Every year, the Hair Salon category is one of the most competitive for Best of Flag. From Head Space Southside Salon to Salon Bloom to Aveda – Red 115, Flagstaffians have more than a handful of local salons to meet their individual needs. And this year, Flagstaff voted Gossip Girl Salon as their favorite. 

Having opened in 2012, Gossip Girl, located on Fourth Street in Flagstaff’s eastside, is still fairly new and has already garnered two Best of Flag awards and a strong following from the local community. Its secret? Word of mouth.

“Word of mouth is amazing. Most of our customers are referrals,” says Rae Brooks, owner of Gossip Girl Salon. 

A Flagstaff native, Brooks at a young age knew that she was interested in cosmetology. When she graduated from Coconino High School, she attended the College of Beauty Arts and Sciences in Flagstaff, which now houses Empire Beauty School. After that, she bounced around a few local salons and ended up at Corporate Hairquaters in 2000.

As the years went by, Brooks’ long-time dream of owning her own hair salon kept finding its way into her head, and in 2012, encouraged by her husband, friends and customers, she finally made that dream a reality. 

Five years in, Brooks says she owes her success to the shop’s central location in Flagstaff and the support of her family, friends and clients. 

“We try to make our customers feel like family here,” says Brooks. “We try to add that personal touch, and I think that helps to keep people coming back.” 

The interior of the shop is decorated with décor from Flagstaff General Store which works closely with Gossip Girl Salon, adding a rustic feel to its interior. Brown metal letters spell out “GOSSIP” and wooden barn doors add a feeling of homeliness to the quaint shop. With Gossip Girl Salon relatively new to Flagstaff, Brooks is already getting encouragement from her clients to expand the shop into multiple locations. For Brooks, however, smaller is better, and she likes having her shop as it is now. 

“I like keeping it small and personal,” she says. “People are always saying we should expand, but I just want to keep it where it’s at, for now at least. I think what makes us unique is that we’re more low-key. We’re not corporate, and we make [the salon] our own. We add our own touch. Including me, there are only three other hairdressers. We’re like this little family.”

Gossip Girl Salon offers traditional salon services such as haircuts, manicures and pedicures, as well as highlights and ombre and balayage hair color treatments. 

“This is the absolute best hair salon in flagstaff,” writes one review on Facebook. “The girls are so friendly and are 100% about their customers.”

With over 40 five-star reviews on Facebook and Yelp, Gossip Girl Salon is helping to shape Flagstaff’s beauty one snip at a time.