Cindy and Tricia Wagner grew up just south of the city of Alexandria, heading into Old Town regularly to dine and shop or hangout.
When they decided to open their own salon as adults, well, there was only one choice as to the location.
The sisters opened the doors at Salon 46 last month in the Henry building at 512 N. Henry St., a space where they’ve been able to realize their longstanding dream.
“I want moms and real people to come in and feel comfortable,” said Cindy, who has worked as a stylist in the Old Town area for about 10 years. “I don’t want people to say ‘Can I touch this?’ or ask themselves ‘Should I dress up?’ I just want a relaxing and comfortable environment… where women can some straight from yoga class and get a good hair cut.”
While Cindy brings her experience as a stylist and longtime clientele to Salon 46, Tricia brings her business acumen. She holds an MBA from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and works in marketing.
She still lives in Birmingham, but began spending more time back in Alexandria when she and Cindy decided to get their business plan together.
When seeking a spot for the salon, the Wagner sisters took a look at several properties, including the vacant space next to on Mt. Vernon Avenue ( later this year). Ultimately, they wanted to stay in the Old Town area and liked the on-site parking that was available for customers at The Henry, even if the space is bigger than what they were looking for, Tricia said.
“This really has been the hardest thing,” she said of opening the salon. “There have been hoops to jump through [with the city], no matter what.”
If navigating the permit process wasn’t enough, the Wagner sisters had to deal with the restrictions in the Parker-Gray Historic District. There’s no exterior sign at the salon at the moment.
After making their way through City Hall, the sisters went about setting up the salon. Cindy selected Bumble and bumble as the salon’s product line, and all of the stylists are trained on the brand. She is also aiming to get the colorists board certified and is making sure the stylists undergo monthly education “to keep things up to date,” she said.
Women’s haircuts start at $60, a moderate price for Old Town. The salon also offers haircuts for men (starting at $40) and children (starting at $30) and a variety of other services, like Brazilian Blowouts, highlights, waxing and more.
The salon is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
The Wagner sisters maintain a pretty active Salon 46 Facebook page, with photos and updates on what’s going on at the salon, special deals and commentary on celebrity hairstyles.
The salon is also gearing up for on Sept. 6, where the staff will throw a party with wine and cheese and offer free consultations, quick styles and shape-ups for men.
“We really love it here,” Tricia said.