San Diego Salons & Stylists

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I thought I'd start a thread where we SD curlies and wavies can dish about the stylists we've been to here and give kudos or warnings, as appropriate. ;P I haven't actually been to too many, since I'm a little phobic about bad cuts or color, but here's where I've been:

Ulta - Don't. Just...don't. It's like every bad to mediocre SuperCuts you've ever been to. D+

Michael David Hair Design - I went to Audra here for a long time, but became gradually pretty dissatisfied with her level of service and the fact that she's one of those stylist that wields a flat-iron like an extension of her silicone-coated arm. She was very unenthusiastic about helping me go wavy when I started leaning that way. Buh-bye. C-

Aveda Young Attitudes - Brandi (I think.) Well-meaning, but completely clueless about how to treat and cut curly hair differently than straight, even with a curly mother. Also, unprofessional enough to not cancel or reschedule with me when she had to be out on the day of one of our appointments. I ended up being foisted off on some random stylist after I got there, who was even more clueless. Ironically, I almost passed out from the fumes of a perm going on across the room. C

Diamantes - Kirk. Sweet, seems to have had some experience with Deva training, even though he doesn't show up on their salon/stylist locator. I'd probably still be going to him if he'd listen when I say I don't like the straighter under-bits of my hair to hang down, and please make it even. But he is decent, as are his prices. B-

London Calling - Jody Snyder. Is there a special level in Dante's Hell for really bad stylists? Because this woman needs to be in it. She butchered my hair, and I'm pretty sure she also fried it with cr@ppy color - not too sure about that because I'm strangely hazy on that part now. Maybe I have hair PTSD from it all. She's also given a really lousy cut to someone else that I know of, and then asked them not to give her a bad review here. In case it's not obvious, this is the stylist I've mentioned elsewhere. F-

Travis Parker Salon - Franco. Actually pretty darn good. He's the education director there, super sweet, and good at cuts so far. He doesn't cut dry and loves his 'cones, but he's great at color and blowouts or updo's - really great. He's been highlighting me using the balayage technique (painting on, like pintura) and I'm loving the effect. Mostly I'm still looking for someone else even while going to him because I have yet to get a really good dry/deva cut and I'm curious to see if it really improves my wave pattern at all, and because he's pricey. B+/A-

And, here's who/where I'm considering going to next, in vague order of preference (subject to change after I consult with them, of course). Any thoughts/recommendations/warnings about any of them to help me cull the herd?

Kate at Hairspray - found several good reviews from curlies on, and now I'm very curious.

Chuck or Jenn at E-Factor - a good curly review on Yelp and Deva certified, too.

MaryAnn Castaneda at Taglio Salon (in Escondido) - a personal recommendation from a fellow forumite through PM and Deva certified. She'll likely drop down in rank if her prices aren't very reasonable, though, considering the distance I'd have to drive.

Suzanne at Re:Vive - recommended by CurlyBel on a different thread, and Deva certified. Hesitant here because she's pricey and the salon she's at has a couple questionable reviews on Yelp. (Not her, the salon in general.) Plus, she charges $30 for the consult (applicable to the cut) just because it's Deva? Do I have that right? Hmmm.

Hair Drezzers on Fire or MaryJane Salon - fabulous reviews on Yelp, not sure if they're worth anything yet, though.

Soooo, anybody else??

Last edited by Koukla72; 05-04-2008 at 09:30 PM. Reason: because I CAN spell after all. :P

Yippee! San Diego curlies unite!
Wanting to try Re:vive also. Very eager to have a true curl-friendly cut.

Have you heard anything about Mermaid's Michelle? I recently posted for any info, but didn't get any replies.

Pixie - Paula Sweet as can be, I've had decent cuts and color. But always straightens.
Another stylist at Hairspray actually recommended I try Kate because she has been doing a lot of CG stuff (and she is curly too.) I've heard tons of great things about her.
Hi momedusa! No, I'm sorry, I haven't heard anything about her - I saw your post, but didn't really have much to contribute.

