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Where to Find the Most Skilled Hair Stylists in San Francisco

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Photos by Aubrie Pick

The first thing you'll notice when you walk into Hair Collective is the amazing blue wood floor. Second, you'll notice the handsome couple who created this gorgeous space, George Falcon and James Mackey. They wanted to bring together the best, most experienced San Francisco hair experts in one place—so far only a handful (including themselves, and one apprentice) have passed muster. The result is a stunning but calm open space where client after client walks away excited to enter the world with their perfect new hair—after a glass or two of champagne, bien sur.

We paid Mackey and Falcon a visit to find out all about their hair philosophy, how they met, and their plans for the future, which include seasonal hairstyle collections and a private line of cosmetics in spring 2014 called Beauty Collective. Keep an eye on this elite team to continue curating collections of greatness.

How did you guys first meet?
"I (James) had just moved to San Francisco from New York, and the salon where I choose to work is where George was doing his magic. When I met him I thought he was the sexiest man I had ever seen and he truely took my breath away, and still does. We became fast friends and started spending a lot of time together. It was always comfortable and easy as if we had been friends for 10 years and the attraction was definitely undeniable. We started dating and moved in together 8 months later and we have some very exciting plans on our horizon."

How did you decide to open a salon together?
"We both love hair and fashion and it is part of who we are, and have made it our lives. We also come from similar backgrounds in hair—Vidal Sassoon and Toni&Guy—the biggest and most progressive forces of hair in the world. With both of us being in the same business, and as a couple with each having 20+ years experience we decided we needed to bring a collaboration of our vision to an environment that would feed our creative energy and to create a space where our clients would want to not only get their hair done in but would want to stay after and hang out with a cup of coffee or some bubbly and a magazine, and they do."

What's your philosophy behind the new salon?
"The philosophy behind the salon is bringing a collective of expert and professional hair stylists together in an open space with creative freedom to make hair happen in San Francisco. All of our stylists are experts at their craft and the most sought after stylists in San Francisco. When you come to Hair Collective anyone will give you an amazing haircut or color guaranteed because we only hire expert stylists with our level of expertise."

We love the blue floor! What inspired you to use that color?
"When the two of us designed the space it happened pretty organically as we both have similar esthetics. We wanted it to be a space that we wanted to be in every day since basically we live here. When we chose the oversized salvaged boat wood mirrors and the giant crystal chandelier encompassed within a rusted orb along with the concrete walls, and knowing that we wanted wood floors, the juxtaposition needed to complete the elements in a fantastical way. But an average wood stained floor was not going to do it for this space. When considering the options almost simultaneously we looked at each other and said blue floors. From that moment on nothing else would do. It wasn't easy finding someone to do this as no one had ever done a colored wood floor. We finally found a professional to do it, even though he had never done it before, and we could not be happier. It is the talking point of the space whenever someone see it for the first time. Were so glad that we went with our guts and just went for it."

Do you guys each have specialties or favorite things you like to do when it comes to cutting or coloring hair?
"George's girls are the "it girls" with the newest handbag and shoes and have typically long beautiful hair that moves effortlessly, the hair you see on commercials that you think doesn't exist, well it does and it is his trademark. His talents in cutting everything hair is world class and he is the best in San Francisco. George is also a Keratin smoothing specialist and has been doing them since its inception. George has an extensive background in editorial work and styling sets for photo shoots. James's girl wants a precision haircut that falls perfectly into place that moves with ease. His creative haircuts with unusual shapes that throw the eye off with sharp lines that make people take notice. James is a color expert and more specifically a blonde specialist and has been using Goldwell color, the highest rated color in the world, his entire career. James is also a make-up artist who specializes in brides, socialites for events as well as make-up for the everyday woman. He loves naturally beautiful make-up, bringing out the true beauty from within of each woman. He also does incredible classic and modern up styles that aren't stuffy or overdone."

Can you tell us about the special skills your other stylists might have?
"Amee Wong, before joining Hair Collective was a Vidal Sassoon stylist and instructor for 9 years, and did her creative training in London with Sassoon. Her haircutting skills are beyond! She recently won an online photo contest with Hairbrained as the editors' choice.

Anastasia Panagiotidis has more than 20 years of experience. She came from New York as a successful stylist there for 16 years. Her range in cutting is from short to long and can take you to the edge if that is what you are looking for. Her highlights are stunning and colors beautiful. She styles for photo shoots and travels with a list of celebrity clientele.

Breana O'Connor, our very talented apprentice from Los Angeles is on her way to becoming a force in the industry. She has a passion for hair and make-up and hopes one day to work on movie sets creating hair and make-up for stars. Breana is available on training days for half price, under the supervision of our expert stylists."
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