Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Do you guys have a favorite salon?  

Most women do.  I'm a bit of a vagrant where hair salons and stylists are concerned...  up until this past year, I had yet to visit the same stylist more than two or three times.  It's difficult for me to explain my dissatisfaction without seeming particularly difficult or fussy- which I promise you, I'm not.  The truth is, I've really wanted to find a hair person to be loyal to.  I've wanted to be a regular somewhere.  And it's not for lack of branching out... here's a quick runoff of the local salons I've sampled:  Bluebird, Tigerlily, District 96, Studio 23, Ahshe, Salon Lux, Bladerunner, Hep Kat, Faces, and Bliss Spa.  

Feel free to take my opinion with a large grain of salt- as I've an abysmally inadequate understanding of the business of hair...  In my experience of the salons listed above, I've had some cuts that I was quite happy with, but never the one that was exactly what I had hoped for.  One of those turned me away when I had an appointment (twice), two made me cry, one stylist left me to smoke a cigarette in the middle of my appointment, and another cut off my necklace with a pair of scissors.  Really.  

The truth is, it's taken me 3 decades to know what works for my hair, and what doesn't - but I've found that it takes a particularly open and truly collaborative stylist to really listen and take that knowledge to heart.   At long last, I'm happy to say that I've found my hair-soulmate.  I finally understand what it is to have a stylist who respects me and listens- and whom I trust implicitly.  I love that when I give her a layman's idea of what I want, she enhances that thought with her technical training, skill and experience to reach an outcome that we're both very happy with.  We make a good team.  My friends...  it. is. amazing.  
I'm thrilled to announce that my stylist and I have just marked our 1 year anniversary; a first for me.  

So after that nasty nursing ordeal this past week, my first thought was to console myself with indulgent and fabulous hair.  So I called Kimmy at Salon Lux, and she did not disappoint.  She pampered me with that yummmmmmy Aveda tea, a heavenly arm/hand/neck/head massage, aromatherapy, and all the cut/color/fabooshness one could hope for.  I left her chair feeling like the mega-watt star of my own hair commercial!  I'm so serious, you guys.  My hair swishing, my Aveda goodie bag swinging...  I swear I was suddenly 3 inches taller, and 10 Lbs. lighter too.  If you were downtown, you probably heard a theme song as I crossed Higuera Street.  Yeah, Kimmy's that good.  

What's your opinion on hair stylist-loyalties?  Who's your favorite?
Do you have a great salon/stylist relationship?  I'd love to know.  :)

*See Kimmy at Salon Lux
1040 Court Street  San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 781-6188


  1. Best theme song ever!

    ps I love Lisa @ Tigerlily. She "gets" my hair; many stylists do not.

    1. Right?! I feel like finding someone who "gets" it has changed my life! I'm so glad you know the feeling too. :D

  2. Im probably too biased to answer this one as I'm a hairstylist myself (at Ahshe- and i'm truly bummed that you didn't have a good experience there!!!!) the client/stylist relationship is really important and I can honestly say from the stylists point of view she feels the same way you do! We cherish our relationships with our loyal clients and love the collaboration and also the trust our clients put in us. Those are the times where my job is not just a job! I hope your stylist is a reader of your blog so she knows how great she made you feel when you needed it, because you'll be doing the same for her! :)

    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH for contributing from the stylist's perspective! Reading that really gives a sense of the passion you put into your work, and it's awesome. Sometimes I wonder if the high number of hair salons downtown has anything to do with the inordinately high number of bad experiences I've had in them. I wonder if salon owners take on under-qualified stylists simply to keep up with demand? I also think that the receptionist's position is a really important one, that (from an outside perspective) seems to often be overlooked in the salon hierarchy of importance. But the receptionist is your first and last connection to a salon. She really makes or breaks the impression of the entire operation. Anyway, thank you (again) for taking the time to help an outsider understand your position. I appreciate it so much. :)

      It's so interesting to me that you work at Ahshe, because I REALLY wanted it to be my go-to spot; for so many reasons... it's just a few doors down from home, next door to Linnaea's, and spa services... trust me, I was bummed too. I'm a Garden Street loyalist at heart. ♥

    2. You are so right on so many points!! The receptionist is one of the most important people in the salon- trust me when I say that we know that and try to stress that very fact to them. It's really hard to find good receptionists as they are typically college students who have bigger and better plans (can't say I blame them), so it's hard to keep the really good ones. I have to admit over the 9 years that I've worked at Ahshe we have had some real bad apples mixed in with some amazing receptionists- and if you experienced the bad apple receptionist, that is what you remember and what gives the salon a bad name. It's very frustrating from the stylists perspective! So REALLY good point there Coral! :)

      You also make a really good point about the under-qualified stylists- this is tricky territory for me here, as I could get myself into some real trouble on this one, but suffice it to say, you are also right on this point! Unfortunately for the consumer there are many under-qualified stylists out there who should NOT be wielding a pair of scissors or a bowl of color!!! I've seen it with my own eyes and it's cringe-worthy! Everyone has to start somewhere I guess but sometimes you gotta know when it's just not your schtick! I'm just sorry that you had to be on the receiving end of such bad hair situations! It's traumatizing!

      Again I apologize for your bad experience where I work, but I'm so glad you found someone you love that has redeemed your hair experiences- cuz that's what it's about at the end of the day!!!! There is a stylist out there for everyone- sometimes you just gotta shop! And trust me when I say that when your stylist sees your name on her books Coral, she smiles!!! <3

      ps... super kudos for your at home/self bang cutting tutorial! :)

    3. Hahaha! THANK YOU! :)

  3. I see Erica at Salon Lux and I absolutely LOVE her. I have been going to her for the past two years! She never disappoints, always listens to what I want and makes it even better, as well as giving me plenty of tips and tricks of the trade. She always makes time for me, even though she gets incredibly busy!

    I love love love Salon Lux!

    1. YES! It's the listening and making it even better part that really makes me love my stylist. And the tricks of the trade thing... I asked Kimmy to show me how to use the products I already own- but feel kind of stumped by, and she went WAY out of her way to explain each one, tell me what was in it, when/when not to use it, and how to apply each one. *high fives for happy hair* :)


Nice comments only, please! That means you, anonymous. ♥