We all strive for growth and longevity in our lives, but when it comes to hair, HELMET is the place—to find exactly that. Owner Randy Addison opened the salon in 2003 shortly after acquiring a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Illustration. With nothing else but a small humble investment and a bold risk against all odds, he opened shop refusing to take any exuberant loans that other entrepreneurs often convince themselves is a requirement to establishing a successful business.
Contrary to the assumption that the salon is named after 90’s metal-band, Helmet, the origin of the salon’s name actually stems from a relaxing afternoon of South Beach’s diet: “soul-searching.” He noticed that common trends of that area were these one-word names to epitomize the establishments like “TOUCH,” and “BASE.” “Well,” he realized, “with a love of football and Steel Magnolias,” HELMET was born. Like all artists and writers, hairstylists follow that intuitive calling no matter what form or how much education you obtain, and so Randy apprenticed under a stylist with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree under his belt to learn the tricks of the trade.
After the business took off in 2003, during the initial following years, HELMET effortlessly acquired awards and accolades such as Best of David, Yelp, Citysearch, and others. To say his reaction was a pleasant surprise would be a clichéd understatement, it only ignited his passion further for prioritizing customer service and the connection that we all find when we find the true meaning of “community.” It was as if Love was the golden key behind Randy’s alchemy for the Midas touch, and the puzzle pieces started to form in a destined, universal fashion.
HELMET’s flagship Midtown location houses the Helmet Loft Academy, a tribute to Randy’s own roots in the hair industry. Fresh young talent is an attribute he looks for, but observing their real-life application in interacting with guests is the key component to offering them employment. His philosophy is setting the difference between a technician and a stylist; his staff consults and collaborates with you, escalating the experience from a simple, “how would you like your hair cut today,” to “what do you do for a living?” They want to know who you are, how your hair and appearance contributes to who you are as a person and how you choose to fit in the community: they make a connection with you—that rare intimate quality that keeps us hooked for more.
And it is through this specific business mantra that drew in attention from the beauty industry powerhouses such as Bumble & Bumble and Aveda that allied them with the HELMET brand magnifying an ethic that chooses quality over quantity, and care over profit. Your hair is an investment in showcasing your inner beauty to the world around you, and choosing HELMET will help you achieve exactly that.
Sam Gabel is a food columnist for Atlanta-Restaurants.Org, and a writer of short-stories (Alyson Publishing’s Ultimate Gay Erotica 2009).
Take an intimate look into Randy’s original Illustrations