It’s freezing in Boston, but Sandy Poirier pays the cold weather no mind—he’s sporting his typical uniform. “If I die, I want to be buried in a rock and roll T-shirt, tight jeans, Chrome Hearts jewelry, and sneakas,” he says, with a voice that sounds like a scratched-up recording of John F. Ken nedy. At first glance, the owner of South Boston’s Shag Salon is slightly intimidating, that is until he picks up a glass of champagne, which softens his image a bit. “Girls think it’s a sexy drink,” he explains. But Poirier doesn’t drink often, and he doesn’t smoke, though his Tommy Lee-on-a-Harley look suggests otherwise.
Oddly, the self-proclaimed “Rockstar Hair Warrior” began his life working on cars with his father. “I was a gearhead dealing with the elements and get ting dirty all day long,” says Poirier. Then his life changed after a customer pulled up in a Corvette with a hot chick riding shotgun. He was shocked to find out the guy was a hair stylist. “I hated school. … But I was artistic, and hair school was only one year,” he says. “Plus the classes would be mostly girls.” So he traded the wrench and gas rag for scissors and a comb.
Poirier’s warehouse-style salon might have new clients wondering if they walked into a tattoo parlor by mistake, since Poirier and many of his employ ees are covered in ink. Even his two dogs, Chloe and Diesel, have tattoos, albeit the kind that identify them should they decide to wander off. Poirier’s own ink includes knuckle tattoos—LOVE on the left hand, HATE on the right. “Sometimes it doesn’t feel right since I’m right handed. But no regrets.” He also has a skull on his right hand courtesy of Kat Von D. “Chris Garver actual ly drew it since Kat’s not good with evil. But she did it and added some roses around it.” To complement the skull, he’s got Chinese dragons on the other hand. And tribal art, stars, fire, flowers, crosses, snakes, eagles, and more skulls and dragons make up two colorful sleeves. He’s also a fan of words and admits that if he gets text inked on one side, he’s got to get the opposite on the other, hence the “salvation” and “debauchery” tattoos on his hips.
Poirier thinks he’ll continue to get more tattoos, just not on his legs. “If it doesn’t show, why do it?” he asks. And he’ll keep on rocking the hair scene in South Boston. Plus he’d like to do more TV, “I’ve done an episode of Made and Miami Ink. I’d also like to get on Split Ends. There may be another reality show in the works, but there’s nothing signed.” For right now, he’s trying to in corporate his salon with his side career as DJ Rebel Almighty. “I want my salon to have the same energy as a club or bar,” he says, drawing out the “a” in bar as only a Bostonian can. And since he describes his music as “a lot of sexual vibrations,” we think Shag will live up to its name.