Seven Palestinian-Americans blessed with thick, obstinately inky hair can’t be expected to know much about wigs and extensions. Thaer Nimer, who co-owns Beauty & Beyond at 7509 Cantrell Road with his six brothers, admits his ineptitude in this department. He can’t even braid, he said.
Perhaps you’re equally unskilled, and/or equally hirsute? You’ll still enjoy a spin through this unexpected oasis of urban beauty and fashion in the vintage Tanglewood Shopping Center. Clusters of giant hair bows, off-brand Crocs, Gucci ball caps that seem unlikely to have been handcrafted in Italy. The window displays at Beauty & Beyond exude a chaotic Canal Street vibe. Stretchy athletic wear in all the colors of middle school memories beckons.
Inside, beyond a rack of neon fanny packs, is a labyrinth of hair in every imaginable color, length and configuration; more than 300 kinds of wigs, with price tags from $5 to $700. The most expensive in the shop is a Rapunzelesque blonde with wavy bangs, made from real human hair. A subtle blue-gray bob I admired was around $300, astonishingly silky to the touch and too expensive to even try on.
But there are bargains to be found at Beauty & Beyond. African black soap, a trick our glamorous grandmothers knew about decades ago that’s coming back into popularity but still sometimes hard to find, can be got here for $1.95 a bar! The eyebrow tinting kits are also a bargain, but have a bottle of dish soap on hand to counteract your inevitably unskilled application. If you end up with Groucho Marx-worthy brows, then at least you can offset them with dramatic faux eyelashes. Magnetic or glued? Weekend casual or mile-long, extra glam? They have racks and racks from which to choose.
The store is part of a small chain, which is good news considering that left to themselves, the follicularly blessed Nimer brothers surely would have no idea what to stock. Swing by any day between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. (except Sundays when they close at 6), and let one of the owners look on helplessly but encouragingly as you shop.