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Roots the Salon, Houston: Murals Past and Present

I live in Houston and love writing reviews of the local restaurants and stores I visit with family and friends.

Partial view of mural by @Zesoner from the side of the building...front to back

Partial view of mural by @Zesoner from the side of the building...front to back

(roots) The Salon Sign

(roots) The Salon Sign

Roots the Salon

A fascinating mural was painted on the side of the Roots the Salon building in Houston. The sign on the front of this old brick building on Richmond Avenue gave no hint as to what embellished the side of this structure.

Mural by @Zesoner

Fat and twisted roots of trees simulating engorged parsnips above ground constitute some of what Zeso spray-painted on the side of this Houston beauty salon. For some reason, his depiction of trees reminded me of illustrations in some of the Dr. Seuss books I have seen. Do you see that too?

The pink and orange sky with falling orange colored leaves, mushrooms, and rocks made me think that it was late in the fall season of the year. Most of the leafless trees were upright, but a few dead logs were in evidence.

There was life depicted by mushrooms, a rabbit and two birds plus some sparse green foliage near the bottom. The flying bird directed one’s eyes to geometrically shaped images towards the back of the building. That is where bright pinks, yellow, blue, green, and other colors were featured. It was a contrast and departure from the organically painted scenery further to the front of the building.

Graffiti Artist Zeso

The graffiti artist Zeso had fun using a play on words. In the hair salon, the roots of the hair are probably being shampooed, conditioned, or getting color treatments each time a client visits there.

I could not find out much about the artist Zeso other than the fact of his being born in France.

Zeso lives and works in Brooklyn, according to a video that I saw of a large mural of his that he executed in that city. It is 125 feet long by 25 feet in width! Above is a video showing that mural in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City, as well as a time-lapse video of another of Zeso's pieces below.

I felt saddened and confused to discover my favorite mural gone, but also hopeful that another one may be in the works. Street art is mysterious and impermanent like that. It can appear or disappear overnight. Murals like these are at risk of desecration, transformation, erasure. Someone's gonna piss on it, draw a mustache on it, tag it. The weather's going to make it fade. That's part of the beauty, I think. Murals have value without being precious.

— Emily Raboteau

Newer Mural on Roots the Salon

My photographs were taken some time ago, and when looking at the Roots the Salon today, it appears that modern mural art has taken its place. That is not too uncommon here in Houston.

It is fun to see how local businesses promote different types of art.


The lettering TONANTZIN TLALLZ is above the mural in capital letters. I could find no artist by that name. However, the name Tonantzin can be interpreted in several different ways. Most articles reference that name as meaning an Aztec mother goddess. Tlallz in Aztec means earth. So this mural depicts “Mother Earth” in an exciting way.

The Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, built in the 17th century, is believed to have taken the place of an earlier temple dedicated to worshiping Tonantzin in Pre-Columbian days.

Many of our buildings have large format murals that are of varying subject matter, and we've found that those are the sort of things that make people stop, digest, and absorb.

— Miguel McKelvey


From the roots of trees to being visually rooted in Aztec mythology via the two different wall paintings, this Roots the Salon delights the eyes as well as imaginations of people driving by.

This Roots the Salon was established in 2011 and takes care of men, women, and children from Noon until 8 PM every day except Sundays and Mondays. They have a loyal customer base from what I have read.

Location of this Montrose area hair salon: 1407 Richmond Avenue, Houston, Texas 77006.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods