The First Time I Visited This Little Gem In Suburbia


It started out with a phone call like this:

“Hi, Ariel? Yes, we are a mess.”  My sisters words drip with dismay.

We. Are. A. Mess.

And by “we” she meant me.  A true hot mess.

I have a confession to make:

I am a beauty blogger and I had not gotten my hair cut (or touched by the hands of a professional) in literally one year. One year!

I cringe at actually writing that…

Before my initial visit to this hair doctor I hadn’t been to the salon since February of 2012 and I cut it all off by a person I had never met, with a coupon I found on… wait for it….GROUPON.

I did, yes, I grouponed my hair.  Shut up.

Anyways, When I ventured up to Northern California this past February for Super Bowl Sunday where my sister who is the queen of making sure “when you do it, do it right” she didn’t even need to see me to call Hairtini, a hair salon located in Downtown Livermore, California, to book an emergency appointment literally asking her hair stylist (Ariel) to stay later so she could get me in. 

I mean in all honesty I couldn’t be upset at the fact that she was saying my hair was absolutely ridiculous and needed some serious TLC; I waited ONE YEAR.

So, my sister rushed over to pick me up and drive me clean up the rat’s nest we so often called my hair. 


When we arrive we walk in the front door and are welcomed by Ariel and Thia, both hair stylist (Thia, the owner) with style, sass and a whole bunch of funny.  It’s a small and adorable little spot with a sign so appropriately placed reading “Hairtini, The Hair and Make Up Shake Up Place.”  How. Fun. 

I am giddy right when I get there, sarcasm in full blast (as it is when I am with my sister). 

“Let me just finish them up and then I’ll clean up and get you in the chair!”

Ariel yells over.

She is super eclectic and edgy definitely dances to the beat of her own drum and swinging around her amazing hair which is died super bleach blond on top and black underneath- awesome.

I came in with a bun on top of my head, hair not brushed (or washed for that matter), make up barely done and in floral leggings and a pink knit sweater- I would love to know what she was thinking at that specific moment when she saw me; especially after walking in to this super stylish place.

Not too long after Ariel welcomes me into “the chair” and asks me, “So what are you looking to do.”

My only thought was: Fix. This. Mess.

“Well, I’d like to cut it and even it out considering I have let an A-line grow for one year without a trim.”

I see her checking out my hair and I can tell it’s not good, whatever she is thinking.

“How much are you willing to cut off?”

My eyes go wide, “Well, willing none.  But if I have to…. The least amount possible!  And I can’t promise I won’t cry.” 

The peanut gallery (my sister), “She cries at everything!”

If I’m not between a 3 and 7 on the emotional scale, I’m crying.  Seriously. It’s bad.

That’s when my sister disappears and then shortly after returns with 2 bottles of champagne (we are definitely related).

She applies a protein rich hair mask and lets it sit for a while, allowing for the first glass of champagne to be poured and enjoyed.

Some of the things girls talk about are hysterical especially in hair salons!  Why is it we vomit our entire lives on our stylists?  It’s like free therapy with alcohol involved.

We talked about everything, from family, to dates gone bad, hair extensions falling out; but whatever they did it worked, I was buzzed and forgot about all the hair she wanted to chop off.

Over to the shampoo bowl we went relaxing back into a comfortable chair (no neck problems what-so-ever) I was shampooed, conditioned and sat up to towel dry my mane.  Over to “the chair” we wen; immediately, the glass of champagne was refilled and the scissors were out. 

“There is no crying allowed in the salon.”  Ariel smirks.

She wouldn’t face me towards the mirror (not that I asked at all) but as I’m writing this I realized I was never turned around always facing the audience… Smart.

There were razors, scissors, combs, pins I mean you name it, we went to surgery on my hair.  There was no holding back.

 I see behind me the hair is being swept up, the blow drying is starting and…..wah-la.  She spins me around and… I DON’T CRY!

It is perfect not too short, perfect layers around my face, great side swept bangs, textured in the back.  I never knew I had hair like this.  I actually look like I could be a beauty blogger now.

I wish we took a before and after picture…

Fast forward andddd go.

After I had discovered Ariel from Hairtini (thanks to my sister) I am simply too afraid to go anywhere else.  I tell my friends all the time that I would rather buy the $200 plane ticket because I know my hair will be done right!


Extensions, Cut, Color, Kids, Highlights, Wash, Blowout- I’ve seen it all being done in this multitasking spunky salon, and every time someone is finished with their appointment they leave with a smile on their face and maybe a few hair whips.

I went this past weekend for a trim and walked out looking kind of like a glamorous rock star.  She always asks me what I want to do and my simple response is:

“I want it to be long and I trust whatever you do.”


Thanks Hairtini Crew! See you in September!




Images courtesy of yelp.com and the Hairtini Facebook Page

Contact Information:

Hartini – (925) 449-9016

Ariel Darling- Hairstylist Deluxe

2027 3rd St
(between L St & K St) 
Livermore, CA 94550
Yelp Reviews Are AWESOME

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