Haute Boston: Sandy Poirier and SHAG

Sandy Poirier of SHAG
Sandy Poirier of SHAG

Photo Credit: Jean Hangarter

SHAG salon located at 840 Summer St, Boston, MA 02127 was created and founded by my longtime friend the genius, genuine and multi- talented hair stylist Sandy Poirier. I first met Sandy when he worked on Newbury Street – Boston’s equivalent to Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, California, or Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. And what is so unique about SHAG, is that there is no place like this anywhere. It was one of the best experiences ever – the space is open, expansive, bright during the day, and perfect lighting at night whilst being comfortable and having a feeling of togetherness and teamwork. You may recognize Sandy’s name as I mentioned him in my Haute Living Bastille Kitchen anniversary celebration piece for his guest DJ talent, but Sandy is best known as Sandy the stylist whose cut is precise and style, cutting edge and most sophisticated in town, to schedule an appointment with Sandy and/or his master colorist named Maria one must call (617) 268-2500. Yet to see Sandy’s photography and creative videos, one can go to http://www.shagboston.com and/or Sandy’s photography and art, http://sandypoirier.com and https://vimeo.com/143894956.

I recently sat down with Sandy and we spoke about SHAG and much more:

Sandy Poirier, Sonia Tita Puopolo and Maria Dopolous
Sandy Poirier, Sonia Tita Puopolo and Maria Dopoulos

Photo Credit: Jean Hangarter

Where were you born?
Providence, Rhode Island. When were you born? A few years ago…January 10th…I was born January 10th in Providence, Rhode Island.
What’s your favorite style of clothing, homes, cars, people? My type of clothing is Rock n’ Roll, Edgy, like grungy, homeless- chic…I don’t look good in perfect fashion that is tailored…I like a messy, Rock n’ Roll style. Homes: I live in a high rise at the seaport, loft-like, minamilist. Cars: anything fast that I can burn rubber in and I used to race motor cycles as you know. People: kind, caring and considerate.

What inspires you?
To be better and to always push the envelope and to always be on cutting edge in style, hair and fashion.

Who inspires you?
Anyone successful. It could be someone in the fashion industry, music industry, or tech industry. Someone who has changed the world. Anyone who can really be a visionary and see the future. That is a person who inspires me. Someone like Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs.
Are you a spiritual or religious person? I was born catholic, but that sort of fell away by the wayside. My spiritual religion is KARMA. I’m a big believer in what goes around comes around, that is my belief in life.

What is your favorite color?
What is the most important thing in the world to you? Happiness, peace of mind and success.

Who is your favorite fashion designer?
Well, I have three. They are my style – I like Vetements,http://vetementswebsite.com; Amiri, http://mikeamiri.com; and have always been into Chrome Hearts. Why? It is cool, understated, it’s me and where I get all my clothes is Ricarddi’s in Boston, https://www.riccardiboston.com.

What is your favorite food?
If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, then who would it be? It is two people: Evel Knievel and John Lennon.

What is your favorite music?
I have an eclectic taste in music. I like the dance music in the salon and it gets everyones energy up. It’s now, it’s current. Favorite song? Layla by Eric Clapton
I see your marvelous images and videos on your Website – when did you begin photography and videography and what inspires your creativity? Newbury Street is where I started and I was always around models.  I did take a photography class in high school, but I bought a Nikon camera and that is when I really learned, and taught myself and using film it takes time because you cannot make a mistake because it was expensive so it forced me to do it right. How do you nurture that? When I shoot I take 100 great shots so my problem is which one to choose. I did alot of studying and when you have to develop in a room for 6 hours, you are learning more, so now with digital, I have learned how to use all the new editing tools. Any good movie is: cuts, edits and composition.


Christine Maria Dopoulos and Sandy Poirier of SHAG
Maria Dopoulos and Sandy Poirier of SHAG


Photo Credit: Jean Hangarter

Christine Maria Dopoulos and Sonia Tita Puopolo
Maria Dopoulos and Sonia Tita Puopolo

Photo Credit: Jean Hangarter

Do you think that humanity is living in a peaceful time? It is the worst it has ever been in my lifetime. If yes, then why? Too many people, we are damaging the planet. If no, then what would you do to bring more peace to humanity? Kids don’t want to work today, they want instant gratification, they want a short cut and there is really no real short cut to hard work. I work over 80 hours and have always worked 80 hours.

What is your 1 year goal?
A reality show.

