WINCHESTER — Bella Taveras remembers the days when she couldn’t find a local salon where she felt comfortable getting her hair done.

Taveras is a Dominican Republic native who opened her Winchester salon 18 years ago. She specializes in hair and all kinds of hair.

Act I Salon at 2604 Valley Ave. will be expanding to a new location. The new location will be located at 133 Premier Place, Front Royal Pike.

It will remain open.

“We are from the islands, and the islands have everything. I call it both extremes and everything in between. We have a lot of diversity, so when it comes to hair salons, the point is that we can do all hair types — curly, unruly, all the way to the other side,” Taveras said. “When I started my salon, a lot of my customers were having to travel to D.C. or Maryland to find a more multicultural service. So, it makes us special here.”

This new location offers facial, hair and nail services. The area is approximately 3000 feet. You can also use the outdoor patio.

“We have women who are here for hours, depending on what they’re getting done to their hair. So while their hair is setting, they can come and enjoy the outdoors or be out here with their children,” Taveras said. “A lot of women look to us because we do it all for them. We have women who come and spend the whole day with us here, so we want to make it comfortable for them.”

Taveras said the growth of her business is a testament to the local community appreciating her salon’s services.

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She’s also worked to build a clientele from the surrounding area.

“A lot of people come to us from out of town. They travel to Winchester seeking our services,” Taveras said. “They’re willing to travel because of the quality of our work and the type of work we do. It sets us apart.”

Act I, she stated, is well-known because of its uniqueness. “multicultural expertise.”

“I have always loved (doing hair) since I was a little girl. It kind of runs in the family,”Taveras was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to New York as a teenager. After moving, she settled in Winchester. “Back home on the islands, everybody…deals with all different types of hair. Coming here, we found out that it was a big deal.”

After her move to Winchester, she was inspired to start her own salon.

“I went to a couple of salons in the area. My hair is naturally super tight and curly and unruly. I found out we had a need for my type of salon in the area because a few salons told me — and I was actually very hurt — that, ‘Oh, we don’t do that type of hair here,’” Taveras said. “I felt like something was wrong with my hair, but it was just that they didn’t know how to work with different hair types and textures. I almost felt a little bit left out.”

Taveras stated that texture and curl pattern are what distinguish hair types. Her staff is encouraged to understand the differences so that she can ensure all clients are taken care of in her shop.

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For more information, visit Act 1 Salon’s Facebook page at Act 1 Salon “Dominican Style.”

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