I was just ready. I’d been trying to maintain grown-out highlights and a hairstyle that was months beyond its prime. It was time for a change. So I met with Tiffany from Tiffany’s Salon and Spa in Barrington a few days before my appointment for a brief consultation. There was something about Tiffany that made me trust her immediately. Her 22 years of experience coupled with an easy-going personality certainly had something to do with it.
I told her that I was looking for a real change, and that I wanted to go a few shades lighter with the highlights. She suggested a demi-color on the roots to blend in the grays, and highlights followed by a glaze to color balance. I wasn’t planning on getting a haircut until she said, “I’d also love to cut your hair.” She is taking me on as a project I thought to myself, a bit giddy with the idea of a total makeover. My length had been hitting my shoulder for just about forever, and I’d been trying to let it grow a few inches. “Not a problem,” she said. “I can add some long layers that will actually make it look longer.”
Tiffany’s, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, just completed a recent renovation a few months ago. Modern yet sophisticated, the efficient layout includes airy rooms for color treatments, cuts and blowouts, and a second floor spa with areas for massage, facials and nail care. Lots of little details add up here, like color consultations, a text message reminder the day before your appointment, hooks alongside chairs for your purse and a coffee and tea bar.
As I was sitting with my foils, Tiffany popped in and out, making sure the color was going where she wanted it to go. Before I knew it I was whisked away to the sink for the glaze treatment, followed by a relaxing shampoo and conditioner. The cut was next. Tiffany was determined to get my hair less frizzy and less square-shaped. All the time, other stylists dropped by to comment on the color, or to run their fingers through my hair to collaborate on the shear technique. “We’re a team here,” she explained.
Owner Ray Hennessey seconded that when I sat down with him later that day. “It’s not about tips or competiveness,” he told me. “It’s all about the customer and making sure that he or she receives exceptional service.” Ray started behind the chair when his sister opened Tiffany’s in 1965. Four years later he bought the salon, dedicating his entire career to making women feel and look beautiful. Five years ago he opened a separate mens’ salon down the street, with the intention of keeping his female clients relaxed in a space all their own. “We’re all about satisfying our clientele in the environment they’re most comfortable in,” he explained.
Fifty years is an impressive milestone for any Rhode Island business, let alone one that needs to be ahead of the cutting edge to remain competitive. “I’d say I’m most proud of having created a lot of jobs for a lot of young people,” he said with a smile. Many have moved on to start their own salons, “but they’re a part of our success too,” Ray said as he named a virtual who’s who of local stylists. “I’m most satisfied knowing that we’ve helped educate young stylists and helped them grow professionally.”
When Tiffany (Ray’s daughter) finishes blowing my hair out, I’m already grinning from ear to ear. My hair has the perfect light brown streaks shaping my face, and a bounce you only see in shampoo commercials. Stylists and clients all nodded in approval as I floated out of the salon. A lot of little details surely goes a long way.
Tiffany’s salon and Day spa | 21 West Street, Barrington | 401-245-3232