Vetted, have you been to see her yet? I have a consultation with her later in the week.
Let us know how your consultation goes. Checked out the Hairspray website - pretty interesting, should make for good people-watching while you get your haircut!!
Well, I had my consultation today with Kate at Hairspray and I was pretty impressed. The salon takes up two stories of one end of what looks like an ancient, tiny little strip mall in Hillcrest, with tons of windows and natural light (one of my pet peeves is salons with lousy artificial lighting that end up giving you bad color because of it). There's an equally tiny parking lot that was packed, so I'm going to have to remember to bring loooots of quarters for street parking when I come back. I was scrounging on the floor of the car for them this time. It did seem to have a cool, modern but relaxed vibe, kind of assuring me I wouldn't be getting any granny cuts or dye jobs there but not making me feel uncomfortably geeky either, hehe. Her station is upstairs and fairly private from the rest of the salon in front of one of the big windows.

Kate herself is friendly and straightforward, and seems to really know her stuff. I pulled out the laptop to show her my pictures of what I wanted in terms of color, and she commented on and discussed each picture, what she saw, and what I liked about them. She was really enthusiastic and immediately pulled out her books of color swatches and started talking about mixing shades and what levels and all the little details. We also talked about my curls (she likes them!) and how she might cut them. She said she tends to cut wet and then finish dry, which is fine with me. She also asked if I'd read Curly Girl, and we talked about cutting out sulfates and silicones and and stuff. She seems to know a lot about it while not being a purist about it, which is also fine with me - as long as I get great cuts and color in the end. She loves Curls Rock but when I asked how she feels about me bringing in my own products she said she doesn't mind at all and welcomes the opportunity to play with new products. Yay!

Overall this has made me really optimistic about my upcoming appointment with her on Wednesday instead of fearful. I'll post about my cut and color after then. The receptionist was also really nice about rearranging some things to help me schedule the earliest possible appt., so I could have my hair done before a party next weekend, and said an estimate of the cost for the cut and color is around $100. Not bad at all. So far a tentative thumbs up for Kate and Hairspray.
Happy for you! Parking is such a headache in Hillcrest, but small price to pay for a good cut!
I'm glad to hear you had a good experience! Keep us updated!

I haven't met with Kate yet since I already go to another guy there and I would feel traitorous....maybe I can go in those funny glasses with the moustache to disguise myself!

If I can't park in their teensy lot, I park in the pay lot across the street. It's $5 or something like that, which is a pain, but I don't get cuts that often so I deal. Their prices are quite reasonable so overall it's still cheaper than a lot of other places.

I don't know about Kate, but since they rent their stations they can charge their own rates- my guy charges less if you pay cash so maybe Kate does too? Doesn't hurt to ask.
Good idea starting this thread!

I have been trying to find a consistant stylist / colorist for sometime and I'm not having much luck.

Has anyone tried Robert Cromeans? I've heard good things in general, but not from anyone with super curly hair....

Last edited by Jen73082; 05-14-2008 at 10:47 PM.
I have been on the hunt for a good SD salon for YEARS. [Maybe I havent been trying hard enough]
I want to find someone I can trust to do something new (shorter curly bangs!)
So keep up updated!
*sigh* Well, I gave it a lot of time to be fair, but I have to say I don't think I like this haircut at all. My hair is just not as curly as it was before the cut, and since it's had plenty of time to recover from the coloring process (which it usually does within about four to five days, and it's now been over two weeks) I can only believe it's because of the cut.

First of all, it's just too short. I said I was trying to grow it back out and wanted the minimum reshaping necessary for curl encouragement with the length kept, but she cut off too much and though the ends may have still been damaged from previous years and needed it, that was my call to make not hers. She cut more than I told her to. Leaving the few straighter bits at the nape to hang down the back (which I hate) at their previous length does not count as "leaving the length intact". Four days later I got fed up with them and snipped only three of those straightish "curls" up to the level of the rest of what she had cut. It's now a good two inches shorter than it was before I went in.

