By Janee Law
It wasn’t easy for Ben Aharon to start his journey as a hair stylist. Despite his parents’ disapproval, and the support of only himself at age 17, Aharon took the world of cosmetology by storm, making a name for himself in Huntington village as creative director and owner of Salon Mayan.
“I look back on that day, I ask myself, ‘Would you do anything differently?’ And the answer is no, absolutely not,” Aharon, 26, said in regards to the time he revealed his calling in life to his parents. “When I decided that I was going to do hair I just looked straight and never ever looked back, just forward.”
Aharon earned his certificate in cosmetology at the Learning Institute of Beauty and Science in midtown Manhattan in 2005, and later received training in hair color and styling at Warren Tricomi in Manhattan. He also worked at Priel Salon, his uncle’s salon in Queens, and then Orpheous Hair Designers in Cold Spring Harbor from 2010-2012.
With his main focus on styling hair, including haircuts, hair color and hair extensions, Aharon said Salon Mayan also offers threading for eyebrows.
“When I opened the salon, it was extremely important to me to focus on hair because it’s such a vast field and there’s always so much going on,” Aharon, of Forest Hills, Queens, said. “For me it’s not about money, it’s about being able to work in a space where we’re all bouncing ideas off each other and being creative and really focusing on hair.”
Originally opening at 20 Clinton Ave. in Huntington village in 2012, Salon Mayan moved in November 2014 to its current 2,500-square-foot space at 27 Wall St. Since he’s opened the salon, Aharon said clients have been so supportive.
“We’re more than just a hair salon to go to, we really try to build relationships with our clients,” he said. “We get to work have fun and make money, but we also get to please people all day and they always walk out happy and with a smile on their face. It’s fun and it’s gratifying. You always feel like you made a difference and made a change and there’s no end to it.”
Aharon said it was always his “dream to be able to share what I’ve learned in the business and be able to hire people and work with people just like myself, and be able to bring something different to Long Island.”
Salon Mayan is also different in that it is the “only salon in the world” to be sponsored by L’Orèal Paris, a French cosmetics company, Aharon said.
As far as marketing, education, new products and releases, Salon Mayan is the first in the globe to receive up-to-date merchandising from the company, displaying brands like Matrix, Boilage, Kèrastase and Shu Uemura. With the help of L’Orèal, Aharon said he plans to open another salon in New York City.
“For me, the reason I partnered with a brand like L’Orèal was to be able to give something back to my stylists and associates on education,” Aharon said. “We have directors coming here at least four times a year to share all the new trends, the new techniques, new products and new technology. Hair color and hair products are constantly evolving especially today with all the technology so it really gives us an edge of being able to try everything and interact with the product before it actually gets to open market.”
Tomorrow, Aharon said Salon Mayan will also be the first salon to launch a biodegradable program through a partnership with L’Orèal and Green Circle Salons. The program is intended to be a way to give back to the environment, Aharon said, adding that Green Circle is a recycling company that plans to use salon waste such as aluminum and hair and turn it into organic substances.