OK, I’ll Admit it, I Go To Thairapy


“Who does your hair?” It’s one of the questions I get asked the most as a style editor. Especially after chopping off 12 inches a couple of weeks ago. I even had a well-known writer contact me because his daughter wanted to try short hair after 13 years of waist-length locks. He seemed surprised when I told him my hairdressers were in South Pasadena. But I’d follow them to Rancho Cucamonga, if I had to.

Thairapy Salon is right next to Mike & Anne’s off Mission Street in South Pas (the restaurant will deliver! so you can enjoy a short rib dip sandwich during a root touch up or highlights). The salon has a cool Silverlake vibe with vintage furniture (from the Warehouse LA) that owner Karmen Aghazarian and her financé Dusty repurposed. 

Karmen is a color and extension expert, I call her a beauty sorceress, because she works magic. I believe, like a lot of people, that you can tell how good a stylist is by looking at their own hair. Karmen, a firecracker bombshell, has dyed her own locks every color imaginable from orange to hot pink to (last I saw her) a gorgeous vibrant teal. I felt anyone who can handle those colors in the spectrum could easily whip up any blonde, brunette or red shade. She has fearlessly taken me from pale wheat blonde to apricot-y strawberry blond to dark chocolate brown. Karmen also rocks extensions herself most of the time. And though I was scared to try them at first, she walked me through the process, answering my bajillion questions, and I was hooked. I think of them as push-up bras for the head—who couldn’t use a little more va-va-voom every now and again?

Karmen works in tandem with Audie-Marie Gutierrez, who handles the scissors with the eyes of an artist (because she is one, she made the Rorschach inkblot paintings that hang near the sinks so you can analyze yourself while getting a rinse, and the acrylic paintings soon to hang on the walls.) Audie, a super-chill petite beauty, cut my extensions so they seemlessly blended in with my own hair (no one ever thought I had them!).  And personally,  I wouldn’t trust anyone else to lop off a foot of my tresses, with nary a tear or regret. Both stylists have super hi-powered, A-list clientele, but they won’t tell you about them, because they respect people’s privacy, just don’t be surprised if you recognize someone while you’re under the dryer.

So, when I’m feeling down, or run down, or just need a change, I head to Karmen and Audie. They’ll untangle my bundle of nerves and woes with a glass of wine, Champers, coffee, tea, or water, and listen to my problems (and they’re always on my side, which is awesome). It is like going to therapy, only when I leave, I feel like I look as good outside as I feel inside.

Finding the right hairdresser is like finding the right therapist—it’s a relationship. After all, if you have to spend three hours hostage in a chair, you better like the company.

If you want to check them out Thairapy is hosting a Grand Opening celebration this evening: Saturday July 28th, from 7 – 10 pm,  serving complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and offering 20% off of services if you book an appointment.

Thairapy Salon, 815 Fairview Ave., South Pasadena, 626-441-2062, ineedthairapy.com