RED BANK, NJ - What’s striking about Salon Concrete located at 123 Broad Street in Red Bank, is the atmosphere as you enter this industrial, yet upscale full-service hair salon. 

This decor style gives off a cool, modern vibe characterized by a clean open space with color palettes that are serene and subdued.

And based on the greeting(s) I received from the several staff members, you just know that you’re going to be treated by stylists that are passionate about the art of hairdressing.

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As passionate as Christine Zilinski, the owner of Salon Concrete.

After streaking her hair blue/black at 12 years old, she knew she wanted to be a hairdresser.  “Mom took me to every hair salon in the county trying to get it out.  What intrigued me from that moment was that people can perceive you so differently when you change your hair color.  It inspired me to want to do hair and change other people.  People can find their identity and who they want to be, even if it’s just for that moment in time.”

Zilinski began her journey in 1998 graduating from cosmetology school in New York and by 1991 she was working for Vidal Sassoon, which “Opened my eyes to the education of hairdressing, Vidal Sassoon’s mission was to train hairdressers all over the world serving both the hairdresser and the people in the chair.  I feel my sole purpose is to help people grow, especially in the beauty industry where a lot of young women that come into my business for jobs are looking to further their career, having no resources or understanding of what that takes,” said Zilinski.

Zilinski was working in Los Angeles teaching at the VS Academy, moved back to New Jersey in 1999 and opened her first shop in 2000 on Monmouth Street.  Her dad was a contractor who helped renovate the salon.  She hired one employee, trained her, and trained more hairdressers as the business grew.

Growing out of the business she moved to present location in 2012, doubling the size of her space.

The Salon Concrete name was inspired by Vidal Sassoon and her dad the contractor.  “Both had love of architecture and building.  Vidal worked with clothing designers and architects, Zilinski told us.  “Growing up with blueprints, I thought to myself, it’s about going down to the details and the foundation, so it made me think about the medium of concrete.  Concrete is the foundation of everything that we build on.  My goal is to have a salon with an organization that people are able to grow and transform.”

Asked about what differentiates her salon from others Zilinski said, “Attention to detail and the dedication to our craft, not only for ourselves but being great at what we do and what it does for other people.”

Furthering that belief Concrete Salon offers advanced training for hairdressers and offers several education classes for outside hairdressers such as Bridal Styling.

Salon Concrete is also a Sponsor of the Monmouth Film Festival. MFF is the brainchild of Nick Marchese, a graduate of Holmdel High School.

When asked how and why she became involved, Zilinski replied that “My friends at the local clothing store THEO (also a sponsor of the MFF), owner Alexander Meder and Tamara Lynas, Creative Director asked me to be a part of it.  I love to support local art, artists and filmmakers.  We are part of the art community doing hair and wanted to get as many people as possible to come to support the MFF.”

Concrete Salon will have a beauty booth to provide services for the actors/actresses for hair and makeup touch ups

In the very near future, Concrete Salon is opening up a shop in Holmdel at the Bell Works metroburb.  They will offer a membership/subscription plans for unlimited: blow drys, barbering and beard trims.  Eventually they plan to offer shaves, shoe shines and coloring memberships.

“There’s certain things I wanted to improve upon from our Red Bank shop” said Zilinski.  “Holmdel will have separate sections for shampooing, hair cutting/styling and coloring.  We’re planning on having a co-work space so that guests can work on their laptops as they get their hair done.  Based on Bell Works demographics (60% men), we’re going to be more geared toward barbering and getting the gray hair covered which includes complimentary blow drys.” Check it out memberships here.

Be sure to review the carousel pictures of hair styles and Christine’s video at a TEDx conference and visit them at the Monmouth Film Festival starting next Friday, August 10 at the Two River Theater in Red Bank.