New Warren hair salon is 'bliss'


'Ananda' is Sanskrit for 'bliss,' and that's what Pamela Girard hopes to find at her new salon at 49 Water St., in a space adjoining Summerwood.

Ms. Girard opened Ananda Hair Lounge just before Christmas after spending six years at New Leaf in Bristol. Though she loved her clients, she longed in recent months to open her own studio, where she can set an atmosphere that makes both her and her customers happy.

"It just kind of hit me. It's about creating an atmosphere I want to place myself in day to day. I needed the shift."

A yoga practitioner, Ms. Girard settled on the name "Ananda" while on a retreat with her mother. She said the term is perfect for the studio, as she is trying to create comfort and calm.

"It still doesn't feel real," she said. "So you're telling me I get to be happy all day?"

The floors are wood and they show the kind of blemishes that only come from decades of use. The walls are painted in soft tones, and soft jazz played one recent afternoon. On a wall across from her hand-made countertop, several old doors are repurposed, their large panes of glass removed in favor of mirrors.

"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the Earth," a quote on the back wall reads.

Ms. Girard loves the fact that she's on Water Street, and loves that she can now walk to work.  A conscious choice in decorating the space was using local products, furnishings and fixtures wherever possible.

"All of the furniture here is either consigned or repurposed," said Ms. Girard, who has lived in Warren for two years. "Everything was purchased locally; I feel really strongly about supporting the local community."

For services, she aims for personalized styling, cutting and coloring. Wednesdays are designated as allergy, ammonia, fragrance and chemical free days, for people with sensitive skin or allergic reactions. She has hired one assistant, Allie McDonnell, though the shop has plenty of room to grow.

For now, Ananda is open Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m., Friday from 10 to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. See



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