The Papazu Salon, located at 612 Liberty Road next to a horse pasture just a short distance from Lakeland Drive, has a charming, laid-back atmosphere that has won the beauty salon a loyal following.
Papazu Salon makes hair care fun, said customer Carol McDill.
“The motif of the salon is pleasantly unique,” McDill said. “I would describe the decor as comfortably rustic. There is a lovely giclee picture of a wild horse in the shampoo area that gives one an opportunity for more expansive thoughts while getting one’s hair done.”
McDill finds the quality of hair care to be comparable to more expensive salons in the Jackson area. “And it is nice to avoid the traffic of a busier location,” she said.
Lyn Pruitt, a customer who is a mental health professional in Ridgeland, appreciates that the stylists really listen to customers, and also collaborate with each other.
“They will call everyone over and have a committee meeting,” Pruitt said. “The atmosphere is very creative. They joke a lot. They are not pretentious. They are comfortable and fun, but they know their business.”
Pruitt has fine, baby hair, and knows that doing treatments like hair highlighting too often can lead to hair damage.
“If I want to get highlights and there hasn’t been enough time since my last treatment, Renee won’t let me,” Pruitt said. “She talks me out of it and finds creative alternatives to get the results I want without hurting my hair. It sets them apart from a lot of folks.”
“One thing people say is that we listen,” said salon owner Renee Crutchfield. “It is a calm, relaxed vibe, but we are very professional. That is different from a lot of places they go. We take time to listen to each client. We don’t just instantly pick up scissors with customers. We ask, ‘How was your color last time? How was the cut?’ We ask a lot of questions, and if we don’t think a treatment goes with someone’s hair type, we let them know.”
Until two years ago Crutchfield’s salon was in a strip mall. When the lease was up, she was looking for a quieter place.
Crutchfield is the second owner of the Papazu Salon.
Crutchfield said the décor inside is definitely an attraction for customers.
“‘Charming’ is one of the words people often use,” Crutchfield said. “We have a great group of stylists, four including myself. The other stylists are Courtney Lantz, Andrea Foster and Leni Frizell. We are so fortunate and blessed with this team of stylists. They are stable, easy-going people who are very talented and have lots of experience.
“It is a perfect situation. For us, it just flows.”
The salon is decorated with French country chic furnishings that include big armoires to house supplies and large, almost floor-to-ceiling mirrors up on stands. The décor balances out the rustic quality of the building.
Papazu Salon is typical in that there is a lot of lively chatter. There is one big conversation in the salon. “We keep it positive and upbeat,” Crutchfield said. “There is not a lot of stereotypical chatter or gossip. We are always laughing, which is a good thing.”
This year the salon was chosen as the Mississippi representative for the Matrix hair color company’s campaign “Spread the Love Tour,” which involves a competition among recent hair school graduates around the country with winners who travel the country and do charitable work at salons. The students came to Papazu Salon for a day to work with the salon’s stylists to help support the Mustard Seed charity, which provides services for adults with disabilities.
“They came in and we kind of pampered them all day long,” Crutchfield said. “We were ‘Spreading the Love’. It was like a big party in here. The people from the Mustard Seed loved it. It was one of the most fun days I’ve had in this business.”
About 20 percent of the Papazu clients are men. And while walk-ins are taken when possible, the salon stays so busy that appointments are recommended.
The salon is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.