Located in sunny Monrovia, California, you’ll find the The Healthy Hair Bar, a salon where healthy hair is more than just shiny strands. The 5,000 square foot salon is the result of years of hard work, dedication, and education by stylist Rochelle Chappelle. We spoke with her to learn more about her career, the salon, her thoughts on safety, and her amazing line of products.
You might say Chappelle has hairdressing in her blood. She comes from a line of hair stylists, including her mother who owned her own salon before Chappelle started The Healthy Hair Bar. With over 20 years in the business Chappelle’s focus in the hair world comes with a very sad backstory. After a career in the salon working with perms, relaxers, and other harsh chemicals, Chappelle’s mother was diagnosed with Multi Myeloma Cancer in 2008. The diagnosis put the danger of her and her mother’s careers in harsh perspective and led her to take charge of her salon and products.
One of the first things Chappelle started to look at was the products themselves—what kinds of chemicals were in them? They might have an immediate effect, but how do they work long term? Not only on the client’s hair but on the stylist as well. With these things in mind when she moved to her current salon she made sure things like ventilation were a priority. While the chemicals involved in hairdressing were the main concern, she’s also made it a point to work on other areas of salon safety. For example, she trains all of her staff how to minimize the muscular and more physical impacts of hair styling. From there she decided the best thing was to start swapping out products for more natural and organic alternatives. “Relaxers and chemicals are some of the main causes of hair problems,” Chappelle explained, noting that breakage, thinning, hair loss, and scalp damage were all often a result of previous hair treatments. “I don’t want to be exposed to those chemicals, and I don’t want my clients to be either, that’s why I started working on my own.”
“I had been making some of my own stuff before,” she explained when we asked about how she got into formulating her own line, California Flow. She and her mother had both turned to creating their own blends of deep conditioners when they couldn’t find ones they liked—adding extra oils and supplements to customize for the client. Moving up from there wasn’t very difficult, and California Flow was born. The line currently has a range of seven products, including an organic hair softening kit, which naturally softens and moisturizes tight curls so that they’re easier to manage
Overall the goal is to provide an environment where the client gets the gorgeous hair they’ve always dreamed of while reducing a risk of harsh condition on their hair or the health of the stylist. To that end Chapelle has scoured the world of hair care to find the safest, healthiest options, but it’s not always an easy task especially when it comes to color and straightening treatments. Chapelle uses Organic Color Systems and Keragreen, an organic smoothing protein treatment.
One of the things that really interested us in her salon was her focus on hair and scalp treatments, particularly her Scalp Facial, a treatment that addresses the often neglected scalp. “People don’t usually think about their scalp,” Chapelle explained, “and they’ve often got a lot of buildup from all the other products they’re using, which can cause hair loss.” The scalp facial is a gentle exfoliating treatment that removes any crud from your follicles. They’ve seen a lot of success from it with some seeing full regeneration of the scalp and improved hair growth.
Between her success as a stylist and her unique approach to haircare, Chapelle has made quite the name for herself. We wanted to know what she’s working on next, and at the time of our interview she was working with a local news program on a segment about hair care. And she’ll be continuing her work as a local philanthropic figure working with veterans and cancer patients as well as many other non-profit groups.
Chapelle and her team offer a wealth of services including extensions, wig fitting, cutting and coloring—they offer every service you could want from an average salon but as we learned they’re anything but average. We hope to see more salons like, or even better, more branches of the Healthy Hair Bar by Rochelle Chappelle.