Second, though she may know how to cut very curly hair very well, it's very possible it's also not curling as much because she cut it to minimize volume and curl. I have wavy hair with a fragile curl pattern. I told her it can't be cut like straight hair, but it also can't be cut like very curly hair usually is. My exact words were, "The curl pattern is fragile; my curls don't need to tamed like so many other curly people's they need to be encouraged. Do you know how to cut to encourage curl pattern as well as cut to minimize it?" She said she did but when she was done it wasn't nearly as wavy and she made a point of saying how well it lays down now. Except that was the opposite of what I wanted and asked for.

Whether it's not as curly because she cut too much off my 2Bs or because the way she cut it minimizes curl pattern, I don't want her to cut my hair again and can't recommend her for other wavies, at the very least. I did like her and feel that she's very knowledgeable and skilled but maybe just not for my curl type. I also liked the color and may go back to her for that, or may not depending on convenience.

I'll now check out MaryAnn in Escondido after a few months of growing this out again, to see if a real CG cut will help. I still hate to drive that far, but what the heck - maybe I can take the opportunity to go shopping at North County Fair every once in a while, which I never get to.

I am also still interested in Suzanne at Re:Vive, but as I said before I'm hesitant because of some bad reviews the salon has gotten on Yelp. This was backed up by my experience calling the salon, where the receptionist knew nothing about Suzanne except her schedule and couldn't transfer me to anyone (like the manager) who did. I finally had her take a message for Suzanne to call me back so I could ask some questions, but didn't get called back for three days. She left me a voicemail the day before the appointment I had made, simply reiterating the cost of the consultation and suggesting I make an appointment. Hmmm. I cancelled. (I admit it also irritates me that Suzanne charges a fee for a CG consultation but not for any other cut consultation, as well as charging more for CG cuts than her other cuts. To me it reeks of opportunistic gouging, and it makes me disinclined to give her my business if can avoid it, anyway.)

*shrug* So for now my search continues.
I'm so sorry about how everything settled out with your cut. Thanks for taking one for the team! I think, as a curly, I've had so many bad cuts that I really do take comfort in thinking "it will always grow out". Maybe not the best comfort, but it will grow out
bummer :/

I made a consultation appt w/ Jenn at E-Factor for the 7th

Ill keep you all posted

Last edited by divingdiva13; 07-01-2008 at 06:20 PM. Reason: mispell
Hi fellow San Diego curlies. I'm so happy to have found this thread since I'm also on the hunt for a consistently good curly stylist/salon. For a little background, I have 3b curls, used to relax for 5 yrs! yuck! But I've changed my ways and stopped relaxing 1.5 yrs ago. Did my big chop in Nov 07....actually with Jody Snyder at London Calling. Now trying to grow it out.

About Jody Snyder: My experience has been mixed. I've had 3 cuts with her. She was really nice and seem to understand curls. I guess she has curls but always wears it straight which kind of bothers me. I know she had some kind of medical issue in the past that affected her hair so I made allowance for that. 1st cut in early Nov 07 I was just excited to get most (not all) of my relaxed hair chopped off. She was afraid to cut too much since I haven't had hair that short since I was 6 or so. Unfortunately, the result was a bit of a pageboy look (she even called it that) which is not how i ever would want my curly cut described. I wish I had had the courage to say something but I didn't. 2nd cut in late Dec 07, was really great. Finally all relaxer was gone and my hair quite short but with the piecey well defined curls I wanted. This encouraged me to go back to Jody for my 3rd cut (early Mar 08 I think) in which all I wanted was to maintain the same cut, just trim the ends. Unfortunately, she kind of actually gave me a different cut. She trimmed it all but took EXTRA off the bottom to supposedly give my hair lift, which it does not need help with. It has plenty on its own. The part I didn't like was she told me she took exta off the bottom AFTER she had already done it so it was too late to say I didn't want that. So I ended up with a big ball of curls that poofed at the sides of my head as it grew out. In order to fix it, more hair would have had to be trimmed from the rest and just didn't want more off. So, I'm not sure I will go back to Jody.

