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New salon blows into Costa Mesa

Owner Monica Ruggieri, left, and manager Elizabeth McNerney look forward to the opening of the new SAS Shampoo & Style on East 17th Street in Costa Mesa.
(DON LEACH, Daily Pilot)

Super-powered female icons Wonder Woman and Supergirl are inspiring for more than their ability to fly and fight crime.

They also have fantastic hair.

SAS Shampoo & Style owner Monica Ruggieri knows that a great hairstyle is more than an expression of vanity. Great hair has the ability to transform a woman’s attitude and sense of confidence.

“When you’ve had your hair done, it makes you feel better all day long,” Ruggieri said Monday while standing in the all-new blow-dry salon on East 17th Street.


Behind her, a construction crew blasted the walls with power tools as the last of the shelving and finishing touches were put in place.

The 1,100-square-foot space is equipped with three wash stations and eight salon chairs. A white marble reception desk, white leather chairs and teal motif lend a trendy, yet beachy, atmosphere.

And then there’s the sound system, which will be installed this week.

“We think this could be a real meeting spot,” Ruggieri said. "[Women] can have a glass of wine or champagne, get ready and then go out.”


Starting at $35, services include an aromatherapeutic scalp massage, shampoo, blow-dry and style. A $10 add-on lengthens the massage time and includes a hair mask. For $20, clients can add makeup services.

From 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Ruggieri and SAS stylists will host a grand-opening party with a red carpet-style reception, music, food and drinks. However, the blow dryers won’t start up until Friday.

“We’re excited — that’s the word around here,” salon manager Elizabeth McNerney said.

McNerney, who has more than a decade of experience in the hair and salon service industry, said that SAS offers a different product than other blow-dry salon concepts in that it’s geared toward the local community.

Both she and Ruggieri live in Costa Mesa, within walking distance to the salon.

For Ruggieri, a former residential real estate broker, it’s her first foray into salon ownership. But she’s no stranger to a hair blower and how to treat clients.

“For years, all of my friends, including myself, before going to charity functions, events and luncheons, would get our hair blown dry beforehand,” Ruggieri said. “But it was hard to get into the hairdresser. They don’t want to just squeeze you in for a 20-minute blow-dry — they want to cut and color. It’s expensive.”

SAS focuses on the styling of the hair, not a full cut, so the salon can accommodate both walk-ins and medium-size groups, which makes SAS ideal for special occasions or a night out, McNerney said.


With the added relaxation of the scalp massage, a visit has the ability to give more than just hair roots a lift.

“Your hair is the ultimate accessory,” McNerney said. “Any time you get your hair done, it’s a boost in confidence that can turn your whole day around — I’ve seen it.”

Twitter: @speters01

If You Go

What: SAS Shampoo & Style grand-opening party

When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: 270 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa


RSVP: (949) 646-6345