Robert Moreno and Cynthia Costas have returned to their roots in Patagonia to open Manos Hair Salon. Photo by Sarah Klingenstein

They work together, but on different days. They love talking to people but enjoy the quiet of working alone. Though both are happy to cut any kind of hair, she specializes in short, while he especially loves cutting long hair. It seems to be working out quite well for Robert Moreno, owner, and Cynthia Costas, stylist, at the new Manos Salon at 275 McKeown Ave., Suite A, in Patagonia. Moreno works in the one-room salon Thursday through Saturday, Costas is there Mondays through Wednesdays. They relish the quiet and the independence of a small salon and each is enjoying the small town life that is so different from what they are used to.

Local folks may know Moreno, born and raised in Patagonia. The house he lives in was built by his grandfather in 1927. He left town after high school and worked first as a barber, then expanded his skills over the years in Phoenix and Tucson salons, with work as a musician and in construction along the way. Moreno plays percussion of all sorts, especially Brazilian instruments, and continues to do so professionally, sitting in with friend’s bands from time to time.

When Moreno, who had been mostly retired as a stylist, heard that the small retail space right next to the Ovens of Patagonia was available to lease, he thought that opening a small salon in his old hometown would be just the right thing. He opened Manos in May of last year. 

He enjoys what he does, and says he’ll always talk to new clients a while before he will advise them about hairstyles. “You really have to learn about people, what they do and what their lifestyle is to get a sense of who they are,” he said.

Costas has family roots here too; her father was born in Patagonia. She was living in the Sierra foothills in Colfax, California, and coming to the area several times a year to visit family. She got to know Moreno over time and was looking for a way to move closer to her family when she heard that he was planning to open a salon. She contacted him and now spends half the week working as a stylist and living with her sister in Patagonia, and half helping out family in Rio Rico. In her spare time, she loves to cook, especially sauces from Southwestern and Asian cuisines, among others. 

The salon clientele has been growing steadily since the opening and they have noticed an uptick since Christmas. “I think more people come into town after the holidays, maybe for the winter,” said Costas. Because of the increase in appointments, both encourage clients to call ahead and schedule.

Manos Salon is open Monday – Saturday, 9 – 5. For appointments, call 530.613.2120 (Cynthia) or 520.345.0983 (Robert).