By Laurel Busby
Jeffrey Martinez had graduated from college, but didn’t know what direction to take next.
“My parents told me, ‘You need to go back to school or get a job,’” said Martinez, who grew up in Shadow Hills near Tujunga. “That same day, I saw the movie Shampoo,” the iconic 1975 Warren Beatty film about a hairstylist. Then, later that day, “my girlfriend said, ‘Can you cut my hair?’”
The back-to-back occurrences spurred Martinez to give hairstyling a try. He enrolled in cosmetology school and after graduating took advanced training at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London. When he returned to Los Angeles, he opened a salon with a friend in West Hollywood. The Martinez-Samuel Salon, originally called the Jeffrey-Kara Salon, became a success and expanded over the years from four chairs in a 600-sq.-ft. space to 20 chairs occupying 3,300 sq. ft.
For Martinez, being a hairstylist also turned out to be a good choice. “I can do multiple things and pay attention to all those things,” he said. “I work with multiple clients at the same time and make sure everyone is taken care of—make sure they’re happy and love their hair.”
Some of his clients live in Pacific Palisades, and they suggested that he open a shop in the area. Martinez’ cousin, Michael Canale, who is Jennifer Aniston’s colorist and also a stylist, owns the Canale Salon in Beverly Hills, and the two eventually decided to join together to open the Canale-Martinez Salon at 970 Monument in 2015.
Martinez designed the second-floor salon, while Merrell-Williams created the reception area. The result immediately attracted customers, he said.
“This shop is great; it’s a shining star for me,” said Martinez, who is married with three children and lives in Bel-Air. “It’s rare to have a shop do so well so quickly. This one is really, really special to me. It has a great view of the Village, and everyone who works here and comes in is really sweet.”
The salon has 12 stations, and depending on the day will offer the expertise of between 4 to 10 stylists, sometimes including Martinez and/or Canale, a married father of two who lives in Hollywood. The Canale-Martinez Salon is a full-service hair salon for women, men and children that offers coloring, highlights, haircuts, blow dries, and extensions.
When clients are at home, Martinez advises a few things to help support healthy hair. Quality hair-care products, including Oribe, R+Co, V76 and Kérastase, which are sold at the salon, can be helpful. In addition, he recommends taking vitamins (not sold at the salon) containing biotin, a B vitamin needed for hair, skin and nail growth.
He also said that the “first step to good hair is keeping the integrity of the hair.” Some salons over-process hair, which is unnecessary and can damage it. Also, he suggests that clients take stock of their hair before choosing a style. For example, a hairstyle designed for thick, curly hair can be challenging for someone with fine, thin hair.
“You have to make sure you know what your hair is capable of,” Martinez said. “But if you have fine hair, we have extensions. Anything’s possible.”
The salon’s website is canalemartinezsalon.com, and the phone is (310) 454-3444.