Lehigh Valley is known for having an almost disproportionately large number of hair salons and barber shops.

Most people I know are very loyal to their stylist often following them if they change shops. For close to 20 years I drove 90 minutes to go to the same lady but unfortunately for me, she retired.

Since then I’ve tried to spread my salon business around the valley. I buy products at one store, have my eyebrows waxed at another, and I’ve been searching for THE stylist that will totally get my lack of interest in spending time doing my hair every morning. I give each one a couple tries to see if we can literally grow into a lasting relationship. Maybe that is why I felt a twinge of guilt when I picked up the phone yesterday and made an appointment with someone new. (I’m sorry Jimmy in Easton…it’s not you, it’s me.)

Hair by Eskandalo! (gotta love a business that has an exclamation point in its name) was a shop in Southside Bethlehem I hadn’t heard of until my co-worker George mentioned it. His girlfriend is the assistant manager there and he said they do some really creative stuff. I met the owner, Allison and she recommended Marybeth for me.

I checked out their website and marveled at the extreme hairstyles they’ve created. Not my cup of tea anymore, but when I was in my twenties I would have tried some for sure. After all, hair grows back. I also liked the idea of going to a vibrant funky salon in vicinity of Lehigh University.

With some trepidation I walked through the door last night and took my seat in Marybeth’s chair. I was still dressed in a suit from work so I didn’t exactly “blend” with the stylists and other patrons. One girl sitting next to me had short spikey pink hair. My theory is if they can do really bizarre cuts, they’ll have no trouble with my simple style.

Another patron came in with her long thick hair in a ponytail. She sat down said “let’s do this” then her stylist hacked through the tail above the band and set it intact on the counter. I had to ask. “Are you donating that?” Her answer was yes. Now that’s cool.

I left the shop with a cut I am happy with so Marybeth will get another shot at gaining my long term loyalty. I'm curious ...who do you trust with scissors and how long have you been going to that same stylist?