After that I decided to wait a long while to let my hair grow out more before before the next cut and try a new stylist. I decided to stay local since I live it PB and it would be so convenient to find a salon closer to home. Based on the good reviews of Robert Cromeans on the CurlSalons page I called them up. I asked about those specific stylist and it turns out they were all at the downtown Robert Cromeans (which means more $$) I don't think you should have to pay more than $50 for just a cut. So instead, I asked for a recommendation for a curly stylist at the PB salon. I wanted to make sure it was someone with curly hair since I am more and more convinced what if they don't have curls, they just cannot really know what you have to go through with curls and what styling techniques are most approprieate. They set me up with Carolyn and I was really excited since I live so close to there and I love those head massages they give. So went in 2 weekends ago June 21. As it turns out, I cannot give you all any review on Carolyn because she called in sick and I was not notified. They said they would put me with someone else. How disappointing! I asked if the new person had curly hair and they said no, but she's very talented. I no longer believe it when people say that. Since I was already there... and had even ridden my bike there to save the planet and all... I decided I would just go with it. I'm never doing that again. I should have gone with my gut feeling to cancel and wait. So they set me up with Amanda who seemed to understand what it was I wanted. Curlies, I do not recommend her. I really think she has no idea whatsoever what curly hair is about. She cut it with thinning shears!!! I have never had those used on my hair before so I thought there might be something I don't know. Well, what you don't know can hurt you. I wish I had gone on these boards and read about thinning shears because I would have know what a major no-no that is for curls. She also did not fully style my hair. She put some mousse type product in which I could tell was just not going to cut it, and when I left it was only semi dry and already poofing out. Curlies, never leave a salon with wet hair. It's not until it dries that you can really see what the effect of the cut will be on the hair. For me it created this frazzled ends on the curls instead of a blunt smooth end. Each hair in one particular clump is a slightly different length tapering to the end which may have sounded to her good in theory but in practice, it makes my ends look damaged when they are not, and encourages frizz.

Sorry for the long review but I really had to vent since now I don't think I can wait it out, I'm going to have to go somewhere else to fix this and that will require chopping more hair off and delaying growing it out. I was thinking about going to Hairspray in Hillcrest so I was sorry so see the mixed review. I might work for me since my hair is very curly, not wavy... I can see how there would be different physics with wavy hair. I hope to find a good stylist soon and I'm sure I will with all your helpful tips.
3b curls, big chop Nov 07

Current fave products: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo and Conditioner, Aveda Curl Enhancer, Aveda Flaxseed Aloe gel

Still like: Ouidad CC gel
Don't like: Deva ArcAngell
Hi fellow San Diego Curlies!

I'm excited to see there are a few of us out here. I know how all of you feel on finding the right salon. I posted a great review of Suzanne at re-Vive Salon because it was the first time in YEARS I left happy with my curly-styled hair (I've only left happy when it was straightened at the end). She did a great job, but I must admit it is PRICEY. As a matter of fact, I'm due for my 2nd cut next week, and I'm thinking of canceling because I don't want to pay the $130!!! But, I also know that after getting HORRIBLE cuts in the past and the amount of time it has taken me to grow out the last disaster, I'm not sure if I'm willing to risk it again. I may postpone it for a month or so, but eventually I think I'll go back. The $30 consultation is applied to your cut if you decide to get it, but you're right I don't think she should charge for this service. The price is high, but that's usually what I pay at other salons, and they don't take the time she took. She dedicated a good 2 hours to cutting my curls 1 by 1 (and I have a TON of hair).

