Employees in a Santa Monica storefront blend honey, banana and other foods in a Cuisinart – but they’re not making smoothies.
Instead, workers take the tasty treats and slosh it all over customers’ hair.
That’s the way business is done at Broot, a two-month-old hair salon on trendy Montana Avenue. Unlike the chemical-laden processes typical at salons across the country, the services available at Broot only involve all-natural ingredients that could be found in a home refrigerator.
“It’s like taking vitamins for your hair,” said founder Samira Asemanfar, 30, who also founded popular nail salon Bellacures in 2006. “When we use chemical products, the immediate result might be that our hair is silky, but the chemicals don’t provide long-term benefits. This replenishes.”
The ingredients – including avocado, eggs, mayonnaise and oils, in addition to banana and honey – are applied as a hair mask for about 20 minutes before being washed out. Treatments, which are recommended once a week, start at $35.
If this sounds like just another overpriced gimmick that’ll fade as surely as last month’s color treatment, some defend the premise. One local dermatologist pointed out that foods with high natural fats – such as avocados – are proven to moisturize hair and skin.
“Those food ingredients include healthy fats that coat the hair strands and help seal split ends,” said Dr. Jessica Wu in Brentwood. “It’s a deep conditioning treatment.”
Asemanfar, who self-financed the opening of Broot, said she’s had the idea for the salon since experimenting with the ingredients as beauty treatments as a child.
“Today, I’m too busy to mix something and put it in my hair; I’d rather go somewhere to get it done,” she said.
Though the salon is new, Asemanfar said business has been strong. She is already considering adding ingredients to the salon’s list and creating a line of at-home products that would be sold in stores.
Santa Monica resident Karen Novotny tried Broot for the first time this month after seeing a line of people waiting for a treatment at the salon during a grand opening.
“It’s not a normal concept,” she laughed. “I hope it calms down my hair.”
– Jacquelyn Ryan
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