By Abby Montanez and Victoria Keenan
In New Jersey, you can find a hair salon on almost every corner, but none are quite like 21 Godwin. Named after its main street location in Ridgewood, the salon is owned and operated by hairdresser April Luna, the driving force behind its success. Opened over two years ago, April bought and completely transformed the space and today, it is one of the most unique salons in Bergen County. VUE recently had the chance to visit the salon and experience some of what they had to offer.
With over 15 years of experience, there’s no doubt April knows the ins and outs of the beauty industry. However, she was also quick to find out that she had the design gene. “Everything in the salon is used. Everything you see from the mirrors to the salon chairs, I found myself and refurbished,” April explained. There is something interesting and exciting to notice no matter where you are in the salon, and most of her materials are salvaged from antique shops and estate sales. April has used everything from vegetables crates to wine racks from Napa Valley to serve as shelving. She even striped electrical tape herself for the sign that hangs in the window. “I’m always thinking. I’m always creating. I’m constantly trying to come up with new things, new ideas.”
As soon as you step into the salon, you are met with a cool, chic design (and a friendly faced staff). April laid everything from the wooden floors, the stone entrance, the walls backsplash, and the wooden panels inside the tiny but adorably styled bathroom. She hand cut the mirrors in front of the salon chairs and stacked hand cut wood in front of them. Everything has been stained and painted to be cool blues, greys, and greens, coexisting perfectly with the rich leather in the chairs and the deep woods found around the salon. Attention to detail is key, and everything has a home, including the brass bathroom sink from “who knows when,” which used to be a bucket and was found in an antique shop.
April takes her love of creating and uses it to her and her clients advantage. The salon offers a variety of homemade hair treatments which April has concocted herself. “These treatments can help dry scalp, dandruff, damaged hair, you name it. And they’re all-natural.” Without using any harsh chemicals or perfumes, April incorporates base ingredients such as yogurt and bananas and combines it with twice-infused essential herbs and oils. “The infusing process takes about 10 days, and we sit the jars outside in the sun.” April also mentioned the one challenging aspect of these treatments is that because they’re freshly made and created from all-natural ingredients, they do not have a long shelf life.
For our treatments, April mixed us up a treatment made from yogurt, banana, sage, lavender, and avocado oil. Designed to deep condition and add shine, we started by getting our hair shampooed, rinsed and then the treatment was applied and thoroughly worked into our hair. For the treatment to set, we sat under a dryer for about 15 minutes each and then it was gently washed out. Almost immediately you could see, and more importantly feel, the effects of the treatment. Our hair was softer, smoother and another one of 21 Godwin’s stylists, John (friend of April’s since beauty school), gave us each blow-outs that we were proud to show off afterwards. Our hair was bouncy, shiny, smelled great and even our color looked brighter.
Aside from conditioning treatments and blowouts, 21 Godwin also offers haircuts for men and women, color correction, highlights, balayage, makeup and extension application. This one of a kind salon is the perfect place to treat yourself, and we’ll be treating ourselves again very soon.