Alta Moda Offers Styles and Conversation in a Spa-Like Atmosphere


Alta Moda Salon offers more than a fresh cut or hairdo. This popular east side salon serves as a stylish gathering spot where both men and women discuss and debate the latest news or just chill in a relaxed, enticing environment while getting a hair cut or curled.

The full-service salon has occupied the corner of Gratiot Avenue at St. Aubin on Detroit’s east side for 18 years.

“{Overall} I’ve been in the business for 30 years, said Alonzo Palmer, salon owner and stylist.  “We have a very loyal clientele.  The community really supports us, basically because of our location, and because we take pride in being one of the best in the city. We are a full-service salon; offering relaxers, hair coloring, braiding, weaving and barber service. We’ve always had a reputation for good service.”

The salon formerly housed the Universal Barber College.

The spacious salon offers ample room for clients to relax or discuss the day’s hot topics.   On any given day you might find customers in the salon chair working or socializing on their cell phones or jumping into one of the serious discussions.

Palmer is a catalyst in keeping the discussions going. He always has an opinion and shares it frequently with clients.  So much so that one of his regular clients, Riana Anderson, a professor at U of M school of Public Health in Ann Arbor recently invited him to speak to her class.

“Professor Anderson has been coming to the salon for eight years,” Palmer said.  “She lives in Detroit and commutes to Ann Arbor every day. We’ve had long discussions about social issues that’s why she invited me to speak to her class.”

When asked how he got into the salon business, Palmer replied, “My family has always been in the beauty business.  My aunt did make-up, another aunt did nails.  I worked in the automotive plant. When I left the plant I went to beauty school.”

Curtis, a Chrysler worker and a regular customer who didn’t want to give his full name, likes being in a salon with women and has had the same barber for 24 years. “I come every Wednesday. I love my barber,” he said.

Clinton Childs, a barber at Alta Moda salon since 2001, also has women customers. “This is a great place to work, great atmosphere,” he said..  Alonzo lets you be your own boss.”

Another customer joined the chorus of praise.

“I’ve been coming here for two years,” said Z. Needham. “I like the location, the prices and I love my stylist, Charisma Wilson.  Everyone is so friendly.  It’s like coming to a spa; it’s very relaxing.”


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