I heard that Salon Bella is pretty good with curlies. But, I also know that Tamara Mooney of Genesis used to work there and has gotten great reviews and she's actually the one that gave me the DISASTER cut! SO.... again, is it worth the risk to save a couple of bucks? By the way, Tamara charged me $200 for cut and color, so it's not always cheaper elsewhere. I don't know, but if any of you find an alternative, please post!!

If you want great color (not CG friendly though) you definitely should try Peach at Jet-Rhys Salon in Hillcrest. I went to her for YEARS, but again she is a bit expensive and I started coloring my own hair. She always did an amazing job without damaging my hair and the scalp massage you get with the shampoo is priceless! Cristina at Jet-Rhys is also good with curly hair, she used to charge $95 a year ago (don't know if it went up). She cut my hair a few times and I was pretty happy, but the last cut didn't do it for me and then I tried Tamara. After that I had to wait for my hair to grow out and then I fouhd out about CG and went to Suzanne.
3B, thick, course, and lots of it!
Currently using:
Suave Coconut, Kinky Curly Knot Today & KC Curling Custard, Bioterra Gel (HG Combo!)
Also used:
FOTE,DevaCare No Poo, OneC, ArcAngell, SIF, Jessicurl RR, CC,Too Shea, Ouidad, CK, PM Mousse, Biolage gelee.
Hi fellow SD curlies! I just joined today to be able to reply to this thread. I read this thread a couple weeks ago to see if there were any North County curly stylist recommendations. I was delighted to read about MaryAnn Castaneda at Taglio in Escondido, and today I had my first appt with her.

First, yes she is Deva certified and has curly hair herself. She cut me dry (yay!) and spent about 45 minutes getting to know my hair, how it curls, etc. Before cutting she asked me what products I use and what was I looking for in a style and spent a good amount of time just familiarizing herself with my hair, which is a confusing combination of 3A/3B hair on the ends with an open, what she calls "C" curl. The crown was almost straight (I hadn't had a cut since last December, and it wasn't a good one so I was sporting major triangle head). Once cut, though, we were both pleased to find that the hair at the crown has a lot of bounce and curl to it.

After cutting she used Deva no-poo on me, then B-Leave-in conditioner, and a gel (forget the name, but it was in the Deva line). She had me hang my head over and scrunched it in (another yay!)

Then, since we didn't have 3 hours to wait for my hair to air dry, she asked if she could use the blow dryer with the diffuser so she could see how my hair curled up and if more cutting was needed. Duckbill clipped at the top in a way I'd never seen but I love the result. She took strands of my hair, found the natural loop and clipped the looped strand so the loop stood straight up. This method gave me more lift at the top than I'd ever gotten by just clipping close to the scalp. Hope I can duplicate this at home.

I told her I was 3 weeks into trying out the Wen line of products. She had heard of them and was very interested in hearing how they were working for me. She asked if I could bring them in next time because she's always interested in learning about new products (can this get any better???)

Anyway, we also discussed color. I have psoriasis so I have to be very careful about chemicals. I also have a fair amount of gray in my dark brown hair. So she recommended a vegetable based all-over hair color that would make my gray look like highlights. I'm intrigued! I'll be making an appt for next week to try this out.

To sum up (and hope I haven't rambled too long) I am thrilled with MaryAnn and will definitely go back again and again. She's a little pricier than most North County I'd experienced, at $75 for the cut, cleanse, condition and dry. I don't know if that's her normal price for a cut, or if today was higher because it was our first time and she had to spend more time just getting to know my hair. Either way she's got me for a repeat customer.

So a big thank you to Koukla72 for passing on the info about MaryAnn! I hope my post helps anyone who was thinking of trying her. Thanks!

