Hair cuts and connections

The Huntington Beach Hair Co. is planning a party to show off its new look, but even with the makeover, the new owners are sticking with the salon's colorful roots.

In preparation for the kick-off party Friday, new owners Eva Jasperson and Tammi Fronek painted the walls of the Bolsa Chica Street shop Tiffany blue and added new pedicure chairs and a television. But they have strived to keep the homey spirit of the establishment, which is more than 30 years old.

Jasperson's mother, Julie Snyder, was a stylist at the salon for more than 20 years and managed it for the past 13 years until her death in October at age 74.

"I grew up in the industry," Jasperson said. "All I know is hair salons."

The salon was like a second home to her. Jasperson, 46, said she was raised among the stylists and clients and considers many of them family.

Her daughter, Krystal, also was raised at the salon, and when the girl turned 16 five years ago, she started working alongside her grandmother to learn the ropes of the cosmetology business.

Snyder died unexpectedly in October, and when the salon's owner, Mary Jane Gentry, decided to retire, Jasperson and Fronek jumped at the chance to continue the salon's tradition.

They said the salon has a deep culture of family and community and has served as a gathering place for years.

"We've just always kind of been sitting out here on the porch," Jasperson said.

Best friends Jasperson and Fronek compared the salon to the one in the 1980s comedy-drama "Steel Magnolias."

"It's kind of like our own man cave," Fronek, 45, said. "It's our girl cave."

The two women officially bought the salon earlier this year, and while giving the shop a face-lift, they never closed it down. They toiled at night and on weekends to ensure that their stylists could continue working.

They have brought in a few new stylists, but many have been with the salon for more than 20 years, like Erna Hollerback and Tima Buckleh. The salon will continue to cater to regulars like Freda Kingsbury, who has been a customer of Huntington Beach Hair Co. for nearly 30 years and still gets her hair done every Friday.

"We want it to be old school but still have the latest techniques," Fronek said of the changes.

Fronek and Jasperson hope to continue building community connections and make the salon a place where customers get more than a haircut. For example, they want to host fundraisers and put in a bulletin board to display community announcements.

"We really want to help out in the neighborhood and the community," Fronek said. "We want to be really involved in many of the local parishes and schools."

Jasperson and her husband and daughter are all Marina High School graduates.

The party will kick off with a cocktail party featuring food, games and prizes from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the shop, 16045 Bolsa Chica St.

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