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The Southland Has a Lock on Hair Salons

March 31, 2000|BARBARA THOMAS

New York has its runway shows with all its high-fashion trends, but baby, we've got hair salons.

Southern California is about coiffeur, not couture.

California has three times as many licensed salons as either New York or Florida. The Southland alone has at least 7,043 licensed salons, almost as many as in the entire state of New York, according to representatives of salon trade groups.

Los Angeles is important enough to the industry to attract two recent trade shows--the International Cosmetology Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center and the North American Hair Awards show at the Hollywood Palladium.

Steven and Annie Casciola, husband-and-wife publishers of Salon City Press Club, a West Hollywood trade paper for salon owners around the country, said there are several reasons why this area is so hair-conscious.

First, there are so many hair-care product companies based here--Neutrogena, Sebastian International, Paul Mitchell, Jose Eber, Nexxus, L'Anza, Ecoly International and Graham Webb, to name a few. These companies promote new products close to home, and what better place to test them than here where every kind of hair imaginable is in close proximity. In fact, when Wella AG bought Sebastian a few years ago, it moved its test labs to Woodland Hills for that reason.

Some companies, like Jose Eber and Paul Mitchell, were started by big-name hairstylists who made their names coiffing celebrities.

But Steven Casciola said there is one more element that is vital to the care and nurturing of all these businesses. "It's that energy that L.A. has been blessed with, that catalyst." Entertainment, media, beauty and exposure all meet up and explode--a great environment for adventures in hair.

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