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Tress for success at Head Rush Salon in SLO 

- WHAT A RUSH:  The owner of a new salon in downtown San Luis Obispo has big dreams but she’s taking it one step at a time. -  - PHOTO BY HENRY BRUINGTON
  • WHAT A RUSH: The owner of a new salon in downtown San Luis Obispo has big dreams but she’s taking it one step at a time.

When Jennifer Herrera lost her basketball scholarship, and her shot at the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), she knew it was time to reevaluate the direction her life was going. And the place she found herself doing that was beauty school.

Her mom, also a hair stylist, suggested that Herrera try it out. She never thought it would pan out, but said that once she started, it turned into a giant “tumbleweed of funness.”

“I might have had a bad attitude when I was a basketball player,” Herrera admitted. “I wasn’t a good sport. But everything that happened to me helped me become a more positive person. I did a lot of learning in the past seven years. Losing something that you love so much because of something so stupid is ridiculous, and I’m going to do everything I can to keep my salon.”

Herrera said that the biggest challenge that she faced was customer service. Before she enrolled in beauty school, she worked as a bartender, which had a very different employee-customer dynamic.

“I have a lot of trouble with the saying ‘the customer’s always right,’” Herrera said. “Because as stylists we have a lot of advanced training, so we know about the different chemical reactions that can affect the outcome. But the customer doesn’t. So it’s really important to know when the customer is right, and when the stylist is. But I picked my team because I know them, and I’ll stand behind them.”

Coming up with the name of the salon was also a challenge for Herrera. She said it took her a long time because nothing sounded quite right to her. She originally wanted to call it the Cat’s Meow, but she used to work at the HepKat beauty parlor and thought the names were too similar. The right name finally came to her when she went to Disney’s California Adventure with her family and rode the Tower of Terror.

“It felt like my soul was coming out of my mouth on the way down,” Herrera said. “And I remember just thinking ‘whoa, what a head rush!’”

“When I was getting everything set up, it was like my mind was in a whole other realm,” Herrera said. “Now that it’s done, I keep thinking of all these different ideas of where I can take the salon.”

Eventually, Herrera wants to move the salon to a larger location, and turn the current place into a blow-dry bar. She also plans on getting Head Rush a booth at the bridal expo that’s hosted by the Madonna Inn.

“But that’s way into the future,” Herrera added. “For now, I just want to focus on giving the salon its own individual style and come up with its own kind of brand.”

Prices range from $50 for a wash, cut, and style, to $90 for a cut and basic color job. The salon also offers a hair and makeup package for $200 that also includes a 30-image photo shoot of the finished product. 

Head Rush is located downtown at 560 Higuera St., suite D. It’s open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m and can be reached at 752-1099.

Fast fact

The Marian Regional Medical Center’s Family Medicine Residency Program received a $75,000 grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. The program has been approved for six residents per year for a total of 18 residents. The first class of residents is set to begin in July of this year. For more information, you can go to,, or


Intern Adriana Catanzarite compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to

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