David Rios’ Georgetown salon perfects the art of pampering.
By Kevin Chaffee
Washington’s hottest hairdresser has opened his very own salon and spa just in time for the beau monde to be clipped, coiffed, shampooed, sprayed, preened and pummeled into shape for the fall social season. Davis Rios, 34, a son of the Franche-Comte in northeastern France, mastered his craft on Cannes’ famed rue des Etats-Unies where his clientele included — naturellement — actresses, models and jet-setters. In 2007, famed coiffeur Christophe convinced him to relocate to Washington where his skill with the scissors, kind nature and impossibly sexy accent made him an instant favorite with the Georgetown set.
How did you get your start in the beauty business?
After I finished school I needed a job. I went in to the construction business but when summer was over I soon discovered I didn’t like working outside in the cold. Then I met someone with a friend who owned a beauty salon. A week later I was an apprentice there.
An unusual transition to say the least.
I started out sweeping the floor and doing shampoos, but I was very lucky because I had great mentors, one Italian and one French. The aptitude and art came later, when I moved to Cannes.
What is the best thing about your craft?
I immediately loved connecting with clients and seeing the transformation in them. Somehow I could make people happy just by doing their hair.
What made you decide to go out on your own?
Opportunity found me. After Erwin Gomez closed his Georgetown salon, a client of mine bought the building and offered it to me. It was a great honor because I was chosen over some very well-known names, including Frederic Fekkai, Jacques Dessange and Vidal Sassoon.
What distinguishes your salon from all the others?
Besides my skill at cutting, I offer my clients everything they could want in beautiful, private surroundings. It’s not just about coming in for a treatment and leaving after an hour. I want them to hang out, chill with us, enjoy the atmosphere, sit and read a magazine in the garden. It is never going to be a place that is too loud or crowded to relax.
David Rios Salon & Spa, 1519 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20007, 202-525-2613.