Gaming town sports first local hair salon in years

~ by Rick Langenberg ~

The search for a comfortable and cozy local place to get a haircut, perm or needed dose of color for those gray roots is over for Cripple Creek/Victor and southern Teller residents.

Yes, the drive to Woodland Park and even Colorado Springs for these needed and essential services, which of course you wanted yesterday, has ended.

Cripple Creek now sports its first new hair salon in years, courtesy of the Horsemane Beauty & Barber  Boutique. The business, located right next to city hall in the space formerly occupied by the Hitchin’ Post, owned by Tim and Anita Braun, opened is doors on Jan. 21.

And since the birth of the Horsemane shop, reaction has been outstanding, according to owner Alyssa Freeman. For years, the lack of a hair salon locally has become one of Cripple Creek’s missing service gaps. City officials have strived to encourage more non-gaming businesses, especially for services that are badly needed, such as getting a basic haircut or perm.

“People really like the relaxed and cozy atmosphere,” said Freeman, who did extensive hair salon and related education pursuits in Austin, Texas. Plus she admits locals like the convenience of getting a haircut or hair color job right in their home town, instead of traveling to Woodland Park or Colorado Springs.

The business offers a wide range of services, including basic haircuts, hair coloring, specialized styling, perms and more. In addition, they sell many hair and health enhancement products, such as Redken, Pearl’s Gold CBD and Silver Forest Earrings. Many of these were previously offered by the Hitchin’ Post.

And better yet, the new Horsemane salon shop also offers customers the chance to enjoy a glass of wine, beer or other refreshments to get them in the mood for a complex hair job. The Horsemane is one of the few saloon outlets in the region that offers customers adult beverages, while tending to their hair needs. The business is permitted to offer patrons beer and wine.

“I got that idea from a salon I worked in previously in Austin,” said Freeman. “It seemed like a really good idea that would work up here.”

Besides beverages, they often offer customers special cookie goodies and associated treats.

Freeman admits she learned quite a bit about the hair styling world during her time in Austin. But she longed for Colorado, where she spent a number of earlier years. “I was really homesick,” said Freeman, who spent 10 years in Aurora. She says she absolutely loves the Cripple Creek atmosphere. “I love the quiet town and the mountains.”

As for the name of the business, Freeman says that stems from her former obsession with horse riding as a child, an activity she no longer pursues. Plus, from the symbolic standpoint, Freeman describes a horse’s hair as long and beautiful, and the type of wild mane that would challenge the workings and talents of the new Cripple Creek Horsemane shop.“The  name went well with the vibes we were going for,” said the business owner.

The new business is part of a partnership between Alyssa and her grandmother, Julia Freeman, a 24-year resident of the area, with strong links with the Air Force and the military. Julia Freeman owns the actual building, while Alyssa runs the business. The two live in Divide.

The Freemans searched for a place for a hair salon in the area, eying places in Victor and other parts of Teller. But they settled on a spot right next to Cripple Creek city hall. City officials, such as Administrator Mark Campbell, couldn’t be happier with their decision, and haven’t been shy about boasting of the new hair shop.

“City hall has been fabulous to work with,” said Julia Freeman. She said the city assisted the two with permitting and details they weren’t aware of.

The building owner is quite enthusiastic about her grand daughter’s new venture. “I am very proud of Alyssa,” said Julia Freeman.

Like Alyssa, she loves Cripple Creek and the small-town atmosphere.

Special Talents and Shop Hours

As for her special hair styling expertise, Alyssa Freeman says she especially enjoys coloring and doing haircuts. But Freeman prides herself in handling all aspects of the hair styling and maintenance arena and is quite attuned with the new trends, such as special layering, Bobs and Fades. And of course, she is prepared to handle women, who desire those complex perms and style jobs.

For the shop’s future plans, Alyssa Freeman hopes to add another stylist and technician. And as a fairly young stylist, she plans to further her knowledge and expertise by attending a variety of hair shows.

The business is currently opened on Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. More hours could occur as the business develops.

Walk-ins are welcome, but both Alyssa and Julia Freeman courage folks to call to make an appointment at 719-689-5957 or email the stylist at

By making an appointment, you can save time for that needed beverage or special treat prior to sitting in the barber or perm chair, and just absorb the cozy Horsemane vibes.