2C/3A with almost straight hair on top
"c" curls (according to my stylist)
Modified CG: looking for my next low/no poo; Curls CCC; anything KBB; acv and honey or molasses rinses; CJ H&B Deep Fix
Styling with KCCC/B&A gel, FOTE avg; BB's FSG, Komaza CHP
Hey, that's awesome, I'm glad it helped! I still haven't gone to MaryAnn yet, but she's definitely next so it's reassuring to hear how good she is, and that the cost of the cut is reasonable (even if it isn't genuinely inexpensive) for when I do go see her. That won't be for at least another month or two, though. I'm really trying to grow it out a bit before I get another reshaping. I did get my hair trimmed just a tiny bit with Jennifer from Hairdrezzers On Fire almost a month ago, only to try and remedy the badly-shaped and too-blunt layers from the previous cut I got at Hairspray, but it was more emergency rescue so I could live with it in the interim than anything.

(There was some serious shelving going on from that previous cut, which I hadn't realized at first. Turned out that was partly why my hair wasn't curling as much. Unfortunately, due to that previously unnoticed shelving and those way-too-blunt and choppy layers, I don't think I can recommend Kate at all anymore - to any curl type - regardless of the impression I had of her competence. There's no excuse for that, and I can't imagine it's a good look for 3s or 4s either, you know? So for myself, now, I'd put her at a C-. Hopefully others that might try Kate have a better experience, though.)

Jennifer at Hairdrezzers has curly hair herself, and she's pretty good. I explained my hair has different curl types with a fragile pattern that isn't apparent when wet and she was fine with cutting my hair dry, though she still cut it conventionally rather than cutting each curl or wave clump. Afterwards it was curling more again, well-shaped and even, and she hadn't cut off any more than we agreed on, though she did say she was glad that I was realistic about the fact that she had to cut some to do the job. I also have to say she is possibly the only stylist I've been to who didn't act like I was super weird for wanting to bring in my own products to use; she really was fine with it. I've never had anybody refuse, but they've all acted unhappy with it to some extent or other and she didn't at all, so that's definitely a point in her favor. She's also the one who showed me the trick of opening and closing root clips fast as I'm taking them out to minimize hair snagging in the coil, a tip I'll be eternally grateful for. And the cost was pretty reasonable, $50. If I had to grade her I'd give her a good solid B, and I would definitely have no problems recommending her to a friend.
I agree that stylists being open to us bringing in our own products for them to use on us is important. I was thrilled when not only did MaryAnn show interest in the Wen line but also made a point of saying she was always open to me bringing in whatever products I wanted her to use on my hair. She said she knows how hair is highly individual and no product is one-size-fits-all.

As I sit here with 2nd day hair on the Deva line she used on me, I'm doubly grateful she's open to me bringing in my stuff. I had heard such wonderful things about Deva and was excited to try it. Unfortunately I don't think it's for me at this time. I'd been using the Wen fig cleansing conditioner for three weeks and my hair had never been softer or more shiny, plus my curls had never been more defined. One day with the Deva no-poo and I'm disappointed with my results. Hair feels much drier than on Wen, and there's a lot more frizz second day. When I go back to her I'll have her use my Wen.

I hope I haven't talked her up so much that you end up disappointed. I do wish she'd cut me shorter and will ask her to do so next time. I'd also asked for some bangs and she cut some, but too long (they're longer than the top of my eyes). I chalk these up to just her getting to know my preferences though. Having a quality cut was first and foremost, and I do feel I got that.
2C/3A with almost straight hair on top
"c" curls (according to my stylist)
Modified CG: looking for my next low/no poo; Curls CCC; anything KBB; acv and honey or molasses rinses; CJ H&B Deep Fix
Styling with KCCC/B&A gel, FOTE avg; BB's FSG, Komaza CHP

Last edited by JodyGK; 07-17-2008 at 11:45 PM. Reason: hit "enter" too soon!
Am very much looking forward to reading every word. Thanks for sharing, everybody. Will be sure to let you know how it works out if I surrender my locks to someone local!
Have any of you ever heard of Salon Marchessa? I've heard that Kim is good with curly hair. I have an appointment for a consultation with her next Wednesday. I will let you all know how it goes. Or if anyone has other recommendations I would be willing to make an appointment somewhere else. What do you all think I should do?
2b/c Hair
Have no clue what to do with it

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