S.B. Salon’s Signature ‘Santa Barbara Beach Hair’

Popular Team of Pro Stylists Specializes in Dimensional, Lived-In Color

S.B. Salon’s Signature
‘Santa Barbara Beach Hair’

By Sarah Sinclair

Brianna Olcese, owner & stylist of S.B. Salon | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom
Read all of the entries in our “Self-Care in Santa Barbara, 2023 Edition” cover here.

If you tend to think of a hair salon as a place for basic maintenance rather than indulgent pampering, you’ve never had a scalp massage from Brianna Olcese at S.B. Salon. With my neck resting back in the shampoo bowl and my head cradled in Olcese’s capable hands, the massage was both relaxing and invigorating, apropos of my entire experience there. I felt like royalty from the moment I entered the door, and yet oh-so-comfortable and right at home. “Are you sure you wouldn’t like a coffee?” she asked.

Mikayla Kettering and Brianna Olcese | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

It was no surprise to learn that Olcese’s background includes styling hair for weddings. Spoiling the bride on her big day while keeping an entire wedding party perfectly coiffed, content, and on schedule takes a special combination of soothing persona, exacting logistics, and mad styling skills. Olcese has all three, and she’s grown a team of pro stylists that are now just as in demand as she is.

S.B. Salon is known for a specific look: a luxe yet casually wavy mane known as “Santa Barbara beach hair.” Brianna explains that a trained eye can spot an S.B. Salon client just by this signature aesthetic of “dimensional lived-in color.” They offer a full range of services, including hand-tied and tape-in I-tip and K-tip hair extensions. While those options were way too hip for yours truly to consider, I loved every minute of my cut, color, and style session.

The pandemic shutdown hit hair salons especially hard, with changing regulations and on-again-off-again limitations. Olcese took a gamble during the down time by doubling the size of the studio. “We wanted to grow the business, hire and train more stylists, and we trusted that our loyal clients would come back and support us when we were able to reopen,” she explained. This has proven to be true, and the expanded S.B. Salon now has six stylists plus a burgeoning training program where recent graduates hone their skills. Clients reap the benefits of added attention, and the warm chatter in the studio adds to the fun and friendly atmosphere.

Located in a 110-year-old Victorian on West Mission Street, S.B. Salon sports a distinct Santa Barbara vibe, with a wide front porch that’s perfect for people-watching while your foils work their magic. Coffee in hand, of course.

108 W. Mission St.; (805) 626-0370; santabarbarahairsalon.com

Read all of the entries in our “Self-Care in Santa Barbara, 2023 Edition” cover here.


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