When it comes to naming a business, inspiration can strike from unexpected places. That would explain the moniker of Dupont Circle's Fiddleheads salon on 17th Street.
The origin of the name, says owner Beth Abrams, was in a dinner with her father in a Montreal restaurant, where the menu featured ''fiddlehead ferns.'' Intrigued, Abrams inquired about the item. It turned out to be an actual type of long, lush fern that grows like a fiddlehead, which is an ornament on a ship that curves like the scroll on a the head of a violin.
''When the guy was describing the fiddlehead ferns, it almost sounded like he was describing hair too,'' Abrams says. ''How it curls up against itself, how it grows into this long, lush plant, and how you have to nurture it and let it grow.''
Six years in business, Fiddleheads offers a full range of hair services for both men and women, from cutting to highlighting, pretty much everything but nails or waxing.
''We're a fun-loving, fashion-forward salon in a friendly, laid-back, relaxed environment,'' Abrams says. Abrams has been cutting hair for about 15 years, working in various salons before successfully setting out with her own business on 17th Street, in a location that used to cater to her cat, the former pet store Cat In The Bag.
Fiddleheads offers competitive ''middle-of-the-road'' prices for its hair services, as well as a full range of hair products ''for straight hair, for regular hair, for curly hair, for thinning hair'' as well as styling products. ''Our most popular service is our foil highlights,'' says Abrams. And the most popular highlight color? ''I would say right now really, really rich golden tones. The trend is going toward really delicate highlights with rose and golden undertones.''
But don't go expecting to be served fiddlehead ferns, a springtime vegetable delicacy that tastes similar to asparagus and is prepared in similar ways. Abrams may not prepare fiddlehead ferns, but she and her stylists can prepare your hair just as a fiddlehead fern gardener would -- nurturing it and keeping it from getting too long and lush.
Fiddleheads is located at 1515 17th Street, 2nd Floor and open Tuesdays-Fridays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 202-232-3800 for an appointment or for more information.