Headed out west for your holiday? Take heed! The desert air is dry, so to help you cope, here are a few beauty tips from Brian Jensen, a.k.a. “The Best Hair Stylist in Reno” (I’m not making that up; he won the award!).
From Theadora Brack in Reno
Faster than a card shark’s hand in Reno, it took just one hour for the dry desert air to wreck havoc on my tresses and skin, too. A sight making for sore eyes, my red haired locks suddenly went wickedly limp, dry and straighter than a full poker flush. While the parched skin was easy to fix with gobs of moisturizer, I still needed SOS for my newly-acquired “poor little scarecrow” look. Truth be old, I was in dire need of a Southwest hair specialist. And lickety-split.
So what to do?
Donning my Nancy Drew thinking cap, I quickly roamed the Internet and, thanks to a last-minute cancelation, I soon scored a rendezvous with the “Best Hair Stylist in Reno” at the “Best Hair Shop in Reno.” Ring-a-ding-ding! Haircuts are always a gamble, but I hit the jackpot with stylist Brian Jensen at the hip Salon 7, located just ten blocks from the main strip of in Reno. (As you make your way to the shop, get an eyeful of the vintage neon casino and hotel signs!)
From floor to ceiling, the funky shop is decked out in eclectic art and retro industrial equipment, left over from its former life as a warehouse. It also boasts a gift shop. More to the point, Brian is an artist, and the cuts are affordable, starting at $35. Now, ain’t that a kick in the head?
Rocking a 1950s vibe, Brian resembles the young Brian Setzer of Stray Cats fame. Charming and charismatic, he’s got swagger and a witty gift of gab. Brian minced no words when I quizzed him about the rumored return of the bobbed hair do. “It’s out. Of course the Sassoon cut won’t go out of style, but now it’s softer. Natural-looking, low maintenance hairstyles are hot. Just accepting and working with whatever God dealt you is where it’s at. That and a little Sea Spray!” he added with a wink. And that’s when he introduced me to my new BFF: Redken’s Radiant Sea Spray. There’s an old running joke that Nevada is like “ten thousand miles of beach with no ocean” but here was the solution!
“Close your eyes,” Brian said, as he pumped up my volume. I was an avid listener. “Each time you move or touch your hair, this will take you to the sea. It’s got soy, sea algae and aloe vera. It’s smells like the beach whenever you touch your hair, and it’s silicone free. Desert air dries out your hair, but if you use too much moisturizer your hair can fall flat. It’s okay to use oil-free shine and anti-frizzy spritzers, but you have to apply them after the styling. Timing is everything!” Brian also recommended getting trims every four to six weeks.
As I strolled back to my hotel after getting the cut I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a storefront window and discovered a newly confident, courageous pioneer stride in my step. My whole outlook had changed, along with my hair. The cut was flawless, and the Sea Spray had brought back the shine, moisture and volume. “Baby, you’re going to break some hearts,” a man shouted from a passing eighteen-wheeler truck. Cost of the new hairdo, along with a take-home bottle of Redken’s little miracle? $50. And—unlike the merciless slot machines—worth every lost penny.
495 Morrill Avenue
About Theadora Brack -
Theadora Brack is the Paris Correspondent with the travel website, Eurocheapo.com. Trekking to Paris in the near future? Check out the site for tips. Theadora’s bi-weekly column on Paris covers art, architecture, fashion, cuisine and shopping, always served up with a side of history.