Hairfolk, one of the newest upscale salons in Avondale, opened in September 2017 under Master Stylist and Owner, Eric Goss. Now, this posh salon is striving to enhance the industry and bring better technique and style to Birmingham through expertise and education.
The salon is situated in a cozy renovated house in historic Avondale. Nestled under large shade trees, with a charcoal blue exterior and inviting pathway leading to the front door, the house exudes charm to those passing by. Take a virtual tour of this hideout located in the heart of Avondale.
Though Hairfolk has been open less than a year, the salon’s stylists and master stylists have decades of experience providing clients in Birmingham the best and newest in techniques, styles and products. Click here for a list of services Hairfolk offers.
Meet the Masters
Almost a decade ago, Eric Goss left his job in retail management to pursue his dream career of being a hairstylist. This decision led him to an apprenticeship at a prestigious Birmingham salon in 2008. Two of these master stylists were Fran Chaiprakob (14+ years experience) and Scott Barfoot (20+ years experience).
“He worked super hard, he was eager to learn and he constantly stood by me and Scott and asked questions,” Fran said. “There was great synergy between mentor and apprentice because Eric really wanted to learn.”
After years of working in salons around Birmingham, Eric wanted to create his own niche in Birmingham’s cosmetology world. He also wanted to educate and collaborate with others. After opening Hairfolk, he was honored to learn that Fran and Scott—his mentors, friends and inspirations—were eager to join him.
“One of the things that I really, really love is education and being in a family dynamic,” Eric said. “We really wanted to cultivate an environment where people felt loved, nurtured but were also given an exceptional product.”
Alongside his former mentors, Fran and Scott, Eric helps educate stylists to become the best that they can be. And, according to Fran and Scott, the tables have turned and Eric is now the one educating them.
“What’s interesting is, it may seem like I taught him a lot in the beginning,” Scott said. “But being an older hairdresser, it comes back. I know nothing about Instagram, Facebook and things like that, and Eric has really saved my career and pushed me to a different level with that stuff. So for everything I may have taught him for hair, he’s taught me more in order to stay relevant. So it’s a give and take.”
What makes a master stylist?
According to the field of cosmetology, a stylist must be in the industry for five years to attain the title. But to Eric, it goes much deeper than that.
“To me, and at Hairfolk, for someone to be a master stylist, they have to be really booked, in high demand, have been doing hair for quite some time and also have knowledge to share with others,” Eric said.
Scott adds that a master stylist is also someone who has a true passion for cosmetology.
“If you still get excited about it and if you still want to do it every day, that to me, is a master stylist,” Scott said. “We’re still excited about being stylists after 10, 20 years of being in the industry.”
How does Hairfolk give their clients exactly what they desire?
At Hairfolk, giving clients exactly what they want comes down to three key points:
1. Education and Collaboration
Education was one of the driving forces behind Eric’s decision to open his own salon. Not only did he want to create a place that provides clients with expert hair styling, but he also wanted it to be a place that uses education to produce expert hair stylists.
“We love to educate,” said Eric. “Just as Fran and Scott helped teach and challenge me to become a master stylist, we all want to continue to do that for other stylists. To help them become the absolute best.”
Not only do Eric and the other stylists at Hairfolk educate others, but they also educate themselves through classes, training and practice.
“If you’re gonna do this job well, you’re gonna do it all the time,” Scott said. “You get one day off a week. And even then, you use that time to practice and become better.… The cosmetology industry has changed just like the rest of the world due to technology. You don’t have an excuse in your little community not to be relevant because people can access the rest of the world via the internet. They’re expecting everyone to be on point. Not just the New York salons or the L.A. salons, but every salon around the world. They can pick a picture up and challenge you to see what you know.”
2. Getting to Know You
Anyone can book an appointment at a salon and have a haircut. But at Hairfolk, stylists take the time to hold client-stylist consultations. To book a consultation, contact Hairfolk at 205.582.3655 or click here.
“Consultations are huge,” Eric said. “One thing I think we’re teaching the stylists who work here is that all of us give very thorough consultations. I want each client to know exactly what is going to happen when they come in for a cut or color. This is why we ask our client tons of questions – to provide them with exactly what they want.”
3. Using the Best Products
It’s hard not to love an amazing hair product, especially if it does exactly what you want it to do. As a high-quality salon, Hairfolk is stocked with the highest-quality products. One, in particular, Oribe, is the top luxury hair brand in the U.S.
“I’m obsessed with it,” Eric said. “‘Oribe Obsessed’ to quote the brand’s slogan. I love it because it really does what it’s supposed to do. And every product we carry is very high quality and the very best.”
Book Your Appointment
If you’re looking for a hairstylist who has the skills, knowledge and passion to make you look phenomenal, contact Hairfolk at 205.582.3655 or click here. Check out their service menu for a look at everything Hairfolk has to offer.