Meet D.C.'s Coolest Hairstylist And Tour His Brand-New Indie Salon

If you're looking to break free from the same old cut-and-color combo, you should make tracks to Eastern Confederate, Mount Pleasant's rad new underground hair salon. Helmed by notable stylist (and all-around cool kid) Ryan Hunter Mitchell, a Vidal Sassoon and Aveda alum, Eastern Confederate's web site boasts of being the neighborhood's "premiere basically legal hair salon." That's a nod to Mitchell's heretofore itinerant ways, as he jetted between Washington, New York, Los Angeles, making house calls to a network of hip clients.
Now, Mitchell has settled down (a bit) and brought together a small team of stylists to provide a range of services at very accessible prices. Women's cuts start around just $55 — or drop by for Mimosa Sundays, where the price of a nice brunch buys a manicure, hair treatment, and blowout. We love the shop's subtly-sexy approach, which forgoes chemical-laden products and damaging styling tools in favor of natural texture and modern styles. Who knows — we might even let Mitchell talk us into one of the dramatic-but-easy pixie cuts he wants to see on more Washington women.
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Where: Eastern Confederate, 3112 Mount Pleasant Street NW; 202-621-7363.
Photo: Marc Marzipan/Eastern Confederate
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How do you describe your approach to styling?
"The idea should be cut to the texture and to the person. Make it manageable, flattering, and easy to replicate. A person shouldn't just have nice hair on the day they walk out of the salon."


Photo: Marc Marzipan/Eastern Confederate
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We've all had haircuts that only look good for a day...
"I blame hairdressers, seriously. We get too caught up in gimmicky hair products and styling tools. Hairdressers think about hair all the time, it's their job — but there can be a huge disconnect between them and normal people who don't want to spend time or money on their hair."

Eastern Confederate keeps it low-key with a super-simple setup.


Photo: Marc Marzipan/Eastern Confederate
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Eastern Confederate mixes vintage furnishings with thoroughly modern styling techniques.


Photo: Marc Marzipan/Eastern Confederate
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We love all of the masculine, brass-meets-wood-meets-leather touches all around the space.


Photo: Marc Marzipan/Eastern Confederate
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You're known for edgy, modern styles. Can they translate to a more conservative 9-to-5 lifestyle?
"I think the 9-to-5 desk-job crowd has no other option than to go with this approach to hair. It doesn't always have to be "wild," but certainly natural. I hate this idea that just because you don't have time to style your hair you have to tie it up, or have it look bad."

"One piece of hairstyle advice I would give D.C. is 'your job is not your life.' A lot of my clients started coming to me saying they need to be able to put their hair up, which is fine. But if you have that option, it's often the only one you go with. Try something that you can keep out of the way while you work that can look great and effortless when you get off."


Photo: Marc Marzipan/Eastern Confederate
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Music plays a key element in Eastern Confederate's atmosphere, so expect to see plenty of great old vinyl in the basement venue.


Photo: Marc Marzipan/Eastern Confederate
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Quirky decorative touches range from antlers to an antique bar.


Photo: Marc Marzipan/Eastern Confederate
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Are there any winter hair trends that excite you?
"I can't say that I follow trends too often. However, since it is winter and we're all bundling up, I might persuade some clients to go real short in the nape so they don't get scarf hair. Hopefully my winter trend will be pretty, short, Mia Farrow-esque cuts. Just an idea."


Photo: Marc Marzipan/Eastern Confederate
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An antique trunk serves as a coffee table inside the salon.


Photo: Marc Marzipan/Eastern Confederate
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