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Santa Monica, Calif., is the new mecca for salons and spas.
Steve Martin once said in his movie, “L.A. Story,” that Los Angeles is “a place of secrets…secret houses, lives, pleasures.”
Well, Fred Segal Beauty in Santa Monica —a salon, retail store and day spa opened in 1992— is one of those “secret” addresses. For 15 years, it has enjoyed cult status among in-the-know locals as the beauty haven on the West Side. Now, it is getting some company.
In May, natural skin care spa Arcona Studio relocated from its Valley Village home near Studio City to a 2,600-square-foot space right across the street from Fred Segal Beauty.
“For a long time, so much of our [West Side] clientele has had to come to us,” says Chanel Jenae, who joined Arcona in 1999 and has helmed the company with chief executive Kevin Anderson since its namesake, Arcona Devan, passed away in 2004. “We knew that we would find a good match here. We really love the energy and the openness to alternative movements [in Santa Monica].”
With a skin care philosophy based on natural actives sans petroleum-based compounds, Arcona’s services include the $115 organic enzyme peel and an $85 signature facial contouring treatment.
Attracted by the area’s low-key vibe, Byu-ti Hair Therapy owner Natasha Sunshine has chosen to open a 1,300-square-foot, 10-chair space on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. Cuts range from $75 to $200, but the highlight of a visit is a $75 custom-blended reparative treatment that begins with a base conditioner for rectifying overprocessed strands.
“[Customers] want an environment where they feel that someone cares about them; where at the same time, they can get great service,” says Sunshine.
Later this year, the power hairdressing duo and Wella creative directors Christopher and Sonya Dove are putting their stamp on Santa Monica with a new 2,300-square-foot salon on Main Street. Attracted by the area’s comparatively slow-paced lifestyle, the Doves plan to “bring Beverly Hills to Santa Monica” with an open color bar.
“We are not ritzy Beverly Hills hairdresser types. We haven’t got any pretension to us,” explains Christopher Dove. “We just want to treat all our clients like celebrities.” And by the way, all of these salons and spas are just a block or two from the beach, so bring your suit.