I am so glad that I waited two weeks after my excellent experience at Byu-ti Salon in Santa Monica to tell you about it because the cut just keeps getting even better with time. And the best part is that my bangs are still perfect!

So, here are the scoops on this place. Many of you know that I really don’t love trusting people with my hair, which is actually my one feature that I absolutely love. (As I tell everyone–we all have to have one good thing!) But, after a month of crazy weather in New York, I figured it was time for a beauty renewal, especially since the new year had just begun. Someone in New York had just told me about Byi-tu Salon on this coast, so I figured I’d take a chance.

First of all, it’s pronounced “Beauty Salon,” and I think is supposed to be Japanese, but nobody at the salon is Japanese, so I still don’t understand that part. No matter–everything else about the place is crystal clear.

Right off the bat, I’ll tell you my favorite part–even though this is a hip, happening, busy salon, no one there is obnoxious! Everyone was welcoming to me and made me, a first-timer, feel comfortable.

And while the look and approach of the salon are the epitome of modern, they have one very old-fashioned value that is, perhaps, what makes the team so special–everyone is hired, as opposed to just renting a chair. That’s a rarity nowadays! Maybe that’s why the staff is so nice to each other and is a cohesive unit.

When I got changed and settled, they gave me a “welcoming folder,” (I can’t remember what they call it exactly,) so that they would have all my hair info in writing, which I think is a great idea. My team was Natasha Sunshine, the owner, on haircut, and Sura Radcliffe on color, with Nicole assisting them.

The best part is that all three ladies looked good themselves!!! I hate having any kind of professional work on me who’s weak in their own area of expertise, such as dentists with bad teeth, manicurists with bad nails, or hairstylists with bad hair! These girls looked like they knew what they were doing in the beauty department, which inspired confidence right away.

Byu-ti Salon owner Natasha Sunshine and color expert Sura Radcliffe.

Natasha is whom I spent the most time with, as she was doing the main work. She has the perfect look and I trusted her completely, which is odd for me. Salons always want to change my look, to make it their own, not mine. Not so with Natasha. She just wanted to make me happy, which is the way it’s supposed to be.

Sura “warmed-up” my color, which meant making it a little darker and much less red. My first thought was that a pal who always dislikes my “junior” wardrobe will be thrilled to see me looking a tad more adult, in a good way. I think I actually did start acting a little more responsible afterwards. And it’s been over two weeks with absolutely no color fading at all! And, shamefully, I’ve even used some crappy shampoos at home recently.

Then Natasha began my long and relaxing “Healing Haircut.” She asks you what you want to let go of, and, at the end of a fabulous neck, back, scalp, and shoulder massage, you get rid of what you were concentrating on with a swoop of her hands. (She explains it better than I do, of course.) So, after the most relaxing experience I ever had in a salon, I got rid of twenty pounds! Of course it doesn’t really work like that, but both Mr. X and I noticed that I’ve been thinner in the last ten days or so, so who knows? And, technically, I think you’re really supposed to let go of much bigger issues, not weight.

Then Natasha did some hair treatments, for which Byu-ti Salon is known. They have their own formulas for different tress needs. And vitamins, too, which I’m planning to take daily, just in case, though I feel I should pass them on to some follically-challenged pals.

And finally the hair-cut, which in my case she did on dry hair! That was great for me because I got to see just what was happening, with no surprises.

When they finished, I still looked basically like myself, which is what I wanted, (unless they could turn me into Grace Kelly or some other beauty icon, but, after all, their hairdressers, not miracle workers!,) but with what many people think is a more grown-up color. Except for Mr. X, that is. He said I look like I’m fifteen, which in our world is a huge compliment. I’ve actually never received more kudos from him! He mentions my hair every day, and says how shiny and terrific it looks. You have no idea how happy that makes me.

Here’s our exact dialogue when I walked into the house: Mr. X: “You look 15!” Me: “So, my hair is good?” Mr. X: “No, it’s great!” And it’s been like that ever since.

So, to sum up, my trip to Byu-ti Salon worked-out wonderfully. The place is peaceful, everyone looks good and knows their business, and I didn’t even tell you about their philosophy to “Give Goodness.” But I have to save some things for you to discover for yourselves.

510 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica 310-587-2207


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