There’s a reason Salon de Mesilla is regularly voted best salon in town
Written by CHERYL FALLSTEAD Photography by MORGAN SWITZER-MCGINLEY
In a Mesilla building just west of San Albino’s Basilica, complete with chile ristras hanging near the door, an award-winning beauty salon exudes New Mexico charm. The almost 100-year-old building is rich with warm wood floors and thick adobe walls and is filled with a team focused on doing what is best for their guests, all under the leadership of 32-year-old owner and stylist Jenna Emerick.
Salon de Mesilla is a full-service salon, offering haircuts and styling for women and men, hair color, permanent make-up, facial waxing, and manicures and pedicures. The team of eight stylists and one nail technician have a focus on their guests that precludes territorial behaviors found at some salons. Jenna says, “We’re definitely team oriented. The experience and best intentions are for our guests, not for us as individual stylists.”
In addition, each stylist has her own strength, so team consultations are common as they decide how best to approach getting the perfect result for a guest. A stylist may be the expert on blonde hair, short cuts, or up-dos and is always happy to provide advice for a colleague.
Brenna Trevino, manager at Salon de Mesilla for three years, says, “Each of us has our own specialty. We pull information from each other because between us we have a wealth of knowledge.”
Beauty salons are traditionally a place where relationships are built between stylists and the women who rely on them to make them look good. At Salon de Mesilla, it is quite intentional. Jenna says, “We talk and we listen and we build really intimate relationships with our guests. I’ve had several of my guests for eight or 10 years. I know their families, kids, and pets. You see them every four weeks, so you build a relationship. I think the most important thing besides building a team is building a relationship with clients.”
Jenna seems to have been quite successful in building a team of stylists who are happy to come to work each day. The newest member, Megan Avilucea, says, “I really do love it here. I’ve been working here for two weeks, but I have been a guest for about seven years, ever since they opened. Coming here regularly made me decide to work here because I enjoy the environment.” She came to Salon de Mesilla even though she herself was a stylist because, she admits, “I’m picky.”
Salon de Mesilla offers “rituals of relief,” such as a complimentary scalp massage before your relaxing shampoo when you get a haircut. With every color service, you receive a hand massage. They also offer refreshing peppermint water to quench your thirst. That attention to detail and their guests’ needs has paid off by being voted the best salon in the Las Cruces Sun-News Readers’ Choice Awards in 2012, 2014, and 2016.
Guests at this welcoming salon can choose from a wide range of services, but one line of products: AVEDA. Jenna chose to exclusively use their products for a range of reasons. She notes that the well-known company creates organic, plant-based, and cruelty-free products in an environmentally-friendly manufacturing plant that makes use of wind power and is conscientious of water use. She adds, “Not only are the aromas wonderful, but the outcomes and results are amazing. Our color line is 96 percent naturally derived and is essentially damage free.”
Jenna points out that with the AVEDA hair color products, they customize color for each guest based on factors such as porosity of hair, level of gray, integrity of hair, and the starting hair color level. Rather than selecting a color box off the shelf, at Salon de Mesilla there is a chemistry behind what they do, creating a custom color formula for each guest. Color services also include highlights and balayage, a technique of hand-painting strategically-placed color.
For those who would like to to look great straight out of bed in the morning, Salon de Mesilla offers permanent make-up, such as microblading to add the look of full, even eyebrows, lip tints to enhance or intensify lip color, and permanent eyeliner. In addition, they will be soon adding eyelash extensions to the menu.
Ariel Hufker, their permanent make-up artist, bats her eyes and confirms that she hasn’t applied any make-up, despite looking like she spent time primping. She says, “I love not putting on make-up and still looking nice!”
Relationships are crucial to the success of the salon, including Jenna’s family relationships. She enthuses that her husband and business partner, Daniel, can do anything, including helping create the inviting look of the building, marketing, and tech support. She and Daniel also have two young children, Cora and Jack, keeping them busy with full-time careers and parenting.
Jenna explains that she originally planned to be a lawyer, but college didn’t resonate with her and she discovered a passion for the arts. She moved to Las Cruces from Albuquerque and enrolled at Olympian Beauty School and never looked back. She began doing hair for friends and family at her home, then first opened her salon at sister-in-law Anna Emerick Biad’s building, which was Emerick Real Estate, but is now Anna’s latest passion, Acton Academy, a private school. In explaining her gratitude to Anna for helping her get started and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Emerick and Biad clans, she says, “We don’t do anything without family.”
BEAUTY TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS AT SALON DE MESILLA
Establish a beauty routine:
Depending on the length of your hair and the style, you may need to refresh your cut every four weeks for short hair, or for longer hair, every eight to 12 weeks. Color needs to be updated every four to six weeks and highlights in six to 12 weeks. Nails depend on how fast they grow and how hard you are on your hands. Most guests have their nails done every two to four weeks and pedicures every four to six weeks.
Know your hair products:
People expect their hair to look like it did when styled at the salon, but that may require proper use of products. Know how to use the right product for the look you want. Jenna says it is the stylist’s job to educate guests on what products to use.
Protect your hair:
Those who blow dry or curl their hair should use a thermal protectant. For those with color treated hair, a color protectant will help preserve the color while color protecting shampoo and conditioner won’t strip out the color. Moisturizing hair is important in our arid region. A regular deep conditioning treatment for damaged or dry hair will help with shine, strength, and overall condition of hair.
Nourish your skin:
Jenna recommends three steps to care for your skin: Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize. To exfoliate, she loves Aveda’s Beautifying Radiance Polish, a mineral-rich salt polish which sluffs away surface cells that are ready to leave and renews your skin. She suggests using it once or twice a week and, because plant oils melt moisture in, you may not need to use a body moisturizer afterwards. Since moisturizing is incredibly important in our dry climate, she recommends Aveda’s Beautifying body moisturizer.
Get ready faster:
Consider getting permanent make-up to shorten your daily beauty routine while still looking natural.
Salon de Mesilla
2172 Calle de Santiago, Mesilla | 575-520-6262 | salondemesilla.com