Salon Essie It's been almost 20 years since Essie set off for a three-month vacation from Iran. She decided to stay here, and seven years ago, she opened her salon on Richmond. You'll still catch the enchanting lilt of Farsi fluttering through the store in between casual banter with her customers. Men's haircuts all too often become a painful exercise in forced pleasantries or chillingly apathetic silences. Salon Essie soars above all of that with gracious, swift service. We especially miss the departed Paul -- the gregarious Lebanese stylist who's quite possibly the nicest guy in Houston to snip, shave and shape our locks. Dudes might still balk at the prospect of getting trimmed up anyplace without a candy-cane barbershop pole outside; but let your inner metro open the door, and Essie will take care of the rest.