Friday, August 17 , 2018, 8:49 am | A Few Clouds 71º




At Walter Claudio Salon Spa, Clip-Top Service Is All Part of the Experience

Amid a relaxing atmosphere, coloring, styling and client attention make it all about you

(Walter Claudio Salon Spa photo)

If you’re looking for a local salon with highly skilled, cutting-edge hair stylists, trained to dedicate their time solely to your needs, look no further than Walter Claudio Salon Spa in downtown Santa Barbara.

Now, you may wonder, who is Walter Claudio?

Well, he is so much more than the owner of one of Santa Barbara’s most popular hair salons.

Click to view larger
(Walter Claudio Salon Spa photo)

Claudio was born in Argentina and educated in some of the most beautiful places in the world, including Australia and Italy, but he has called Santa Barbara home for more than 30 years.

He began as a cleaner in a hair salon in Los Angeles but as his passion for hair styling grew, he slowly made his way up the ranks and eventually became a partner at the salon.

“Hair dressing just made a lot of sense,” Claudio said, “it aligned with the way I learned, and it was great because I got to interact with people.”

When offered the opportunity to travel and visit hair salons all over the world, he took it.

It was by observing the day-to-day operations of international hair salons that Claudio began to develop his own ideas about how a salon should be run. He also took a critical look at the operation and management processes in other service-oriented industries, such as hospitality and restaurants.

Claudio envisioned a different type of salon, one that was focused on innovation and a unique type of engagement between stylists rather than one that was talent-driven and centered on individual “superstar” hair stylists.

“We have no egos or superstars here,” he said, “(we are a) team of all-stars, where everyone gets to participate.”

Claudio saw a shift in the salon industry that most others hadn’t caught onto yet, and he ran with it.

He conceived a spa quite unlike any other in the area, where every facet of the operation, from its color-mixing techniques to its innovative floor plan, was designed with intention.

More important, his new business model incorporated the idea of sustainability, a key factor in any new business but especially important in California, where operational costs are high and businesses often must be “resourceful, sustainable and lean” to thrive.

In 1993, he took his vision to market and opened the “Walter Claudio Salon Spa” at 1719 State St. Walter Claudio Salon was one of the first salons recognized by the state as a “green business.”

He was approached by Aveda in 2001 and, drawn by the company’s similar commitment to sustainable practices, he decided to join the visionary brand.

“We are about sustainability,” Claudio said, “not only in operations, but also how we give back to the community.”

The salon is also heavily involved with a number of local nonprofit organizations, including The Dream Foundation, the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Surfrider Foundation and many more.

It just so happens that Claudio is also the founder and co-creator of HeadMapping and  ColorBiz, software designed to increase efficiency and decrease cost and waste of color products in salons.

“People come from all over world to see our operation, study our processes and learn how we run things,” Claudio said.

In 2007, the salon was recognized internationally by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and presented an award for its innovative business model in Barcelona, Spain.

As a part of its commitment to inventive practice and training, the salon also partly functions as a part-time beauty school, with weekly training sessions, frequent guest artists and in-house educators.

Walter Claudio wears many hats; he is a teacher, innovator, industry-leader, philanthropist, father of two and an incredibly skilled hair stylist.

So, what else can you expect, apart from an expert team of hair cutters and colorists led by an internationally renown hair stylist at the prestigious Walter Claudio salon?

An affordable price.

“We can offer something for everyone,” Claudio said.

College students even receive a 10 percent discount if they have a valid student ID!

Click to view larger
(Walter Claudio Salon Spa photo)

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