years, and closed it on Aug. 2.
Carver said the salon simply had more more costs — including the high rent in a prime shopping area — than it had revenue from the blowouts. The salon scraped by before COVID-19, but could not recover with the slow reopening rate mandated by the state, he said.
“There’s only so much people are willing to pay for wash, dry and style. It was a very simple service. You can’t charge $300 for that. I think it would have done better in a cheaper location,” said Carver. “I had really good employees and most of them were loyal. There was no way I was going to be able to pay them well and pay the rent.”
Kaleemah Woodward, a Cherry employee since the Clarendon location opened in 2014, says she has been dealing with confused and disappointed clients in the wake of the closure.
“People had over 40 blow dries left on their account and have no way to get that money back,” Woodward said. “I have the frustration of not having answers for them.”
Cherry charged $150 for four monthly blow dries. She said people were desperate to get the money refunded but have had no luck. That’s because there is simply no money to pay customers back, Carver said.
“If [customers] tried to get money out of the franchise, they could force it into bankruptcy, but it would cost more in legal fees because the franchise has no money,” he said.
Woodward said Cherry Blow Dry’s corporate office owns the lease until 2025, but is looking to sell to a local business owner.
Patrons aren’t the only ones out of luck — the employees are also in a tricky situation, as many don’t have cosmetology licenses, according to Woodward.
In 2018, Gov. Ralph Northam passed a law in Virginia allowing unlicensed stylists to work at salons as long as they didn’t permanently alter hair. That’s fine for blow dries, but not for more involved services, which means that many Cherry employees either have to get their cosmetology licenses or are faced with limited work opportunities.
Woodward is now freelancing and taking donations as she works to earn her cosmetology license. She aims to set up a studio in her apartment, offering the same deal Cherry did: $150 for four blowouts a month.
The closure also cuts deep for the stylist and for loyal customers.
“A piece of my identity is kind of gone,” she said.
After operating a new hair salon in Courthouse for two months, owner Carissa Lawlor says she is ready to do more than cut and color hair.
“The idea to open the salon was to elevate the salon experience, for our guests to connect with our community, encourage staff to grow, monthly specialty classes, yoga classes, life coaching,” said Lawlor. “Being your real self isn’t just beauty — it’s all encompassing…That’s why we’re here, really.”
hŌm’s first personal wellness course is scheduled for Friday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m. For $25, stylists will teach attendees tips and tricks for curling and blow-drying their hair as well as styling skills.
Starting Saturday, Aug. 7, the salon will host pop-up markets on the first Saturday of every month. Vendors will have booths inside and along the sidewalk. With hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the market is timed to line up with the neighborhood farmer’s market.
For Lawlor, promoting wellness also has an ecological component. Her salon recycles around 95% of its waste, including foil and hair color packaging, which is converted into asphalt filler, car and bicycle parts and clean energy products.
“We have maybe two pounds of trash a week, not even,” said Lawlor.
The salon, which offers more than 40 services, specializes in brow styling and blonde coloring. Prices start at $51 for a hair cut and $166 for highlights. From 3-5 p.m. on weekdays, the salon offers blowouts for $25.
hŌm is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
A new series of break-ins at the Arlington Forest Shopping Center has caused losses for a pair of local businesses.
The overnight burglaries were discovered this morning, at the low-slung shopping center along Route 50.
“At approximately 7:54 a.m. on July 12, police were dispatched to the report of two vandalized businesses,” according to Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Upon arrival, it was determined that unknown suspect(s) broke the glass door to a business with a rock, gained entry and stole a cash register. The door to a second business was damaged but no entry was made and nothing was reported stolen.”
Bricks Pizza was also burglarized in January, when a thief or thieves damaged and/or stole from Crystal Thai restaurant, Sense of Place Cafe, and the Forest Valet dry cleaner. An online fundraiser after the January break-ins raised nearly $32,000 to help with repairs.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Savage said of the latest incident.
After nearly three decades in business, local salon Illusions of Shirlington is closing its doors.
Owner Irma Wheeler said the business has struggled during the pandemic and recent lease negotiations with Village of Shirlington owner Federal Realty Investment Trust failed.
Illusions, located at 4033 Campbell Avenue, has been open for 28 years. Last May, ARLnow covered the salon’s reopening after a state-mandated closure at the outset of the pandemic.
“We’ve been very anxious and have been getting ready since the beginning of the shutdown,” Wheeler said at the time. “It’s been difficult to find supplies, even disinfectant. We have face shields and masks, and we’re taking the temperatures of clients and staff. We’re trying to take every precaution… it’s going to be difficult, but we’ll be ready.”
