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Stylist Makes Ridgewood Home For Fourth Salon

Eric Altomare, owner of Eric Alt Salons, blows out a client's hair. Photo Credit: Alexis Tarrazi
Christina Kim, junior stylist, prepares to take a few snips. Photo Credit: Alexis Tarrazi
Helene Albrecht of Allendale gets her hair blown out. Photo Credit: Alexis Tarrazi
Barber Kyle Treadway and Altomare's partner, washes a client's hair. Photo Credit: Alexis Tarrazi

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- It's been a decade since borough Eric Altomare opened his first salon in Wood-Ridge before launching another in Saddle River four years later and one in Ho-Ho-Kus two years after that. He has no intention of stopping, either, with a new location planned for Ridgewood.

As part of the 10th anniversary celebration, Altomare is going to renovate the Ho-Ho-Kus location, changing the entire style to a high-end environment with a new name, Eric Alt Bungalow 15.

"Taking inspiration from a bungalow in California, after this is redone it will look like a private bungalow where we will offer private one-on-one sessions," Altamare said. "It will be very high end, our most luxurious and most expensive location."

The passion began at a young age.

"My foundation in hair was from my mother,"Altomare said. "She worked in a lot of top boutiques on Fifth Avenue. I would see people come out of the salon there and admire their style."

Altomare pursued his dream going to school for hair and then working for more than a decade in top New York City salons such as Bumble and Bumble.

The commute to and from the city was his breaking point.

"It was snowing and I was on the corner in Wood-Ridge waiting for the bus when I saw someone put a 'For Rent' sign up in the window of a store," he said. "I walked over and rented it on the spot.

"Then, as I took the bus into the city, I saw two of my clients on the bus traveling to New York just to get their hair done and I thought 'Why are we doing this?' "

Altomare opened Eric Alt Salon in Wood-Ridge in 2005, then a Saddle River location called Eric Alt North in 2009 and the Ho-Ho-Kus location in 2011.

A new location, Eric Alt Untitled, is due to open in Ridgewood in late October. It will feature barbers, a blow-out bar and more.

"Think of the new salon as the younger sister to the other salons that goes to clubs and drinks and smokes," Altomare said.

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