The town was all aflutter – fifties music reverberated from the speakers, people clustered, chatted, and drank Champaign. It was the Beauty Bubble Salon and Museum opening at 61855 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree.
“The Salon and Museum is a shrine to all things hair: antique curling irons, cheap plastic combs, gaudy wigs, ancient powder-blue hair dryers, hair-growing Barbie dolls, and about a dozen vintage salon chairs,” wrote Jennifer Swann in the LA Weekly a couple of years ago.
Jennifer Swan was talking about the original Beauty Bubble in 29 Palms. Jeff Hafler, spelled H-a-f-l-e-r, “Not to be confused with Hair Flair,” said Jeff Hafler, just moved the Salon to Joshua Tree.
“This is 25 years in the making,” said Jeff. “I was a history lover that became a collector that never stopped.” The salon has been in Joshua Tree now for three months, but Saturday, April 9th, was the Grand Opening. Everyone who is anyone showed up. Some decked to the nines in wigs, Mumus and fifties appropriate jewelry. Some came as themselves and still looked fantastic.
Karin Morton, said, “I saw him (Jeff) when he was just dropping things off.” She felt the excitement in the air and has been waiting since. I couldn’t wait for the opening. “It’s just what we need here [a fancy beauty salon]. We got it.
I tend to run from cliche, but the Beauty Bubble demands just a few. “It’s the Cat’s Meow” (a little too old), “quite a bash,” “we all had a blast.” You get the point. Jeff added a few sayings of his own.
“The higher the hair, the closer to God” and “Tease it to Jesus.”
Pat Flanagan, Jeff’s longest-running client, had been getting her hair cut from Jeff since 2004 when he first moved to the desert, to Wonder Valley days.
Pat was in the Salon, newly groomed and ready for the occasion when I came up. I asked her, “What was new with her today.” Pay answered, “What’s new today is that I have been able to go back into my life and look, exactly as I looked several years ago. Thanks to Jeff. Without Jeff, I would be some kind of Desert Wild Woman.”
I assumed the bright, blue hair color was natural, and Jeff had all the tricks for enhancing it. “Yes,” she answered. “The blue matches my eyes and earrings,” she said and showed off the blue, fifties-looking dangling earrings.
Quite an eye-catcher if you ask me.
Jeff’s Band “The Wonder People” played melodic folk-rock and rock-a-billy in the early evening.
The Beauty Bubble’s second stylist Emily Michele Hunter-Speauer is twenty-nine and quick to add, “a Libra.” She missed the 50’s but thought she loved it so much and was just born in the wrong era. She looked ravishing in her teased and heavily sprayed French twist, expertly styled by Jane R. Herrold, who, a good friend of the Beauty Bubble family, was a hairdresser in the ’70s and ’80s.
Beauty Bubble Salon and Museum, 61855 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree. Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 pm to 6:00 pm. “A must-see.”