Los Lunas

When you walk into Pulchritude, The Salon in Los Lunas, your senses are amused with a sweet fragrance, colorful surroundings and a comforting feeling of home.

Debra Garcia, owner of the new salon, said she opened the shop on June 1 and business continues to grow, due in part of the friendly atmosphere, quality products and skillful services. Garcia said her No. 1 priority is her customers and that she loves to make them feel as comfortable in the salon on Main Street as they do at home.

“I like to make people feel at home,” Garcia said. “I feel that going to a salon needs to be a pleasant experience and people need to feel like they’re being pampered.”

Garcia, who has been a cosmetologist for the past four years, said she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to open her own salon in Los Lunas.

Starting her own business was always in her plans, but she didn’t think it would become a reality for another couple of years.

“I had thought about opening a salon in Ruidoso, but this became available,” she said. “The growth of Los Lunas is such that I thought it would be good to have something different. There are a lot of people migrating here, not only from Albuquerque, but from places like California and the East Coast. They’re looking for something a little different, and that’s why I’m here.”

With a background in sales, Garcia knows what it takes to sell herself and her products. She views her services not as a product but more as a craft.

“It’s definitely an art to be able to create a style and an image for someone,” she said. “I always said that you can teach somebody how to cut hair, but it’s like teaching somebody to paint a sunflower. It will not look like Van Gogh’s unless they have that touch for it or they actually like what they are doing.”

One of the biggest differences when a customer walks into Pulchritude, The Salon is the distinct absence of the usual odor of other salons. The reason 80 percent of Garcia’s products are organic and botanically based.

From hair products to perms to manicure and pedicure products, Garcia is adamant about providing a healthy option to her customers. She is also in the process of ordering an organic color line from Italy to better serve her customers.

“We offer more of a healthy alternative to the beauty industry,” she said. “We’re exposed to a lot of chemicals now and I wanted to offer a better solution. We all want to look our best with coloring or perming our hair, but I offer something much healthier.”

Garcia also offers something for the whole family. A shampoo, haircut and style will run $15 for women, men and children. Other services include perms, coloring, facials, manicures and pedicures, herbal body-raps, body-hair removal and raindrop therapy (five essential oils which are placed along the spine), something Garcia says is helpful for muscles, skin and nerves.

Other than wanting her customers to be satisfied with their outward appearance when they leave, Garcia said she hopes that clients will feel relaxed and at home.

“I had a lot of people say that it has a feel of Grandma’s house,” she said. “I tried to keep the ambiance of the house itself because the feel of it was very comfortable.”

With large overstuffed pillows on the big antique sofa in the lobby, customers are welcome to sit, have a free cup of coffee and a pastry as they wait.

Or they can visit with Garcia or Marcy Morgan, an estetician and cosmetologist who works at the salon on Mondays and Tuesdays and by appointment after 5 p.m.

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Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.