Tucked away in the Colonial Corners at National and Barrington in West Los Angeles, you will find a neighborhood hair salon that not only survived the Pandemic but continues to thrive as a local favorite. Owner Kris de la Vara talks about how she came to this spot and what makes it such a special place.
• How’d you get started?
"I opened Salon On Barrington at the beginning of 2017. I was working at a salon in Santa Monica for 11 years and heard that the space that we are in was available to lease. A few of the other hairdressers that I worked with were looking for a change as well, and so Salon On Barrington was born with four hairdressers, one of whom I have worked with for over 22 years. All stylists (there are ten now), have 30+ years of experience and continue their education with yearly classes to keep up to date on the latest styles and trends.”
• What have been some of your recent challenges?
“I feel incredibly fortunate that our salon business made it through the Pandemic, when the personal care industry was hit so hard. One of my new stylists, Sandra, had owned her own salon in Santa Monica for 14 years, but she was unable to stay afloat during the Pandemic and had to close her shop. My heart breaks for her loss, but I am incredibly blessed she found my salon and has become part of our team.”
• Can you tell us about your professional journey to the West coast?
“I love doing hair; I knew I wanted to become a hairdresser since I was 12 years old. My mom even came across a school project I wrote in sixth grade saying that I wanted to become a hairdresser and move to sunny Florida. Here I am 47 years later, got the career path correct, but the wrong sunny state. I also love the area that the salon is located in. Although Colonial Corners is in the city of L.A., it feels like a small community, a bustling residential area where people
are always out walking their kids or animals.”
• What makes your work special to you?
“The thing I love most about my job is the relationships that I have with my clients. I love learning about their lives and sharing in their adventures. Many years ago I had a client who was also from Michigan, and I discovered that her sister had dated my cousin when they were in high school. I also love the network of my clients, as I am constantly asked if I know a good accountant, lawyer, tradesman, etc., so I am able to refer clients to each other and help them out with something besides their hair.”
• So, what lies beyond your happy work life?
“Relaxing with my family. I have been married to my husband Phil for 27 years. I have two children, my son Hunter and daughter Hailey. When I'm not working doing the job that I love, I enjoy spending quality time hanging out with them. We are huge Dodgers fans, so whether it's on TV or in-person, we enjoy watching a good game. I love all that Los Angeles has to offer, from a night out at the theatre, a concert, or museum, to exploring a new restaurant, hiking in the mountains and relaxing at the beach."
Open daily, Salon On Barrington offers hair cutting, coloring, and straightening services. See their ad below.
By Deborah Gray