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Little Shop of Hairdos- a unique salon in N Raleigh with a horror twist

Shaina Nussbaum
Shaina Nussbaum (Photo by Jeannene Matthews, JR Photography)

Most people see haunted houses, spider webs, monsters, and scary movies as fun aspects of the Halloween season. For Shaina Nussbaum, though, they're life. After seeing her first scary movie at age five, she became fascinated with the Halloween season and movie make-up. In particular, Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street. "Robert Englund brought the character to life so well that I knew I wanted to be the one to create those characters and to bring them to life on the big screen," said Shaina. "I began dressing up for Halloween and it's become more of a lifestyle for me than a holiday."

Tim Burton's gothic aesthetic is also inspirational to Shaina. "My creative inspiration comes from all things Tim Burton," she says. "His creativity and expression of art are one of the most inspiring things to me."

Shaina grew up in Southern California, where she got a diploma from Make-up Designory in 2011 and a cosmetology license in 2013. She began working as a make-up artist for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, then worked at the annual Halloween horror event at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA called Knott's Scary Farm. The work allowed her to create prosthetics for the actors who work as monsters, as well as creating make-up looks for theme parks in Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio.

In 2017, Shaina moved to North Carolina to be close to her fiancé, whom she met online while playing Friday the 13th The Game. After becoming licensed with the state, she opened her own business called Little Shop of Hairdos. It's a full-service salon, offering haircuts, extensions, keratin treatments, and Brazilian Blowouts. Her specialties, Shaina says, are balayage, high-lighting and low-lighting, as well as vivid fashion colors. She says the salon allows her to have a creative outlet. "I use my salon and the way I color each and every head of hair differently as a way to express my creativity. I am an artist and hair is my canvas."

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Customers at Little Shop of Hairdos are treated to a uniquely decorated shop. All of the décor is horror and gothic themed, right down to the stenciled purple wallpaper that emulates the Disneyland ride The Haunted Mansion. The salon is fun and bright, while still managing to have creepy surprises, like teddy bears dressed up as famous movie killers, and beautifully framed photos of skeletons.

Right now the salon is in a rented loft, and Shaina has dreams of expansion. This of course will come with chandeliers, more shelves shaped like coffins, and Tim Burton-related décor. Shaina says she wants to be spooky without being too spooky, and there's one thing in particular that she can't wait to have. "If and when I expand, my one plan is to have a Beetlejuice themed bathroom."

If you'd like to reach Shaina, you can visit her Little Shop of Hairdos website, Facebook, or Instagram.