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Salon is to “dye for”

December 7, 2013

by Santanya Sharpe

Once a two-level bowling alley and Albany’s biggest dance club, 214 Western Ave. is now home to one of the neighborhood’s newest hair and nail salons.

Curl Up ‘n’ Dye is part of the Mega Studios complex near the intersection of Western and Quail. This is the first business in the new midtown strip mall.

Curl Up N Dye is new to the neighborhood -Credit: Santanya Sharpe-

Anna Daga, 28, the owner of the establishment, plans to make some headway in the Albany area.

“I hope to stay here for a long time. I chose the Pine Hills neighborhood because there is no other hair salon in the area and wanted a convenient location for the members of the community,” Daga said.

Curl Up ‘n’ Dye is full service. The spacious 1,250-square-foot salon is downstairs at Mega Studios. The pink and black color scheme, which boasts a sleek and elegant look, both edgy and fun. The bright pink walls, soft hot pink couches, polished hardwood floors, built-in fireplace and eye-catching poster of Marilyn Monroe create a comfortable environment.

Daga, who owns another salon in Westchester county, traveled between there and Albany to tend to both of her businesss. After meeting and marrying her husband, she decided it was best to settle down here to permanently tend to Curl Up ‘n’ Dye.

“It became difficult going back and forth, and with two children it was best that I remained up here and focus on the opening of this salon,” Daga said. “Luckily my parents back home are able to keep an eye on my other business.”

Curl Up ‘n’ Dye’s pink and black color scheme gives the salon both a fun and edgy look – Credit: Santanya Sharpe-

Curl Up ‘n’ Dye’s pink and black color scheme gives the salon both a fun and edgy look – Credit: Santanya Sharpe-

Daga employs four stylists each of whom are excited for the opportunity to be working at the salon.One stylist discovered the position through a job posting on Craigslist.

“Like any new business, it is starting off slow, but I am sure it will take off soon,” said Mario Villarreal, a new employee and hair stylist at Curl Up ‘n’ Dye. “The clients I have had so far are satisfied”.

Villareal also appreciates the qualities that set Curl Up ‘n’ Dye from other salons.

“It’s a brand new salon, new atmosphere, and has potential. It’s a great spot for college aged students, a place to come and get your hair done in a good drama free environment,” Villarreal said.
Villarreal, 24, has been working as a hair care professional for eight years, and is well versed in skin, nail and make up services. He has taught at two schools for hair styling and truly enjoys what he does.

“I love learning and watching other stylists. Curl Up ‘n’ Dye is different than other salons,” Villarreal said. “All the employees here are professional and have experience with different hair and skin types. We help each other and have an encouraging environment.”

Daga expects to cater to local residents as well as nearby UAlbany and Saint Rose students.

“I want this to be a spot for everyone to come and feel comfortable and leave looking good and feeling good,” Daga said.

So far, Daga and her employees have been vigorously handing out fliers and talking to people about the salon, which promotes a 10 percent discount for students with ID.

The Curl Up ‘n’ Dye owner is also very content with the location and space itself. Years ago, the space hosted one of the largest dance clubs in Albany, for some 20 years. The building was also a two level bowling alley back in the 1930s.

Mark Basco, 50, has owned the building that houses Mega Studios, and the building next door, for 25 years.  With the new construction to the historical building, Basco has managed to sustain the bowling alley floor in an effort to preserve the building’s aestethic value.

Owner of the salon awaits the arrival of a new client -Credit: Santanya Sharpe-

Owner of the salon awaits the arrival of a new client -Credit: Santanya Sharpe-

In addition to the salon, Basco hopes to add either a studio for yoga or a spa, a barbershop, and some type of space for a cardio or workout business. According to a retail property listing posted in June 2013, Mega Studios has a total of 6,000-square-feet.“My hope for Mega Studios is to turn it into an inner city strip mall with several different businesses that work together,” Basco said. “It would be nice and convenient to the neighborhood and support students and faculty.”
Residents of the neighborhood are also taking note of the changes happening right next door.

“I am actually pleased that new businesses are opening up on this block,” said Christina Connors, a nearby resident. “This hair salon is providing convenience for me because now I don’t have to go all the way to Central Avenue or Madison Avenue to get my hair and nails done.”

Daga is also in the process of adding an eight room tanning studio that will feature stand up booths, tanning beds and spray tanning. The anticipated opening for this section is late next month or early February.

The salon is open Monday to Saturday and accepts walk-ins and appointments. For more information on Curl Up ‘n’ Dye, visit or find them on Facebook at

“I want Curl Up ‘n’ Dye to be a one stop shop for everyone’s beauty needs,” Daga said. -30-

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