Grounded in Technique: The Gustavo Briand Studio

A Review of the Gustavo Briand Studio

Tucked away in a quaint, mixed-use building on Purdy Avenue in South Beach is the chic and intimate hair studio of Gustavo Briand. No rows and rows of stylists here, filtering through clients like an assembly line. Gustavo’s patrons have the pleasure of his undivided attention in a peaceful environment underscored by serene musical compositions.

My experience began with a brief consultation followed a signature shampoo and head message from his charming assistant. Then the maestro began his work. I immediately felt at ease, confident that my hair was in the hands of an expert.

“Cutting hair is similar to the work of an artist,” Gustavo explained to me. “Like an artist, a stylist must have a system grounded in classic cutting techniques. I like to think of my haircutting techniques in the same capacity as those of a classically trained musician who understands the rules as written before deviating from them. In other words, you have to know the rules before you can break them. Many stylists have never taken the time to learn the rules and simply break them because they have not had the proper training. This is not the case at my studio.”

In fact, Gustavo teaches classic cutting and color technique in courses around the world. His seminars focus on the nuts and bolts of perfect technique and his students leave with an understanding of the theory behind the practice of an expert cut and color.

I can attest that Gustavo’s cut is expert. I left the salon extremely pleased – and even better, I was still pleased the next day. He even made a solid product recommendation for those of us with, well, thinning hair. It was perfect advice that I had never received before.

Since many of Gustavo’s clients are women, we also had SocialMiami’s Michele Sadkin have her color done. “Gustavo is an excellent listener,” she said, “and he was precise in the placement of the foils. It looked like origami and I was very pleased with the iridescent, multi tonal highlights that he gave to me.”

I agree with Michele about Gustavo’s “chair-side” manner. He and I spoke on an array of topics. I personally found him to be extremely intelligent with knowledge of multiple subjects, especially art and classical music. Gustavo belongs to the New World Symphony and Florida Grand Opera; he volunteers his time cutting the hair of younger musicians who are just starting out, and offers discounts to the more established talent.

Yet Gustavo is not merely committed to his craft — he also assumes a sense of duty to address the issue of global warming. As such, Gustavo Briand Studios has become the first hair salon within the United States to become a member of Terra Pass, an organization that utilizes the funds provided by various businesses worldwide to counteract the negative impacts of CO2 emissions. He has even had environmentally friendly light bulbs installed throughout the studio. Gustavo is clearly a talented and enlightened soul who will make his mark in the South Florida community.

The Gustavo Briand Studio is located at 1701 Sunset Harbor Drive (Purdy) #106. The telephone numbers are 305-673-3600 and 305-672-7278. Upstairs from the studio, Gustavo’s sister owns Qi Balance, specializing in facelifts, acupuncture, massage and eyelash extensions. You can check out the Gustavo Briand Studio and Qi Balance online at

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