Celebrity hair stylist Joel Warren is clad in a red bandana that’s tucked into the collar of a black shirt below his signature feathered fedora, and he’s discussing how I should style my hair. The New York native explains his vision on cut and color to make me look like the best version of myself inside his latest venture: The Salon Project by Joel Warren.
In the back room done up with blue and green palm-print wallpaper, guests receive treatments like waxes and facials. In the front is the ultra-modern salon that Warren helped design as part of his new concept inside Saks Fifth Avenue with locations dotting the U.S., including right here in South Florida at Town Center at Boca Raton. He’s creating a salon experience for the future, including services from cut and color, to eyelash extensions, makeup, microblading, manicures and more.
“This salon in Boca really kind of is how a salon should work,” Warren says. “I have hairdressers here that are master hairdressers. My goal is to allow hairdressers to expand their repertoires.”
He’s also straying far from the almost robotic flow salons have taken on. “In most typical salons, you check in at the front desk, you go to a color department, you go to a cutting department and you’re constantly being moved around,” Warren says. He explains further: “And when you leave, even if you want to buy products, you have to go to the front desk.” He relieves the hassle by letting clients get everything done right at the chair with their stylist. The addition of an iPad at each station provides the option to purchase products with a touch of a button.
Boca’s location marks Warren’s third Salon Project opening with plans to open two more inside the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York City before the end of April, and an additional nine throughout the country.
Tell us about the salon openings inside of Saks.
Every one has a different layout, and I kind of like to decorate them for the town it’s in. So when I did this one, I did it with a lot of flare for Florida. You see the pink and the tangerine and the greens and the blues. It’s very Florida, especially Boca, which I love Boca by the way.
What’s your day-to-day like?
I am so crazy these days. Today I showed up and five of my clients showed up because they knew I was here. You’ll find me behind the chair, having fun—I love it because I have the freedom to do anything. It’s my place; I can do whatever I want. I cut hair, I can color hair, so I can really orchestrate what I want done even though I’m not doing everything.
Why is a hairstyle important?
I always feel like hair is your most important accessory. It’s one you really have to live with and then it’s one you have to manage. Learning how to manage is why it becomes so important. Your hair also takes time and technique to do it. On top of that, you need to see professionals to help guide you, so it’s more complex than anything else on your body.
Let’s talk trends.
My trend is always to look your best. Everybody is different. Some people don’t want to stand out. Some people just want to be comfortable. There’s form, there’s function. Some people want the greatest form of all, some people just want to function well. It’s all about having the ability to figure out what that person wants and try to make it the best they can.
What’s most important with a color treatment?
It’s really about being able to figure out how to lighten up the base color of people’s hair and do highlights. What happens also is that people try to cut corners and save money and end up in positions they don’t want to be in and they don’t look that great.
To learn more and book an appointment, visit thesalonproject.com.
Headshot by Marcello.