27th studio
Image: Young Lee

THERE’S NO NATURAL light at 27h Studio so the supermodern two-seat subterranean cave in Fremont is the perfect place to hear darkly romantic ’80s bands—and get a haircut. The owner, motorcycle-riding, Mexico-born Alejandro Ulloa (Gene Juarez, Class of 1994), spins moody Morrissey records on his low-slung midcentury hi-fi while he shapes sophisticated surfer cuts and tames curly shags.

At Gerald Wu Hair Design, the self-taught, Paris-certified owner is the one and only stylist and resident bartender (Brasa, Class of 2005); Wu mixes old fashioneds while black-and-white films flicker on the wall of his mirrored loft in Pioneer Square’s historic U.S. Rubber Building.

Gerald Wu Hair Design
Image: Young Lee

Wu doesn’t even bother with a shampoo bowl. At both spots, haircuts are a byproduct of hanging out. Which doesn’t mean the bangs and bobs are anything less than highly directional and expertly executed. These designers are among the most effortlessly stylish scissor wielders in town, and both stress the need for clients to own their hairstyles—to live them, not just wear them. It’s a lofty pursuit, but it fits the low-key intimacy of their shops, and it suits a city in the process of elegantly shaking off its no-style notoriety.

They say three of anything makes a trend. Two’s probably just a cool coincidence, but we won’t be surprised to see more big thinkers getting small.

27h Studio, 3516 Fremont Pl N, Fremont, 206-371-2461; 27hstudio.com.

Gerald Wu Hair Design, 321 Third Ave S, Pioneer Square, 
206-499-8755; geraldwuhairdesign.com.