That is the answer Gillian Hanson, owner and operator of Honeycomb Salon, gave me when I asked her why she decided to expand Noe Valley’s hottest hair salon. And Honeycomb isn’t just hot, it’s hip, creative, vibrant, and chock full of talent. A Noe Valley fixture since 2007, Honeycomb keeps getting busier and busier. It’s not difficult to understand why Ms. Hanson jumped on the opportunity to expand and redesign the salon when the space next door (formerly Big Discount Cleaners) became available. Cronin Construction of San Francisco has been hired to plan and design the new space and will also be swinging the hammers, so to speak. Unlike “new” Coke, I think a Honeycomb Salon with more staff, more stylists, more chairs and more space is a fantastic idea! As for the Grand Opening party later this Spring, I will be watching the mailbox for my invitation.
Honeycomb Salon is located at 3915 24th Street in Noe Valley, San Francisco. To find it, turn into the cute little courtyard — the one you never knew was there or never knew where it led to — tucked in between Savor and Casa Mexicana.
Recently, I had the chance to sit down and talk with Ms. Hanson about Honeycomb’s upcoming expansion, her adorable Yorkie, Madigan, and her favorite Noe Valley spots.
SFHL: The name of your salon is Honeycomb Salon. I want to make sure I am using the right lingo. Do you call yourselves a salon or is it something else ? Are you stylists or hair stylists ?
GH: We are a hair & makeup salon and call ourselves “hairstylists.” In our industry, a “stylist” is actually someone who does wardrobe. There are other terms that are a little outdated: like hairdresser & beauty operator. Technically, we are “cosmetologists” but that word feels really clinical, and doesn’t capture the fun part of what we do.
SFHL: Does your salon do more than cut hair ?
GH: We do! We have a great team of professionals who all excel in both hair coloring & cutting. We also do makeup and hair for special events & photo shoots.
SFHL: How many stylists do you have in your salon ?
GH: Currently four hairstylists and one junior hairstylist.
SFHL: Are you also a stylist in addition to being the owner ?
GH: Absolutely! I am as much a part of the team as I am the owner. I love the creative aspect of doing hair, building relationships with my clients, and making them look and feel great.
SFHL: When I come in to get styled up, I see that the salon is always so busy. Was that the impetus behind expanding ?
GH: Go big or go home, baby!
SFHL: What is the expansion going to do for the salon ? more chairs ? more stylists? a blow-out bar ? Is it going to be one big Honeycomb or are you keeping the two areas separate as they are now ? Most importantly, will Madigan get his own chair ?
GH: Definitely more chairs and stylists. The two areas will be joined to create one large salon. We plan on conceptualizing the salon by creating a dedicated “Color Space” and [a dedicated] “Styling Space”. More talent makes for a wider array of skill sets. We also exchange creative energy and ideas with each other, which is great for us and ultimately great for our clients. Everyone benefits! If you know any amazing hairstylists, please send them our way!
Madigan prefers to be fluid and not tied to one chair. I guess you could say he’s an equal opportunity lap dog. [Editor's note: he sounds like a Pomeranian I know.]
SFHL: How long do we have to wait before we can see the new Honeycomb ?
GH: The sooner the better! We’ll have our soft opening in March, and a grand opening party once we pull the new crew together.
SFHL: Now, off the subject of hair, what is your favorite place to grab lunch or dinner on 24th Street ?