Jacob Neal - Undeniable
“A woman should have three things: a good pair of shoes, a great handbag, and a fabulous hairdresser.” So goes the mantra of Jacob Neal, nationally renowned hairstylist and owner of the Short North salon bearing his name. And, considering his laundry list of celebrity clients and the steady stream of customers populating his high-tech salon, his words are practically scripture.
Neal first came to central Ohio to study at the Columbus College of Art and Design. A few short years later, he and his partner opened the Jacob John Salon in New York City at the corner of 59th & 5th, just steps away from the famed Plaza Hotel and next to Bergdorf Goodman. However, Neal eventually grew tired of the New York scene and wanted more contact with his siblings. He commuted between Columbus and his New York facility until he decided to run the Columbus salon full time in 1992. Nine years later, the salon moved to the Hartman Building and now Jacob Neal occupies a prime location in the Short North on the corner of North High Street and East Russell Street.
When asked about his clientele, Neal says, “They expect to be treated well and to be taken care of by knowledgeable, forward-thinking technicians.” And for those who assume his salon only caters to high society, Neal points out, “The salon isn’t just for the socialite or for the downtown dweller; it’s for the mom, or the dental technician, or the schoolteacher. They come in, they don’t have to think and it’s a great escape for them. It’s really for the whole community.”
In addition to the salon, Neal retails some of the finest products from around the globe, a task that regularly takes him to Europe and sometimes as far as India. “Being surrounded by unusually beautiful items directly affects my state of mind,” says Neal. “The store is an extension of my style,” he explains. “It’s about the way someone looks in hair and make-up, or the way someone’s home is decorated. It’s a lifestyle choice, which is the essence of connecting the salon to the home store.”