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By Sasha Fastovskiy

J. Christian Rea answers his own phone. The 11-year beauty business veteran is the master behind his own hair headquarters, 647 Salon of Chandler Street, has been on reality TV twice (Style TV’s “Split Ends” and its spin off, “Split Ends: The Big Cut Off”), and has toured the country doing exclusive freelance work.  Yet the man still answers his own phone.

“Oh, I’m not tired. It’s par for the course,” said Rea. “I’m running on adrenaline now!” After working 12-14 hour days doing everything imaginable on his new turf ~ “One minute I’m putting color in someone’s hair and while they’re waiting, I’m painting a wall!” ~ Rea is still bursting with excitement over his venture. “I spent two-and-a-half years as Junior Artistic Director [at Jeffrey Robert Salon], and soon it came to a point where I had to go out on my own. And I love Worcester, so I stayed here with my solid foundation. I want people to come here and be real with them, and create a look to fit their lifestyle. People need to be more than just a number.”

He certainly has plans for the four-floor majesty he calls his dream salon where, at the moment, he is “the only stylist in the sandbox. But that will change one day ~ I want people to build a business out of mine.” And that they will, as Rea could be his own social networker: he has extensive plans for an “Interactive Color Lounge” where clients mid hair-process can chat and relax (with a focal point fireplace!) while gazing at the accenting plasma televisions running ads from local business partners. “I credit Worcester with my success, it’s been really good to me, so I [want to] show people the resources of Worcester, and the Color Lounge will be all about a community feel in a living-room environment.”

With a wide range of services, a generous college discount, and a hair guru more Michelangelo than a Barbershop, Rea has a bright future. “Hair styling is an art form; a kind of expression and creativity. I want to become part of their own hair experience.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but my clients and I are learning and embracing and finding joy in this each step of the way.”

J. Christian Rae gives us a holiday heads up for what’s in store for next year: long hair and natural looks. “Natural hair is key…it brings out a woman’s beauty.” Um, as for a hair don’t? “Get rid of the Kate Gosselin bob. It’s so passé.”

Salon 647
647 Chandler St, Worcester



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