When an elderly man walked into his familiar barbershop in Lakewood last week, he found Cannibal Corpse blaring and a giant Ouija board instead of a quiet waiting room. His normal barber had been replaced with technicolor-haired and tattooed stylists, who informed him that Seven Sins Salon had taken over the shop. Co-owner Dro Simoes explains that while the former establishment’s clientele is still trickling in and always welcome, Seven Sins is intended to be a safe haven for touring bands, where they can stop by for free and discounted services.
“Our main goal is to provide a place where bands can hang out and feel comfortable in their own atmosphere,” Simoes says, pointing to the signed guitars hanging on the wall and a bottle of Jäger on the windowsill.
Simoes and girlfriend and co-owner Melissa O’Connell opened Seven Sins Salon three weeks ago after deciding they wanted to combine their passion for music and hairstyling. Simoes, or “The Dro,” is the bassist for Deadstar Assembly; O’Connell is an experienced stylist with a musical background as well. She grew up in Florida, helping her dad run Buzz Bake Sale, which she describes as an “Ozzfest or Warped Tour” put on by his radio station, 101.3 The Buzz. Simoes and O’Connell moved from Florida to Denver together for career opportunities, but when O’Connell lost her job as manager of a local Ulta salon, Simoes pushed her to pursue her dream of opening her own place. They used their connections in the music industry to get the word out that they’d be opening a salon where bands would feel right at home getting their hair and makeup done.
“Throughout my time of working in a high-end salon or whenever he went into a salon, I’ve noticed that it doesn’t always feel comfortable,” O’Connell says, playing with her neon blue and green hair. “We want a place where anyone can feel comfortable getting crazy color, crazy cuts or wild makeup, and a lot of guys in these bands wouldn’t want to go into a corporate place and sit in a chair.”
Seven Sins Salon offers a pickup service for bands before their sound check; and the salon's location in Lakewood adds to the comfort level, Simoes says. “If we were in Denver and say the band was well known, we’d have to worry about them being harassed for pictures or an autograph,” he notes. “Take Gwar, for example, because we had them in here before their Halloween show. They’re the kind of band that doesn’t want to be seen outside of their costumes when it comes down to it.”
Gwar, Velvet Acid Christ and Birthday Massacre are just a few of the bands that have stopped by Seven Sins Salon before a show. And according to O’Connell and Simoes, they’ve received nothing but positive reactions to their rock star-tailored salon.
“They love the concept behind it because it’s completely different than most salons,” O’Connell says. “When they go on tour, they’re usually stressed-out about getting ready in a van or a bus with sometimes eight guys. They love the idea of coming here to a spacious area and relaxing before the show. This isn’t like getting ready in a small venue bathroom where there’s no room.”
Simoes and O’Connell have done their best to make Seven Sins Salon as inviting for their target audience as possible, complete with an original backdrop from Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids. The interior is painted red from floor to ceiling; O’Connell says they’re working at creating an area specific to each of the seven sins. The “Sloth” area of the shop is already complete with couches and video games, and the “Gluttony” area will soon feature the “Coffin Bar,” where they plan on offering complimentary coffee, tea and a wide variety of alcohol.
Both Simoes and O’Connell have been tapping into their music-industry network to let bands know that any services that don’t require chemicals are free to bands in the area, and they offer up to a 50 percent discount to musicians for any major treatments. They’ve also messaged dozens of bands, like Awolnation and Kottonmouth Kings, urging them to stop by and enjoy the salon before their upcoming Denver shows.
“We’re hoping that bands that want to have that kind of service done will start reaching out to us more, too,” Simoes says. “We want them to learn about us and know that we’re here as a place to just get away from the tour bus for a while during their stop in Denver.”
Seven Sins Salon is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. The salon is located at 1125 South Union Boulevard in Lakewood; find more information at sevensinssalon.com