In a social media post last night, Wheeler said she made the difficult decision to close because it was “the only viable option.” Her Illusions of Georgetown salon in D.C. will remain open.
The full social media post is below.
To our loyal clients,
I wanted to personally let you know that I have made the very difficult decision to close Illusions of Shirlington – effective immediately.
As you know, our business has been severely impacted by Covid-19 and the restrictions imposed by lawmakers have made the last year a real struggle to say the least. In addition, I have been in lease negotiations with Federal Realty for the past year. I received their final proposal last week. After carefully reviewing the terms presented, closing the salon was the only viable option.
This was not an easy decision.
I can’t thank enough the many loyal customers and retailers that have supported me these past 28 years. You have become like family. That is why I want to tell you that you are all welcome to come to Illusions of Georgetown for your styling needs. We will be offering valet parking for the time being.
If you have an appointment within the next few weeks, your stylist will be getting in touch with you.
Keep us with us on our social media for updates.
Grants for National Landing Restaurants — “The National Landing Business Improvement District and the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington have a new round of grant aid for restaurants and small businesses… Grant applications will be accepted online until March 28. They will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, and will amount to at least $1,000 for each approved business.” [WTOP]
New Clarendon Salon Opening Next Week — The new Smitten on Washington salon is set to open on Tuesday, March 23, at 3000 Washington Blvd in Clarendon. The salon replaces Hendricks Gentlemen’s Barbershop, a men’s venture from the Smitten owners that closed in December after four years in business. [Facebook]
Silver Line Ext. Not Opening Until 2022 — “Metro officials say that the Silver Line extension to Dulles International Airport will open for use in early 2022, most likely in February. ‘What we’re looking at is early 2022, first quarter in calendar 2022, as the likely start of operations,’ Laura Mason, Metro’s executive vice president for capital delivery, said at a board meeting Thursday.” [DCist]
Local Leaders Want Metro Changes — “Representing the cities and counties that fund Metro in Virginia, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission outlined its priorities for Metro’s proposed FY 2022 budget… While the Commission recognizes the major funding relief made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act, the Commission presses Metro to: Maintain a dependable and sufficient level of rail and bus service throughout FY 2022, Open Silver Line Phase 2 as soon as possible, Rebuild ridership, [and] Minimize shifting operating expenses to the capital program.” [Press Release]
Single-Family Homes Are Red Hot — “Typically, markets tend to favor sellers when the supply of homes drops below six months. For much of the last decade, the local supply has hovered at around two months, but has been trending ever lower in recent years. For single-family homes, the D.C. region’s supply dropped to a mere 0.6 months in February, according to the data, and those homes are selling within seven days on the open market.” [Washington Business Journal]
After months of losing business during the pandemic, Hendricks Gentlemen’s Barbershop in Clarendon will close for good just before Christmas.
Co-owners Melanie St. Clair and Lisa Dahl announced the closure to customers last night.
“We wanted to thank each of you for your loyalty and support,” they said in an email. “As a small business, navigating this pandemic has been extremely difficult. It is with a heavy heart, that after four years of serving the Clarendon community as your neighborhood barbershop, we have made the tough decision to close our doors.”
The barbershop at 3000 Washington Blvd opened in September 2016 and billed itself as Clarendon’s only upscale destination for men’s haircuts, beard trims and hot, straight-razor shaves. Hendricks gained popularity during its four-year stay, but it has not been enough to stay afloat during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is really hitting us hard,” St. Clair said. “None of us could’ve predicted this.”
The last day of business is set for Wednesday, Dec. 23. But St. Clair and Dahl, who also own Smitten Salon in Lyon Park, are not done with the space just yet.
Clients at Smitten confirmed Internet tropes from the early stages of quarantine: wives were giving their husbands haircuts, while some men who no longer had to go to the office were growing their hair out. With partners to cut their hair and without suits to put on or clients to visit, men are coming in every two months instead of monthly, or not coming back at all, St. Clair said.
Hendricks took an additional hit because barbers cannot provide beard trims or hot shaves due to mask regulations, she said.
Meanwhile, she said Smitten has attracted new clients as other salons close. The thriving business gave St. Clair and Dahl the idea to replace Hendricks with a new, boutique location of the salon.
“Women want to look good on Zoom,” St. Clair said. “My clients tell me, ‘I’m not sitting on Zoom with gray roots,’ or ‘I’m bored staying at home with my kids at home,’ or ‘I’m not getting my nails done, so I’m getting a haircut to feel good.'”
Cosmetic changes to the space will begin in the new year, and St. Clair said she aims to be done with the work by February or March 2021.
