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hair salon

Photo from PJCC

On  Nov. 17 the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce welcomed new chamber member Salon Zarra  to the Village of Port Jefferson with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Salon owner Tom Carlton’s expert experience in hair services is renowned and he has a professional and knowledgeable staff.   

Located at 7 Traders Cove next to Nantucket’s Restaurant, the salon offers custom hair coloring, haircuts for men, women and children with a specialty in barber cuts, blow outs, highlights and more. 

Hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed on Sunday and Monday. For more information, call 631-509-0544 or visit www.salonzarra.com.

Above, owner Tom Carlton cuts the celebratory ribbon surrounded by his team and officers of the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce.

From left, PJCC President Mary Jo Pipe with owner Nancy Piazza (holding scissors) surrounded by her team on Nov. 19. Photo courtesy of PJCC

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for Hair, Loft & Brow Spa on Nov. 19. Located in the Danfords Hotel and Marina complex at 25 East Broadway, Port Jefferson, the new business is an extension of the Hair, Lash & Brow Loft and Bar located at 120 East Main Street in the village. A grand opening celebration followed, with catered food, champagne, music, raffles and giveaways.  

This full-service spa offers an array of services which includes lash extensions, spa facials, massages, waxing, threading and semi-permanent makeup. 

Along with offering spa services, the stylists are fully licensed through New York State to offer continuing education, including advanced training for beauticians through their HLB Academy. Their team at HLB Academy trains hundreds of professional stylist in the areas of hair and lash extensions, micro-blading, semi-permanent makeup and micro-pigmentation.

Spa hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday by appointment only. For more information, call 631-509-1349 or visit www.hairlashandbrow.com.

METRO photo

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

Jill has been cutting hair for 38 years. She has owned a few salons, but these days she has been scheduling hair cutting appointments at people’s homes.

She wears a mask, asks her customers to do the same and does her work outside or in the shelter of a garage, where the wind isn’t as strong.

An immigrant from Lebanon, Jill is completely professional, asking for extension cords through the garage, setting up a chair for her customers, and carrying her sterilized scissors, electronic clippers and comb.

Reflecting on the decades she’s spent chatting with customers while she works, she has an easy, purposeful manner about her efforts, while she rolls her “r’s,” sharing linguistic hints on her life.

These days, she lives with her daughter, son-in-law and her three grandchildren. She has her own space in the house, but is hoping, before too long, to rent or buy a small place where she can call the shots.

She shared a story with me that offers some perspective about life and our reactions in the moment to our wins and losses.

Back in February, Jill had decided it was time to own a salon again. She pooled all her savings and placed a bid on a property. She was excited about the prospect of serving more customers, hiring staff and growing a business that would help her make money and increase her savings towards retirement.

She knew she was close to winning the bidding and had started imagining how she’d reinvent the space and the people she’d hire. But, then, the people selling the property informed her that they had chosen another bidder, who had deeper pockets and was a part of a larger chain. She was incredibly disappointed and felt as if she’d lost out on a business she knew she could run. She spent several weeks irritated by the situation.

A month after she lost the property, she joined the rest of the world in the pandemic-triggered lockdown. Initially, she couldn’t get out much.

As the days stretched into weeks and the weeks into months, she realized how lucky her loss on that property had been. She would have had to carry a $4,000 monthly mortgage for a location that was producing no revenue for months.

She considers herself an incredibly lucky loser. Back in February, of course, a mere month before the virus changed the United States, she had no way of knowing that her loss would save her from a mountain of unmanageable debt.

She feels as if a force from up high was looking out for her, protecting her from a financial burden and responsibility that would have been hard to manage, even with whatever government program she might have turned to for help.

Down the road, when the world returns to something resembling the experiences of 2019, she may, once again, consider buying a salon. Until then, however, she’s perfectly happy without the debt and the uncertainty of managing through a difficult small business and economic environment.

In the meantime, she will continue to show up at people’s homes, brushes, clippers and scissors in hand, ready to provide on-site haircuts to people who prefer, or can’t, leave their properties.

The challenges and obstacles that disappoint also sometimes protect us, even if we can’t see that in the moment, particularly when we know how much we want something.

Many of us will confront those frustrations in the future over which we have no control. Sometimes, we may gain perspective on what, at first, appears to be an unfortunate outcome.

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Raymond LaGala (center with white hair), wife Stephany (blue shirt) and the rest of the family. Photo from Thomas LaGala

For Raymond LaGala, owner of Hairport in the Village of Port Jefferson, cutting people’s hair is a feel-good business. Great service and treating his clients right — that is what he said has been bringing people back for the last 45 years. 

“You have to love what you do,” he said. “I’m glad that I still enjoy it.”

Hairport hair salon in Port Jefferson. Photo from Google maps

LaGala said he had the idea of one day opening his own shop since he first became a hairdresser. He learned the craft working at shops in Merrick and Great Neck, and in 1973, he decided to try opening his own business. 

The longtime stylist and barber had visited Port Jeff before and thought it would be a good place for his salon. In June 1974, Hairport was born and has resided in the same spot on Main Street since. 

The Port Jeff business owner said his shop was one of the first unisex salons in the area at the time. 

“As we got busier, we kept expanding,” LaGala said. 

They then expanded into barbering and along the way his children became involved in the family business. 

One of his sons, Thomas LaGala, began barbering at the salon when he was 17 years old, and was followed by his brother Jason, who said he wanted to learn hairdressing so his father sent him to a school in the city. 

From there, the two sons and a nephew of Raymond, James, began barbering in the back of the salon and it proved to be successful. 

Jason said he remembers coming into the salon when he was a kid and he would watch his father cut clients’ hair. The young man thought it seemed like a fun place to work. 

“For me it was a cool time growing up, working for my dad,” Jason said. “He taught me to always take care of the customer.”

Throughout the years, two other children, David and Joann, joined the business. James and Jason, after working at Hairport for some time, decided to open their own business across the street after some encouragement from their father. The pair now run the Men’s Room Barbershop on Main Street in Port Jeff, with James as owner and Jason as partner. 

“Running a business is not always easy. It is an uphill battle,” Raymond said. “You have to be able to adjust — it is forever changing.”

The father of seven stressed the importance of not assuming customers will come back just because you are around. 

“You can’t take them for granted. If you treat them right they will be back,” he said. 

Over the years, the salon has built up a loyal client base who appreciate the service and honesty. Raymond mentioned it is all about the relationships you cultivate with your customers. 

Jason said he is proud that the family-run business is still striving. 

“It is cool to have a successful business grow with the area it’s been in,” he said. “It has become a staple of the village.”

Jason said it has been nice watching a family man, in his father, take care of his family. 

Raymond said the key to success is that you can’t rest on what you did in the past; you have to keep going forward 

“We are still here, making noise,” he said. 

This post has been amended June 19 to better reflect the ownership of Men’s Room Barbershop.

Tyrone Stevens was arrested for multiple burglaries. Photo from SCPD
Tyrone Stevens was arrested for multiple burglaries. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police have arrested a man for burglarizing two salons in Huntington Station on Aug 22.

2nd Precinct Officers Jeffrey Damo and Vincent Dilluvio said they saw broken glass at Hilda’s Hair Salon, located on New York Ave., in Huntington Station just before 11:40 p.m. While investigating the incident, the officers heard glass breaking at Candy Town Nail Salon, also on New York Ave., and when they arrived, they found Tyrone Stevens, 55, inside the building and arrested him at approximately 11:45 p.m.

Stevens, of Huntington Station, was charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and possession of burglars tools. He is being held overnight at the 2nd  Precinct and is scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip on Aug. 24.