Lana Bowen, owner of Salana Hair Studio in Lower Nob Hill, styles Pedram Afshar’s new mohawk at the free haircuts event on Feb. 5th. Photo by Zhenya Sokolova

Teddy Hall, 18, didn’t know what to expect when he decided to RSVP for a free haircut advertised on SFFunCheap.com, but as his shoulder length hair slowly began to fall toward the floor, he knew there was no going back.

This past Thursday was the first free haircut event of the new year at Salana Hair Studio. It was in conjunction with the Lower Polk/Tenderloin Art Walk that provides exposure to new hairstyles, artwork and diverse crowds.

On the first Thursday of the next three months, Salana will be offering free barber’s choice hairstyles to men. This month’s inspiration: mohawks.

“I do regular haircuts all day. Tonight we’re going for funky,” says Salana owner Lana Bowen.

Lana Bowen finishing up Teddy Hall's new mohawk at the free hair cuts event at Salana Hair Studio in Lower Nob Hill on Thursday, Feb. 5th, Photo by Zhenya Sokolova/ Xpress Magazine
Hall watches Bowen style his new mohawk. Photo by Zhenya Sokolova / Xpress Magazine

“I figured if the line was too long, I would go home,” said one the queued men as he laughed nervously. After seeing the first few mohawks, he decided he would wait until next month to get his free and hopefully more conservative haircut.

Although “barber’s choice” may sound like a disaster waiting to happen, the music, beers, art and laughter maintained a jovial atmosphere well into the night.

On top of scoring a free haircut, patrons have the opportunity to admire and purchase artwork featured in the salon. This month, Casey Castille’s intricate posters adorn the walls of Salana, which showcase the synergy of San Francisco’s creative community.

Cafes, bookstores and various galleries in the downtown area also showcase local artists during the monthly Lower Polk/Tenderloin Art Walk. Artists, art vultures, performers, business professionals, techies, students and those who just happen to saunter by the Art Walk locations all mingle with no particular expectation for the evening. Stories are shared, art is admired, and at the center of it all is the potpourri of people that define San Francisco.

This the the sixth year for the Art Walk. According to the event’s community manager Christine Villanueva, up to 1,300 people attend the shows.

“During the drier seasons, we have alleyway events where we promote local artists and craftsmen, accompanied by a live band and food trucks,” Villanueva says.

Michael Hussey reacting to his brand new hair cut, barbers choice by Lana Bowen, owner of the Salana Hair Studio in Lower Nob Hill on Thursday, Feb. 5th, Photo by Zhenya Sokolova/ Xpress Magazine
Michael Hussey reacting to his brand new haircut. Photo by Zhenya Sokolova / Xpress Magazine

March 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. is the next date for free haircuts, and it’s also Salana’s one-year anniversary. So guys, clear your schedules so you can keep your haircuts fresh and some extra money in your bank accounts.