Coby Alcántar Keeps Chopping at Little Axe
The hair behemoth that is Bumble and Bumble has, over the years, served as a training ground for many gifted stylists—some have remained and many have graduated to other salons. Just this year, Bumble-ite Michelle Snyder (a.k.a., Michelle Fiona) opened Barrow Salon in San Francisco, and as of last week, Coby Alcántar also branched out on her own, with the unveiling of Little Axe in Williamsburg (both logged time at West Village editorial darling Whittemore House, started by Bumble’s Victoria Hunter and Larry Raspanti, before going solo). Alcántar, who briefly (very briefly; six weeks total) left New York for the Bay Area (and a gig at Harper Paige) last year before circling her wagons back to the East Coast, had been dividing her time between working as an educator with Oribe and styling at Marie Robinson, an old friend since the Bumble days. But she found herself longing for a small-salon environment à la Whittemore, and when a space in Williamsburg came to her serendipitously through a close friend, the idea for Little Axe was quickly birthed.
Much like Alcántar herself, the shoebox-size space is chilled out and inviting.”I want to keep it simple and functional, with a few special touches, like a collection of old teacups and saucers that my mom and dad found at thrift shops,” she says. Besides Alcántar, there is Haley Ozell, the resident full-time colorist, and Paris-based stylist (and friend) Rubi Jones, who will be using the space to attend to the locks of her New York clients when she’s in town. The salon’s quirky name came courtesy of Alcántar’s husband, Cesar. “I really liked how the word little looks, so over a few nights of Cesar driving me crazy suggesting ‘little’ everything, Little Axe came out, and I said, ‘That’s it!’ And I love that my friend who designed our Web site also came up with the hashtag #ijustgotaxed. Ha!” Anyone who has had the good fortune to be on the receiving end of an Alcántar cut knows that her forte is tweaking classic styles (a bob, a crop, et cetera) in unexpected and inventive ways. “Recycling a classic is always good; it’s how you modify them that really makes you stand out,” she says. “But, really, I just want people to look good and like how they look.”—Fiorella Valdesolo
Little Axe Salon, 124 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, (718) 388-4700; www.littleaxesalon.com