People talk of finding religion the same way Kristo, owner of Melrose & McQueen, talks of his first salon experience: the clouds parted, a lightbulb went off and, all of a sudden, life made sense. He dropped everything he was doing, worked his way up through the L.A. salon ranks, getting to a place where six hundred dollar haircuts were no big thing, A-list celebrities were sitting in his chairs, and working Fashion Week was just another part of the gig. It seems like a dramatic story for a stylist, but let us reassure you: there is nothing over-the-top about this Inman Park hidden gem. In fact, the reason Kristo decided to bring his hair-doings back to his hometown of Atlanta was so he could do it without all that unnecessary pretense. Andvoilahere we are, in a salon Kristo built out with his own two hands, surrounded by a crew of equally talented stylists who all rather focus on their favorite part of the hair business: actually doing hair. And doing it really, really well.
Melrose & McQueen feels like a cool kids’ hideaway. Mostly because it is, what with all the uber-cool-kid stylists, the kitschy, D.I.Y. decor (all of which was either built by Kristo or came from some sort of vintage scavenger hunting), the cans of PBR and Whynatte sitting in the laps of clients, andwaitis that... a photographer’s studio in the back?! (Ryan Purcell, of OhSnapKid, to be exact.) Yep, this place just oozes cool kid appeal. Everyone in here is having way too much fun and the only thing anyone seems to be taking seriously is, well, the hair.
Which is really what an awesome salon should be about, right? Seriously awesome hair, yes. But also the fun-having while you hide away from the real world, getting pampered by people who are not only good at perfecting that mop atop your head, but also happen to really, truly enjoy doing so. Then, after that wash, cut, and spiffed-up new style of yours, you can leave just a little cooler (looking) than when you walked in. Images by Raftermen Photography