What is your 5 year goal?
A short film based on my life. A modern day Shampoo.
What is the most important message you want me to communicate to my audience /my readers? Pretty much at all the salons I have worked at, I was held back creatively and I give my talent at SHAG as much possibility to grow and evolve. I have classes and SHAG is open to creativity. HAIR is an art and you cannot stifle an art. SHAG is a creative space – like a think tank. I DJ and we do photo shoots as well as fashion shows. There is nothing like this anywhere. We have one side just for color and one side for cuts. SHAG is a salon that is unique and exceptional with superb skill and talent.

What is the greatest accomplishment in your life? I have not arrived there yet.
Where is your favorite place to be in the world? In bed with my French bull dog Chloe.

Tell me about SHAG?
I was a legendary hair dresser on Newbury Street. And I felt stifled. I wasn’t reaching my potential. It is like my grandma said, “No matter where you are, you are there.” I almost quit the business and moved to Denver because I like the outdoors. I was sick of Newbury Street and the whole industry. A lot of talented hair dressers were leaving Madison Ave to lofts in the meat packing district in NYC and I was inspired so I had been doing my photography here in this loft space and then I started with my hair cutting and doing photography and then added a colorist. And now I have over 40 stylist working here. Tell me about Maria who just celebrated her two year anniversary on September 1st at SHAG. Maria was living in Cleveland and moved to Boston – she went to a bunch of salons to get the vibe. If you google best in Boston, SHAG comes up. She came in and said I want to work here. I asked her what do you have to offer me? You are worthless to me…but I made her an offer, and she began. I’m a firm believer in show me, don’t tell me. To this day, she can’t believe I said that, but today, just two years later, she is one of my top colorist. She was hungry to learn and she has learned so much and has grown. I get hundreds of applications a week and I hand pick my colorist and stylist. We not only have the best talent, but the top products too.  I’m tight with Oribe, https://www.oribe.com and Davines, http://www.davines.com and these are the products we use.

What motivates you the most? I push myself. I’m never satisfied. To learn, to get knowledge, to do what you do and do it better and I don’t settle for mediocrity.

Please tell me whatever you want me to be sure that I write about you, SHAG, and your life and include in my story.
I started working at 14 years old. I believe in hard work and be the best you can be. We help educate our clients about color. It is about 13 years now that I have been in this loft location and I give back to my artist. When you say SHAG, SHAG is the best place for color, cut and stylist.

For my Haute Living hair savvy readers, please note, that with SHAG’s no online booking policy, one must call and sometimes patiently wait for up to two months for an appointment and their strict rule is that for all new clients, they start with a 15 minute consulting appointment no matter what. SHAG offers not only the perfect cut with Sandy, but also, the perfect colorist for blonde, brunette, pink, blue, and Maria is one of the top colorists, an expert in blondes and one of the leading blonde colorists in the business. SHAG is the HAUTE LIVING of the salon world in Boston and it is exciting to share that Maria is not only a shining star at SHAG, but also has been nominated for a prestigious award within the hair industry called the “Behind the Chair” Award, http://www.behindthechair.com/, for the extension category for 2 years and this weekend September 25- 27, 2016 the show takes place in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida so bravo Maria and congratulations on your nomination!

Maria says her one year goal is to be better known in Boston, but she already has people flying in from around the world to see her and I believe the secret to her success is not only her hard work, and perseverance but also, thanks to Sandy who gave her a start in Boston at SHAG and that she also lives by the SHAG creed and says, “Each person is unique and I don’t have one formula that I apply for each person.” and “I’m a perfectionist.” That combined with a love for her clientele, makes Maria special.  Thank you SHAG for your spectacular team, superb service, and for being the best in Boston!! As our founder and publisher Kamal Hotchandani says, “Haute Living, we built our platform on celebrating excellence.” And it is a privilege to share SHAG with our Haute readers to be a perfect example of excellence in Boston’s beauty business because SHAG is the number one salon in Boston!

Sandy Poirier of SHAG
Sandy Poirier of SHAG

Photo Credit: Jean Hangarter

Sandy, Tita, Maria at SHAG HAUTE LIVING storyPhoto Credit: Jean Hangarter

Cut and Photo By Sandy Poirier of SHAG.
Cut Sam Kane and Photo By Sandy Poirier of SHAG.

Photo Credit: Sandy Poirier

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Cut and Photo by Sandy Poirier of SHAG
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Hair by Kristen Scott and Photo by Sandy Poirier of SHAG

Photo Credit: Sandy Poirier