Sisterhood of the Hair

Posted on: November 15th, 2016 by Carrie Young No Comments

Johanna Fateman is most famous as a musician but she has always worn multiple hats. A mother, business owner and art critic, Fateman recently picked up the title of New Yorker columnist when the magazine invited her to write regularly for its Goings On About Town section. Now, she runs a radical feminist hair salon with serious cool-girl cred. Fateman oversees the business end of Seagull, a unisex salon in the West Village, while her partner Shaun Surething handles the styling. The salon is a neighborhood landmark from the 1970s that predates them both; it was New York’s first unisex barber shop. They took it over in 2006, which gave Fateman the freedom to pursue music and writing.




The salon takes its name from Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which is a fitting mantra for the salon. The good vibes radiate from the staff, who are friendly and attentive with customers. The atmosphere keeps regulars, including Brooke Shields and Tavi Gevinson, coming back, as it is like hanging out with best girlfriends- who happen to do really great hair. Seagull feels decidedly cozy in Elephant Pink- the Benjamin Moore color that coats the walls- which helped create a sense of consistency when the salon moved from its storefront spot on West 10th to its current second-story location on West 4th. On Friday morning, three days after the election, the entire salon felt slightly deflated, yet still the show went on. Beyond styling, this is the service that Fateman and her team ultimately provide: a safe space for personal nourishment and growth. I think it’s safe to say you won’t find any helmet hair here…

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