Quency Valencia is an outspoken young man. He still remembers when he was getting paid $8 for a haircut and the problems he had speaking English. Those days are far from forgotten but he has since become a well-known hair stylist at Bang Salon U Street, where he’s been working for the last three years.
His clients have become his friends, from the local neighborhood customers to those that come from The White House for his services.
This Sunday, Valencia will be in Las Vegas providing his professional hair styling expertise and his specialized makeup services to the current Miss DC, Allyn Rose as she competes in the 62nd Miss USA Pageant.
“In my profession,” Valencia said. “You see and deal with many important people, much more in a city like DC. I have learned to be even more discreet than what I was.”
The Long Road to Becoming A Stylist
Like many in the city, Valencia is not from DC . He has lived here for 10 years and he’s been a stylist for over 13 years, but he hails from San Cristobal, a border town in Venezuela. He began working in San Cristobal, then lived in Punto Fijo, Venezuela. Next Valencia worked in Aruba training make up artists and hair stylists. With a will to grow and the drive to look for better opportunities, Valencia ended up in Virginia, where his brother and sister live.
Valencia began working as a barber at a salon on Glebe Road trying to perfect his skills – at the time he did not regularly cut men’s hair. Valencia used that time and work as an opportunity to learn and after four years there, he found a job at VLS Hair Design on Connecticut Avenue. He eventually moved on to Bang Salon where he currently works and is recognized as a professional hair stylist.
“At Bang Salon, we are always updating ourselves with styles and fashions a season ahead,” Valencia said.
Bang Salon is accommodating the early birds of the neighborhood and is extending its hours. It will open at 8:30 am Monday through Friday at its Logan Circle location, 1519 15th Street NW (the Metropole).
“We noticed a developing market in the area for guests that wanted to come in to get that amazing color or refresh that chic cut on their way to work.
“Expanding our salon hours contributes to the Bang motto of providing amazing service with fair prices and then allowing our valued guests to get on with the rest of their busy day,” says Nikki Esoldo, co-owner of Bang Salon.
And don’t worry about being half-asleep for your appointment, Bang Salon will supply fresh coffee to the early morning appointments. Weekend hours will remain the same at all locations: Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm; and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm.
Last Sunday afternoon Bang Salon on U Street hosted a “Beauty Makeover Salon Day” for wives of local Marines serving in Afghanistan. The wives were given a few hours of pampering by stylists who donated their time for makeup advice, haircuts and styling. Their husbands will arrive home to the DC area in the next few weeks.
The Marines are all members of the DC-based reservist group the 4th Civil Affairs Group. They do community outreach work in Afghanistan with the civilian population.
“These strong-willed ladies have been through a lot. A lot of stress, hard work and fatigue,” said Patrick Guarniere, manager at Bang U-Street. “I can’t think of a more deserving group of individuals to give this day of beauty to. We are going to make them absolutely stunning for when they reunite with their husbands.”
The idea for the Sunday makeover session was the brainchild of Guarniere and Jessica Erfer. Erfer, a Dupont resident and former assistant at Bang, is married to one of the Marines serving in Afghanistan.
She told Borderstan that military families are increasingly moving into the Borderstan area. “More and more families are moving into this area and into the city overall, when they might have chosen the suburbs before,” Erfer said. “Part of it is the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ but it’s straight members of the military and their families, too.”
Bang Salon also has locations at Verizon Center and the Metropole on 15th Street NW.
Saturday’s Washington Post ran an article, “Condo Sellers Banking on Extravagance; Open Houses in D.C. Lay on the Luxuries.” The newly opened Metropole — right here in Borderstan — at the northeast corner of 15th and P NW is featured in the story, including Thursday’s opening party. The gist of the article is what developers/sellers are doing to move high-end condos during the current financial unpleasantries.
The businesses on the first floor, and the VIDA Fitness gym in the lower levels, are opening, too. Borderstan.com will bring you some reviews and photos later this week.
From the opening of the WaPo story on Metropole:
Outside Washington’s hot new address, four swirling floodlights illuminated the heavens. Bow-tied waiters in top hats served pink champagne to guests, who entered the lobby between two oversize reproductions of golden Oscar statuettes.