It’s no secret that La Jolla businesses are constantly changing; restaurants and shops come and go, and it’s rare that a business stays in one spot for more than a few years; let alone nearly triple that. Hair Nouveaux, however, is proudly one of those rare institutions – as one of the oldest salons in La Jolla, it’s been in business at the same location on Fay Avenue since 1976. We sat down with Lori Vander Galien, current owner, to learn more about what makes the salon tick after all these years.
40 Years of History
Hair Nouveaux opened in 1976 on Fay and cycled through a few owners. At the time, there wasn’t much to downtown La Jolla – salons were few and far between, and Hair Nouveaux was one of the first to open its doors in the Village.
In the 80s, Lori had just moved here from Wisconsin wanting to start a new life as a hair stylist in San Diego. She was drawn to La Jolla and found the salon through sheer luck; a few months later she was a full-time stylist and colorist, and purchased the salon just a few years after that in 1997.
Lori has loved doing hair since she began her stylist career at the age of 18, when she knew that’s what she wanted to do with her life. Some of her clients have been with her since the beginning, and she’s styled four generations of clients — from ages six to seventy-six, an experience she wouldn’t trade for anything. “I love making people look and feel their best,” Lori said. “that’s always been my favorite part of the job.” Many of her clients have moved away and then back to La Jolla several years later only to call Lori again for an appointment. The local-centric salon is truly a home-away-from-home for some.
Quality & Comfort
From the moment you walk in, the salon exudes an air of comfort without pretension. The original 70’s black-and-white checkered floors make a vintage statement without seeming stuffy, and it’s cozy in a way that makes you feel at home amidst the hustle-and-bustle of downtown La Jolla. It’s a distinctive type of quality, and a rare find in today’s business world.
The salon’s dedicated staff is the other essential ingredient in Hair Nouveaux’s ongoing success – two stylists have been working there for nearly 35 years, a testament in and of itself. Lori is close with each of her nine stylists and has known some of them for sixteen years! Many of them have lived in and around La Jolla for a long time, which only adds to the community feel of the salon.
More Than Just a Hair Salon
What sets Hair Nouveaux apart is its range of services – they offer everything from manicures to facials and waxing, in addition to the typical haircut/color. Lori and her stylists started out providing just haircuts and facials until 2000 when they hired a full time aesthetician. Now, it’s truly a one-stop shop, making it the perfect destination for brides; they’ve hosted hundreds of bridal parties since!
The salon also carries several different brands of hair products. One of Lori’s all time favorites, however, is guaranteed to always be in stock: Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Oil Shampoo. She’s been using it for years, and her customers have now come to expect it during their pre-cut wash and scalp treatments.
Come in and celebrate the salon’s 40th anniversary! Lori and her stylists book by appointment only, but they are open every day (except Sunday) at 7556 Fay Ave. in La Jolla.
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