“It’s like coming full-circle,” said St. Clair, who first opened Smitten in the current Hendricks location almost 10 years ago.
She said she is proud to have the brand survive, in a different way.
“We’re grateful to show Clarendon that [the neighborhood] is not going to shut down,” she said. “We don’t want to see everyone close up, and I hope other people are able to do the same thing.”
Frederick-to-Arlington Transit Proposal — “Proposed transit service connecting Arlington to Frederick (Md.) and points in between remains on the table, but barely, after scoring low in a recent cost-benefit analysis conducted by the Virginia and Maryland state governments… As envisioned, the transit route would start at Frederick six times each workday morning and terminate an hour later at the Pentagon, with intermediate stops at Monocacy, Urbana, Germantown, Gaithersburg, Montgomery Mall and Rosslyn.” [InsideNova]
Women Groped in Aurora Highlands — “At approximately 7:18 p.m. on November 3, police were dispatched to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 6:30 p.m., the victim was running in the area when the suspect approached her from behind and grabbed her buttocks. The victim yelled, and the suspect fled on foot, then entered the passenger side of a vehicle and left the area.” [ACPD]
Data Breach Affecting Hospital — “Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, has recently learned of an information security incident experienced by one of its vendors… [an] unauthorized party may have acquired a backup of the database that compromises certain limited elements of VHC’s donor and fundraising information, as may be the case with other nonprofits affected by this incident worldwide.” [Press Release]
Grand Opening for New Business — Paint Nail Bar (1520 Clarendon Blvd) is holding its grand opening celebration this weekend, from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday. “Champagne and light bites will be served and all attendees will receive a goody bag,” the business says. [Facebook]
Tea Returns to the Ritz — “The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City is now offering Afternoon Tea, bringing a time-honored tradition at an affordable price – all with safety and the health of guests in mind. Offered in their fyve restaurant, featuring globally inspired dishes, the hotel’s Afternoon Tea service is available at three price points, perfect for adults and children celebrating a special occasion or looking for a weekend respite from the day-to-day.” [Press Release]
More Nice Weather on Tap — “Quite a stretch of tranquil weather ahead of us as high pressure dominates into early next week, resulting in dry conditions and temperatures running 5 to 10 degrees above normal for early November.” [@NWS_BaltWash/Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]
A new hair salon that helps natural hair to thrive has opened in Ballston despite the pandemic
After initially hoping to open on June 19 to commemorate Juneteenth, Thrive Hair Bar (1010 N. Glebe Road) first opened its doors on Aug. 9.
“Thrive Hair Bar provides two-strand twists, braids, and leave out styles for kinky, coily, & curly haired naturalistas on the go. Embracing your hair texture with an emphasis on hair health,” the website says.
The website said Thrive Hair Bar aims to “revolutionize the luxury hair salon experience.”
Located inside the Sola Salon Studio, which hosts a number of solo entrepreneurs, the salon services its clients during a one-on-one, client and stylist experience.
“Our goal isn’t just for us to give them a hairstyle and they walk away, it’s really to help educate women on how to maintain their hair and care for their natural hair,” said Ajia Minnis, owner and founder of Thrive Hair Bar.
However, the single stylist and client combination is not the experience Minnis envisioned.
“It was definitely something that we had to adjust to. I had envisioned a salon with at least three to four stylists,” said Minnis. “I did definitely want to keep it small, to have that personalized experience, so the stylists themselves wouldn’t be rushed and because we’re just starting. But with the coronavirus, I realized that that wasn’t going to work. It just didn’t seem like the safest thing to do and I recognized that.”
Getting used to the restrictions on who can be in the salon wasn’t the only challenge Thrive Hair Bar faced.
“We still haven’t had our grand opening event yet because I had envisioned doing something where we featured local artists in the community and with the coronavirus, that doesn’t seem like the safest thing to do, even with masks,” Minnis said.
The good news is that clients have responded to Thrive’s policies positively.
“I think they like being the only one in the salon,” Minnis said. “Nobody likes having to wear a mask all day but it’s for the benefit of not only our customers, but for our stylists too. We want to make sure that they’re safe, so everybody has been respectful and keeping their masks on. We’re also using disposable capes — one-time use and throw it out. We’re disinfecting all chairs, door handles and anything that anybody touches after every single client, and then obviously staying within normal salon standards for disinfection with using Barbicide.”
“I think our clients have been comfortable with the precautions that we’ve been taking,” Minnis said, adding that she is optimistic about the future of the business as the country continues to make progress in the coronavirus fight.
Photos courtesy Ajia Minnis