Kinga Kaminska is sitting, relaxed, in her new hair salon on Dodge Street. The space once belonged to Mark Koch’s Beachcomber salon, but Kaminska has transformed the space to reflect her own casual elegance.
There are art books on a narrow table sitting in front of a colorful divan. There is art made by local artists on the walls. The cases where the product is stored have a hand-made antique-y look to them. The place is peaceful, which is the look and feel Kaminska was aiming for when she opened the Salt Hair Salon this summer. There’s even a little bench out front situated beneath the shade of a tree.
“I wanted it to be very comfortable,” she said.
It’s her first permanent spot, although she did cut hair for Koch when she first came to the island in 2005. Kaminska came here like so many other people: a promise of summer employment that didn’t quite pan out. She walked into Koch’s shop, he said he needed help, and she started just a couple of days after that.
“It’s just kind of continued. This opportunity” — to buy the Beachcomber — “just kind of presented itself. Here I am. It’s come full circle,” she said.
Her journey before that was perhaps not so typical. Born in Poland, she and her family came to America as political refugees. She learned to speak English in American public schools, and has made her life here ever since. When the Communist bloc was finally broken up in 1989, she was finally able to return to visit family.
She is devoted to her clients. She won’t pick up the phone when she’s with a client. She does what she calls “cuts and color” — no close shaves just yet — but what she will offer is still evolving. All the products she sells and uses are ecologically friendly.
One thing will stay the same.
“I’ll try to accommodate everyone,” she says.
The Salt Hair Salon is located on Dodge Street. Summer hours: Tuesday, Thursday through Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Mondays by appointment. Closed on Sundays. Phone: (401) 632-8323, email [email protected].