Written by Gloria Pazmiño
Hair salons in the Heights. There is nothing more symbolic of both our need to look good and our entrepreneurial spirit than these shops that seem to dot every block.
We go there to fulfill a need to look our best, primp our hair, do our nails, change a look – maybe blonde this week, red the next – wax our eyebrows, and tame our coifs.
But since el Alto prides itself on giving its residents the option of doing anything anywhere anytime, I found one salon that also does taxes.
Yes, at Ynes Unisex Salon on W. 164th Street and Amsterdam Avenue these two worlds meet in harmony.
It started 20 years ago, when Ynes first opened and the salon quickly became a neighborhood favorite.
As it is uptown, business acumen runs deep in some families. Ynes’ niece Alexis Mercedes went into business as a notary public and tax consultant. She set up an impromptu office in her aunt’s salon and built up a clientele catering to women and men who entered the salon seeking a dye job or manicure then returned later for tax preparation, translation services, or help with other legal documents.
Last year the family moved across the street to a new location where Mercedes found the space to have her own dedicated office in the salon.