Salon de Lux isn’t your basic barber shop, it’s Bird Rock’s community hairstylist.
“When somebody comes in, they want to get their hair done in a family atmosphere with personal attention,” noted Carla Wedge, who works at the newly remodeled salon at 5566 La Jolla Blvd. with owner Shannon Barry. “We consider this to be a home away from home for people. They can feel comfortable here.”
The haircutting industry is different these days, acknowledged Barry, with clients expecting stylists to devote more attention to maintaining the integrity of their hair with a more natural approach.
“You need to get back into the community, do the mom’s hair, the high school kid’s hair and have them both satisfied,” said Barry.
There isn’t a typical client at Salon de Lux. Barry serves the hairstyling needs of everyone who walks through her door.
“I’ll have somebody from the roller set,” she said. “Then I’ll have a full-on punk rocker who wants multi-colors, a shorter, shaggier, just edgier more carefree look. Then I’ll have your more everyday, typical La Jollan who wants highlights.”
Barry and Wedge cut men’s andwomen’s hair. They cater to families and to local businesses, offering a 10-percent discount on their services to Bird Rock employees.
Clients of Salon de Lux praised the salon’s work.
"(Barry) cuts my hair in a way that enables it to just look natural, where I don’t have to fight it all the time,” said Mike Gay. “I just think it’s a lively, vibrant atmosphere, and they do quality work.”
Client Karen Luntz agreed.
“It’s a great salon and Shannon, the owner, is just an amazing stylist,” she said. “She listens to her customer’s needs. She’s just multi-talented, great with color, cuts, everything.”
"(Barry’s) doing a really good job and I like the remodel,” said Anne Stephens. “My husband and I both go there. It’s really fun and we enjoy getting our hair done. It’s not a chore.”
The space at 5566 La Jolla Blvd. has been a haircutting salon of one kind or another for the better part of 20 years. It’s most recent incarnation, before Barry bought it a year ago, was J. Alvarez Salon.
Being a hairstylist, Barry said, is a lot like being a bartender or a waiter, where clients enjoy bending your ear.
“It’s a very personable business, a great business to be in,” said Barry. “I love all the people I get to meet. I have the most wonderful clientele.”
Wedge said the work is all about fun. “The clients come in here to have fun,” she said, “not to be quiet because somebody’s getting massaged next door.”
It’s perfectly acceptable to be exuberant if you’re pleased with the new look Wedge just gave you.
“I want them to jump up and go, ‘Hey,’ ” she said.
Wedge said there isn’t a hair color Salon de Lux can’t do, or erase. She walks her clients through their color change as if she were a doctor, carefully outlining the procedure at every step.
“Especially when it’s a major change,” she said.
Hairstyling can be an emotional experience for some. Barry recalls a woman who hadn’t had her hair done in years who broke down and cried, because she was so pleasantly surprised with the result.
Getting your hair done by a stylist is all about establishing your own identity, said Barry.
“Everybody wants something that nobody else has,” said Barry, “something that means it’s so you.”
Wedge and Barry offer free hair consultations.
“You need to find out what their lifestyle is,” said Barry. “It’s a very important key.”
Barry said that a person’s lifestyle is taken into account, whether the client is a busy mom or a businesswoman or a man who “really wants to look good and doesn’t want the traditional barber haircut.”
License plates line the wall of the remodeled salon, which has a new cutting-edge look with a tranquil water fountain in the corner. Barry and her entire family worked for a couple months recently to give the salon an updated look.
“My blood, sweat and tears went into this place,” she said.
There’s an interesting story behind the business name.
Barry explained: “I have an old Sunday T-shirt that says ‘Deluxe.’ So, I came up with the name Salon de Lux.”
Wedge and Barry take pride in being a part of the budding Bird Rock renaissance, as a new, stronger retail core emerges .
“I have a 3-year-old daughter,” said Wedge, “and I want to have her be able to walk down the street and say, ‘That’s where my mom works.’ We want to be that neighborhood hair salon. We want people to know who we are.”
Barry’s glad to be a Bird Rock business owner because she believes future prospects for business after construction is complete are bright.
“I am seeing the next Solana Beach,” she said. “I’m seeing people taking time to remodel. I’m seeing all these boutiques opening. It’s exciting. I just see a lot of potential, and I want to be a part of it.”
When people complain about the cost of a haircut, Barry has a quick response that always puts things in perspective.
“I tell them it’s a lot cheaper than a facelift, and you can change it any time you want. “
For more information, call (858) 454-6667.