When I moved to Houston, I avoided trying a new hair salon for months because I had loved my salon in Baton Rouge so much and was terrified of a botched job.
Sure enough, the first salon I tried six months after moving here gave me Anna Wintour when I’d asked for Jennifer Lawrence. Then, a friend introduced me to the beautiful, magical Instagram feed of Rina Dee, a stylist at Kat’s Meow.
Rina took my hair’s virginity and helped me pass for something of a cool kid with stunning purple ombre hair, and then gave me hair so perfectly white it rivaled the Mother of Dragons.
Kat’s Meow, decorated in vintage hair salon dryers, curlers and hair pins, sits on a block in Midtown that celebrates vintage culture. This fun area is full of rockabilly-style restaurants, bars and shops, letting you step back in time with a small community of friendly faces adorned with beehives and pomade. “Once I found the Rockabilly scene here in Houston, I knew I found my tribe,” shared owner Crissy Salazar. “The style of the era is something that can’t be topped.”
But, it’s not just the time travel that makes Kat’s Meow so special — it’s the expertise, as well. Rina, known on Instagram for her transformative iterations of mermaid hair and colorings worthy of anime, recently led a conference course on Iro Iro semipermanent hair colors. As a product educator, the brand tapped her to teach local beauty professionals about the relatively new vibrant color line.
All of the stylists are Redken certified and specialize in vintage styling. Don’t let the vintage decor and specializations fool you, though. “Even though we do a lot of vintage styling, our stylists are up to date with all the current trends,” Crissy said. “More than anything else we really specialize in corrective color. So, if for some reason another salon or friend didn’t quite get that hair color right, give us a call. We can fix it for ya.”
Crissy and her husband, Edgar, opened Kat’s Meow Salon and Big Kat’s Barbershop side-by-side in February 2011. “This style is our style. [Rockabilly is] something we both have been into for many many moons,” Crissy shared. “We felt that our love for the vintage culture would make a unique backdrop for our shop. Even if a vintage styled ‘do is not what you want, everyone seems to love the environment. It’s different and unique, yet familiar.”
Kat’s Meow takes appointments, but Big Kat’s doesn’t — men wait outside the barber shop for up to two hours to get the perfect pompadour. You sign your name to the list, then head to Double Trouble or Natachees for a quick drink or bite, or take advantage of the shop’s free beer while you wait.
Whatever the wait, though, it’s worth it to get the best vintage ‘dos and colored tresses in Houston.