It's who, not how: Wink,a new hairstyling parlor on Queen Anne

Shorten Wagoner Inc. to W'Inc and you've got Wink, a new Queen Anne hair salon. "I brainstormed with my friends," says owner Rebecca Wagoner. "We had a long list of names. We chose this one because it's cute and trendy."

Wink opened on March 27. Wagoner purchased an existing salon and changed its name and d├ęcor. The floor plan is much like it was before, but now the space is more stylish and restful.

The walls are taupe, and a capiz shell chandelier graces the waiting area. Wagoner's father, a retired carpenter, made her front desk and back bar cabinet, which contains the products she uses (rather than sells). Two sea green shampoo bowls, inherited from the previous owner, provide color contrast. "Everything else is from Ikea," says Wagoner, including four large framed mirrors that stand on the floor, carefully offset to bounce light around the room.

Thinking "college would lead to sitting behind a desk," Wagoner took time off from academia to mull over her future, occasionally cutting people's hair. One person idly suggested she do it for a living, and she decided that she would.

In 1990 and '91 she attended a Seattle beauty school called Atarashii (which no longer exists). One memorable client was a young man who wanted a dye job to look as if someone had broken a bottle over his head. "He wanted the hair on the crown of his head colored blood red," says Wagoner. "It was zigzaggy, with lots of sharp lines.

"It was weird," she laughs, "but I learned a lot."

Following beauty school, Wagoner worked in a Belltown salon under the tutelage of Paul Morey. Now retired, Morey was internationally known at the time. "He was a great mentor," says Wagoner. "He demanded professionalism from us, but he wanted us to have fun and be creative, too."

After eight years she went on to rent chairs at small neighborhood salons in Ballard and, most recently, Phinney Ridge. Then she made the leap to ownership.

Asked to distinguish her business from the other two salons on the block, she can't. She has no distinct way of doing hair.

"It's more me," she says. "I think clients are drawn to who does their hair."

So, who is she? "I'm pretty easy to be around," she says. "I don't have attitude."

Wink offers hairstyling only. The least expensive service is a bang trim for $5 (free if part of an overall haircut). The most expensive is a color correction, the term for significantly changing the color of already-dyed hair. The time required to do a color correction varies widely, depending on the change desired and characteristics of the client's hair. The cost is $70 per hour.

Although there are four chairs at Wink, right now only Wagoner works there. She plans to rent out two other chairs soon.

Current hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

They are subject to change because Wagoner balances business and motherhood (she and her husband have two young children).

Wink is located at 623 W. McGraw St. For appointments or more information, call 282-6010. A Web site - - is soon to be launched.

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