Bob Hair Helsinki lives up to its namesake promise of salon services, while doubling as a hip meeting place centred on art, design and fashion.

Key features

Named for the iconic 1920s hairstyle, Bob Hair Helsinki was established by hair artists Kristel Tamm and Saara Vuorela to ‘diversify the hairdressing industry’. Looking to put their own unique spin on a salon space, they tapped Studio Joanna Laajisto, which manifested that vision through a gallery-like environment. A contrast of bright and muted colours pop against a sleek white background, which is loosely dotted by reflective stainless steel furnishings. Selecting furniture that blends into the greater space enabled the designers to ‘preserve the harmony and vastness of the space while creating optimal conditions for both the hairdressers and clients,’ as Laajisto explains. Artists Rauha Mäkilä and Inka Järvinen, whose work features at Bob, played a role in the conceptualization of the interior.

Frame’s take

The concept-store-cum-art-gallery is now ubiquitous in fashion retail, and that trend appears to be taking a strong presence in service retail as well. Hair salons in particular have a specific advantage: clients have to come to a physical location – late-night bathroom trims too often have a grim end. We’ve witnessed many such spaces transformed into multi-purpose cultural venues, in some of the biggest cities in the world. For owners, undoubtedly observing how the world of brick-and-mortar retail is being ravaged, it’s wise that they should diversify their programme to keep patrons excited about in-person visits. As in the case of Bob Hair Helsinki, doing so helps give clients a more holistic experience, which can go a far way in instilling a sense of loyalty to the salon itself.