Posted by: Brad Nixon | October 8, 2018

Signifying: Curl Up ‘n Dye … and Welcome!

One of an occasional series celebrating the endlessly fascinating world of signage.

I don’t know if it’s actually written somewhere, but there’s apparently a rule that if you open a hair salon in the United States, it MUST have a silly, hair-related pun in its name. I haven’t kept notes, but at least a score of them come to mind without effort: Mane Place, Hairport, A Cut Above, Head Quarters, Shear Heaven, Best Little Hairhouse, not to mention my all-time personal fave, Curl Up ‘n Dye.

I just did a search. Sure enough, there are WEBSITES devoted to this arcane craft, like this one.

After all, it’s a fierce business, with a competitor in every strip mall and on every street. One has to differentiate.

Honestly, if I weren’t certain someone had already done it, I’d take on the job of compiling a coffee table book of photos of the signage, to preserve this precious slice of our cultural heritage. I’m sure someone already has that covered.

I think a perfect marriage would be between a salon owner and a sports editor. You know, the person who comes up with those dorky sports headlines that are ALWAYS puns: “Trojans Slay Spartans,” “Boilermakers Run Out of Steam in Fourth,” and so on.

Granted, some salons dodge this requirement by naming themselves after the stylist, but only a few have that sort of name recognition. The rest are relying on a version of the tried-and-true Roadside Attraction gag to get attention.

In Port Angeles, Washington this summer, I walked past a place that carried the punning to another level, with a graphic on the door.

Walkens Welcome Brad Nixon 680

Maybe that’s a more common gag than I know, but I loved it. I almost Walked En, even though I didn’t need a haircut.

There’s something inherently American about the whole schtick … I think. If this hair salon naming practice is a regular thing outside the U.S. (Canada, I’m looking north at you), let me know in a comment. Or, leave a comment with YOUR fave haircutting name.

© Brad Nixon 2018. Thanks to the website at, simply for being. I’m glad such things exist.


  1. I love the Blues Brothers reference – thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In all honesty, I wasn’t thinking about Carrie’s scene in the movie, but — like so much of that film — it captures a slice of Americana with a rather arch smile. There really are places named that all over the States. And I looked up the film; Ackroyd allegedly was using the name of a real place in Chicago, and, of course, the entire piece is an homage to the city.
      Well, the first thing your comment provoked for me was a memory of Aretha. That movie brought her new attention from people all over the world. She simply dominates every frame, as she could whenever — wherever — she appeared. Of all the benighted, fraught years for us to lose the Queen, this is the worst possible time. I’m going to go listen to “Chain of Fools.”


  2. Hair today, gone to Maui.
    I think the Walken is moderately usual, there is one we used to see on Powell Blvd when bussing downtown.
    Thanks, I had not considered this topic before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well… Thanks for walkin’ us past Walken in PA.


  3. This post made me smile! We probably have a fair few hairdressers in the U.K. with these sort of names but I’ve never come across Curl up ‘n dye before! My salon simply uses the owner’s first two names – William David, no doubt trying to be simple and sophisticated!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I’m glad to know I can now blame the English … A proud, American tradition. I hope William David has a hyphenated last last name to round out the set.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There used to be a combination bar and hair salon in West Texas — I think it might have been Junction — that was called the Sip’n’Snip. The licensing process must have been a nightmare, but the concept is genius.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hilarious. The health inspections would’ve required an entire team. Thanks.


  5. I always love reading the play on words businesses use in their names. Since I basically live in the middle of a corn field, we don’t have a lot of those “interesting” hair places. The closest we have is Great Clips–which is decorated with a sailing motif.


  6. I’m waiting for the grand opening of When Hairy Met Salon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There used to be a salon in my neighborhood called U.S. Hairforce. No longer here. Perhaps budget cut killed expansion, or “growth.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Correction: U.S. Hair Force.


      • Your Honor, let the record show that Counselor LaBoheme has filed an amendment to his earlier statement. So notice. Proceed.


    • Argh! Killer. Thanks!


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