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Maryland-based hair salon coming to Vienna for first Virginia location

The Maryland chain Symmetry Salon Studios is expanding to Virginia with a Vienna location (courtesy Symmetry Salon Studios)

An expanding hair salon chain from Maryland has chosen to set up its first Virginia location in the Town of Vienna.

Later this year, Symmetry Salon Studios will open a 3,925-square-foot space (262 Cedar Lane, Suite N) at the Cedar Park Shopping Center, which is also getting the gym Starfit Studio.

Started in Bethesda in 2012, Symmetry advertises itself as an “elevated” experience for “elite stylists,” per its tagline.

“Vienna doesn’t have that today,” Symmetry CEO and founder Tom Ruder said. “We’ve done our research and there’s nobody in the marketplace that can kind of provide that. And [when] we say Vienna, it’s not only Vienna, but it’s also Tysons and Merrifield, the Mosaic District.”

Deviating from the commission-based approach of traditional hair salons, Symmetry is stylist-owned and operated, according to Ruder. It provides rental studios for individual stylists, while the company handles the business operations, including landlord discussions and facility maintenance.

That gives each stylist flexibility over the services they provide, the ambience and their working hours, since they will have around-the-clock access to their studio, Ruder said.

“They get to decide…what works for them,” he said. “So, someone might have a wedding and they’re going to come in early on a Saturday morning and do the wedding party, would just be one example, or someone’s got a client who’s out of town and they can only visit at 11 o’clock at night or 2 in the morning. They could come in and provide a service at that time.”

Leasing is already underway for the Vienna location, which will have 23 studios for 26 stylists.

The front desk will be staffed for about 80 hours each week during the busiest times of the day, and there will be a beverage bar with coffee, tea, soda and water for patrons waiting for an appointment, which Ruder says is intended to create a “luxurious feel.”

That emphasis on comfort extends to how Symmetry’s locations are constructed, Ruder told FFXnow, highlighting the use of wide hallways and concrete floors “padded” with tile.

“The stylists stand on their feet all day long and it’s really bad for their feet,” he said. “It’s bad for their posture, and it’s uncomfortable. So, we focused on that and spent a tremendous amount of research and time to get the floors so they’re comfortable.”

The company is in the process of obtaining permits from Fairfax County and Vienna. Once that is complete, Ruder anticipates the build-out will take another 12 to 14 weeks for a potential opening this fall.

The Vienna location will be Symmetry’s fifth, joining sites in Bethesda, Rockville, Annapolis and Gaithersburg.

Comparing the expansion plans to Morton’s The Steakhouse, rather than McDonald’s, Ruder says the company is seeking to add one to three locations a year. Though he couldn’t give details about ongoing negotiations with landlords, Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington, Manassas and Woodbridge are “all in play,” along with D.C.

“We’ve looked for years to try to make it into Virginia and we’re thrilled with our opportunity in Vienna,” Ruder said.

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