Black Hearts Hair House

A Salon That Feels Like Home

BY LYNN MILLSPAUGH | PHOTOS LYNN MILLSPAUGH


When Heather Miller was a little girl, she used to sneakily and skillfully cut the hair of delicate dolls her grandpa would bring home from Holland. Years later, she’d style her friends for prom and do freshman dorm room sink highlight jobs. For Heather, hairstyling has been a lifelong passion, an early sense of childhood bliss that never left her career life. After completing her cosmetology certification and spending many years in the field, Heather is now the proud owner of a hip, homey salon, and still loves playing dress up.

Black Hearts Hair House is nestled among boutiques and brownstone homes along Lincoln Avenue in Roscoe Village. As the sole owner of the salon, Heather has been able to tailor her career dream: “I’ve always wanted to own my own salon. I’ve had the opportunity to recruit peers and build a team of amazing stylists.”

The salon specializes in cut and style, color, color correction, waxing, extensions, and ‘dos for special occasions. They’ve found a niche in creative color and a customer base of people who might decide one day to dye their whole head purple, but still want high-end service. Black Hearts patrons can be sure of the integrity of their treatment and the maintained depth and dimension of their hair, whether they are going for a trim and highlights or an electric green mohawk. Clients of the salon are always treated like esteemed guests in the warm environment and keep coming back because of the fun-loving personalities of the stylists.

Black Hearts provides this comforting, take-off-your-coat-and-stay-a-while atmosphere, believing that a trip to the salon should be a treat. The talent at the salon is a reflection of Heather’s careful recruiting. She explains, “My ideal team is comprised of people who have a ton of passion for their craft.” The space has been classically renovated, a little punk rock flare is subdued with antique charm.

But this stylish salon isn’t just a boon for the neighborhood, it’s a resource for aspiring stylists too. Black Hearts Hair House Apprenticeship Program cultivates its stylists’ careers and provides structure and roles within the salon family. “We have stylists with two years of professional experience after becoming licensed cosmetologists and some with fifteen,” says Heather. “Across the board, we are all learning. We embrace everyone’s strengths and keep quality controlled.”

New talent Amanda Starkey has settled in and personalized her styling station with photos of her dog Ner and a homemade coffee mug. When asked about her experience working at Black Hearts, she described it as feeling as though she found the light at the end of the tunnel. The apprenticeship program lasts from three months to a year, based on the individual’s experience. Heather believes strongly in nurturing careers, explaining, “We all take the time and money to become certified, we should be able to have fulfilling careers afterwards.”

The close-knit team of spunky, fun-loving stylists at Black Hearts thrives in a spirit of collaboration. Customers are put at ease by the undivided attention and pampering they receive the moment they walk through the door into a room without an ounce of negative energy. Stylists share their tools of the trade and knowledge, also making for an incredibly pleasant environment for the clients, who know they are getting expert treatment.

The pleasantness of receiving a service at Black Hearts Hair House comes from being in the hands of people who truly love their jobs. It’s a hip cozy space with a family mindset and structured apprenticeship program, so it’s no wonder stylists don’t want to leave. The clients and staff at Black Hearts Hair House have something in common, they feel right at home.
Photography by Lynn Millspaugh
Photography by Lynn Millspaugh
Photography by Lynn Millspaugh
Photography by Lynn Millspaugh
Photography by Lynn Millspaugh
2015-01-27