It was an “amazing” haircut in seventh grade that led Plymouth resident Jon Charles to abandon his dream of becoming a psychiatrist, he says, and become a stylist instead. Charles began this career path at age 21 working at Rocco Altobelli; he went on to co-own Urban Retreat salon in Uptown and completed specialty work for Best Buy, designing the E-Q Life Salon, which merged technology with personal-care services.
Six and a half years ago, Charles, 41, opened his first self-named salon in Uptown, and four years later he opened a salon closer to home in Wayzata; he says he’s looking for a space in Plymouth proper.
What’s different about Charles’ salon is how “systemized” everything is. Charles says his goal is to provide the same experience to all clients, from uniform brushes and blow dryers to the approach his stylists take.
For a mid-winter hair-care treatment, Charles suggests the French highlight technique called balayage, $90–$160. The color goes “right to the scalp,” he says, and unlike foils it doesn’t have chemicals, so it maintains a more natural earthy smell something like clay. “It’s a bright, springy look with no damage,” he says. Also be sure to check out the Euro Shine blow-dry, $25–$40, which gives a polished just-came-from-the-salon look that lasts for days.