Thinking Outside the Bob at Bang Salon in Washington, DC
January 15, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC, US – Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus” is engraved on a bronze plaque inside the Statue of Liberty in New York. Over 130 years after Lazarus wrote it, her famous words remain a welcome call and symbol of freedom to the downtrodden around the world. “Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
Not to make light of the poem’s gravity, but if Lazarus lived today and happened to need a fabulous haircut while visiting Washington, DC, she might have penned an ode to Bang Salon. It might have gone something like this: “Give me your tired tresses, your helmet head/Your power bobs yearning to break free…”
That’s right: in a town where diplomats, pants-suited congresswomen, and First Ladies notoriously wear their hair in poofy bobs, Bang Salon is something of a novelty. The dare-we-say-hipster chainlet of salons (we’re partial to the 15th Street, NW location) specializes in trendy cuts and color services by tattooed and pierced stylists. So you might go with a chunky layered look, cute pixie cut, or hot pink highlights−and if you do opt for a bob, it will (thankfully) be asymmetrical. The cuts are ever of-the-moment, but don’t worry: they’re never so outlandish that you’ll turn heads in the wrong way.
The cuts/styles are super affordable, starting at $39 and varying by length and thickness of hair as well as by the experience level of your stylist. From Moroccan Oil to Pureology, the products used are super yummy, and Bang also has its own line of shampoos and body washes, including fragrant lemongrass scrub and lavender mint conditioner. There’s even a selection of products available for vegan clientele. Waxing and permanent makeup services complete your look.
Plus, the salon’s atmo is so cool that you may almost forget you’ve come here for your hair and not for a cocktail. The space is industrial chic with brash pops of red, and the stylists tend to chat you up with juicy tips on which clubs and indie boutiques to hit. Come with a friend in tow for a fun gab sesh. Even if the salon screams hipster, there’s no snobbism here−the front desk staff is perpetually friendly.
While the salon attitude is pretty hang-loose, note that their appointment policies are fairly strict. Late cancellations (less than three hours notice) and “no shows” are charged at 50% of the price of the scheduled service. 15 minutes late makes you a “no show” for the appointment. Tips are cash only, so make sure you’ve got change (there is an ATM on site with a surcharge).
Still, getting on board with the policies seems like a small amount of restriction to tolerate given how completely they will free your hair. From “power bangs” for ladies to rockabilly-style pompadors for gents, Bang is revolutionizing DC manes. In her 1883 poem, Lazarus imagined Lady Liberty lifting her “lamp beside the golden door” to guide the way to freedom. At Bang, the stylists lift their “golden scissors,” and the result is nothing less than DC’s hair liberation.
Read more about Bang Salon in our Washington, DC Guide.