Salon of the Month: LUV Salon

From pain grew LUV, a salon where nurturing innermost beauty is given the same attention as outward appearances.

Dana Marie Chapin Barbetta; courtesy of Dana Marie Chapin Barbetta.
Dana Marie Chapin Barbetta; courtesy of Dana Marie Chapin Barbetta.

LUV Salon/Northeast Mesa, Arizona

INSIDE STORY:

A year into opening a salon with her then husband, Dana Marie Chapin Barbetta discovered he was cheating—with a salon employee. “Everything was taken away overnight,” remembers Chapin Barbetta. Forced to work at the salon for another full year until her divorce finalized—and with her soon-to-be-ex and his pregnant girlfriend, no less—Chapin Barbetta perfected the art of holding one’s head high and discovered how, as she says, “to luv yourself.” “That [idea] was something I struggled with as a mom, wife, hairstylist and owner of a business. Women tend to take care of everyone else except for ourselves,” she says. That grueling year, Chapin Barbetta began to change—and clients took notice. She spoke often about her dream of opening a new salon and ignored surrounding distractions, keeping her eyes on the prize. “I trained mentally as if I were going to the Olympics,” Chapin Barbetta says.

And in 2019, that prize, LUV Salon in Northeast Mesa, Arizona, a 1,700-square-foot haven where self-love ranks as high as hairdressing, opened. Chapin Barbetta embraced a biophilia approach to the salon’s design, incorporating aspects from the natural environment—think: a living wall lush with verdant ferns and succulents—indoors to create a healthy connection between nature, her staff and her clients. “[Biophilia design] reduces stress while improving cognitive function, creativity, as well as greater overall health and well-being,” she claims.

Keeping Feng Shui and an open flow in mind, she sought to balance the needs of hairstylists with a serene atmosphere for guests. “Each hair station features two 16-foot solid wood stain glulam structural beam countertops that unite the individual LUV Salon stations while offering an unexpected architectural detail,” Chapin Barbetta notes. Large custom brass mirrors seemingly float above each station. Even the smallest details, like geometric white-on-white wood trim patterns, have thoughtful backstories. “The diamonds placed behind the front desk represent fame, while the long rectangles placed in the back-left corner symbolize abundance and growth,” Chapin Barbetta shares.

But what makes LUV Salon extra special is the message behind it: “Luv UR Vibe and Luv UR Hair.” Because LUV was born of a woman’s pain made powerful, women’s empowerment fuels the salon’s mantra—and Chapin Barbetta is only too happy to pass along what she has learned. “I’m constantly training my staff and teaching my guests about manifesting the lives they desire. I go into great detail teaching scripting—journaling,” she shares. “I explain how fast my life started to turn around as soon I started using this technique.” She notes that her staff has adapted scripting into their daily routine, as have many of her clients. “It’s simply [a way to] raise the vibration of my salon, staff and guests,” she says.

Though anguish and heartache spurred LUV Salon’s creation, Chapin Barbetta expresses that she has no regrets. “I’m beyond grateful for the storm I went through—it forced me to grow, change, look at myself, and then show other women that, even when everything gets turned upside-down, you’ve been knocked down and everything you know gets taken away, one still has the choice to give up or to fight for better,” she shares. With LUV, she fought—and won. “My salon symbolizes gracious adaptability, timeless love and striking beauty, serving as a reminder that we are stronger than we realize,” Chapin Barbetta says. “My salon reminds me to remain strong and to be fiercely determined, able to adapt in any situation.”

Geometric wood paneling, perfectly spaced Freestylist blowdryers and carefully balanced workstations lend the salon harmonious structure.

An “on-demand” hair extensions bar features color-coordinated wefts and adhesion methods from which stylists can easily customize selections.

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