Little Tree Hair and Skin Studio
owners CJ and Misa Kelly
114 Mount Auburn St. (2nd floor)
Carrying an all natural product line, Little Tree, a new full service salon which opened in Harvard Square on May 15, will provide an Asian option to the already numerous hair and beauty salons in the area.
Little Tree, currently the only Japanese-style salon in the Harvard Square area, offers nail care in addition to hair care. By the end of the summer, the salon hopes to provide comprehensive skin and massage services.
Owned by CJ and Misa Kelly, the salon is a fruition of months of searching for a location for their first business, with the all-natural product line being the central attraction.
The salon currently uses ABBA and Paul Brown hair care products. The ABBA line offers all natural ingredients, no animal byproducts or testing, and no unnatural additives. Paul Brown features hair products from Hawaii that are designed for the Asian market. The salon is currently testing a third line, Back to Basics, a line of herbal products.
"All of our products are home tested" insists CJ, "we only introduce products that we try first and can guarantee are all-natural."
A second attraction is the Japanese-style services.
Misa, who was trained in Japan, brings several year's experience as head stylist at Air Wave, a Japanese salon in the Porter Exchange. She is joined by Toru Yamomoto who also worked at Air Wave and was originally trained in London.
All the hair services include a head, neck, and shoulder shiatsu massage, coffee, tea, wash and blowdry and hot towel treatments.
Prices fall in the mid-to-expensive range with hair cuts starting at $30 for men and $35 for women. Perms cost around $85. A natural-nail manicure starts at $15. For $10 more, the customer receives a hand treatment that includes a wrist and arm massage, skin exfoliation and skin conditioning. The salon is also looking into using hot oil and parafin treatments.
With their commitment to good products and services, Little Tree maintains regular salon hours (10) a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sundays, closed Tuesdays) as well as flexible hours at the customer's request.
"Quality service is important and we believe that that will bring in customers" CJ said. "We provide a standard of service far and beyond what is available."
An anecdote about the extent of their dedication to quality service involves a woman who brought a videotape of the French film blue to the salon and requested that her hairstyle resemble that of one of the film's characters. CJ and Misa took the home and watched the film three times to make sure that they were familiar with the style.
Most customers know what styles they want before they come, but for the impulsive, Little Tree provides numerous magazines and style books as well as ones devoted especially to Asian style.
CJ is quick to point out that they are a Japanese-style salon and not a Japanese salon like Air Wave. The Kelly's chose Harvard Square over other locations at MIT and Arlington to offer their services to a broader, more international market.
But although their specialty is in servicing Asian hair, Misa and Toru have both worked in the Cambridge area for over seven years and are familar with all hair textures and styles.
The contemporary, crisplydesigned salon is located on the second floor of 114 Mount Auburn Street, next to Chili's. Walk-ins are welcome bout appointments are recommended because of heavy booking.