By Gary Nager
I minored in French throughout my college career, so I really get a kick out of the “Franglais” that is so beautifully spoken by Alexandra Jasmine (although she prefers to be called Jasmine), the owner of the “spectaculaire” Paris Hair, The New Look Salon, which is located on N. 56th St. in Temple Terrace (in a separate building in front of the plaza which is home to The Olde World Cheese Shop).
Jasmine and her husband, a former professional tennis champion from Morocco, are local residents, so even though her salon is located a few minutes away from our distribution areas, she and her Paris Hair are still well-known in our communities.
“Oui, I have many clee-onts (clients) from New Tampa and Wesley Chapel,” she says in her authentic Parisian accent. “People drive here from Spring Hill and Bradenton to get their hair styled or colored, so Wesley Chapel is beaucoup (much) closer, non?”
If you spend a few minutes at Paris Hair, you will recognize that this is not your run-of-the-mill hair salon, even though the building isn’t particularly impressive from the outside and there’s only one missable entrance to it. Inside, not only does the salon have an understated elegance, it’s also a very casual, fun and comfortable environment.
But, the most comforting things about Paris Hair are Jasmine and her staff of professionally trained stylists and spa technicians. In addition to top-quality hair styles for men and women, including Jasmine’s favorite “up dos,” high- and lowlights, “dimensional” color and Keratin straightening treatments, Paris Hair also offers manicures, pedicures, licensed massage therapy, facials and other skin/body treatments.
“My clee-onts are more like ma famille, like my family,” Jasmine says. “And I have made sure that the wonderful people who work with me make you feel at home, too.”
And, I have to say that the concept works. Jasmine originally opened Paris Hair on Busch Blvd., but after about eight years, she outgrew the space, which wasn’t large enough to also offer spa treatments at the same location. Although she did look at several spaces in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel, she moved instead to a larger, existing building on 56th St. in April 2011, a couple of miles closer to her home.
“I don’t need a location there to attract people from Wesley Chapel,” she says. “After all these years, word of mouth is still my best advertising. People know that I will do whatever it takes to make you ‘appy (happy).”
And, Jasmine doesn’t just speak with a French accent. She was born and raised and learned her trade as a Master Colorist and hair stylist in “Pa-ree,” one of the most stylish cities in the world. She is obviously proud of where she came from, but you can forget trying to make her fit into any negative stereotype you may have heard about the French people. She is warm and friendly, with the quick wit the French are known for, and she admits that her training in her native country is part of what sets Paris Hair apart from most other salons.
“It’s Not All About Me”
Although it’s hard to not make such a colorful character the focal point of this story, Jasmine wants to make sure everyone understands that Paris Hair, The New Look Salon, is about so much more than just her.
“I have put ‘togethaire’ a wonderful team here,” she says. “All of the stylists and spa technicians here have had ‘training fantastique’ and have many years of experience.”
Lorraine, who happened to not be in the day I visited, has more than ten years of experience. Nicole, Paris Hair’s “newest” stylist, has only been working with Jasmine for about two months as you’re reading this, but she had more than eight years of experience in her native Ohio and Jasmine says, “Nicole already has a great following here. She is so sweet and easy to work with and she is a ‘styliste merveilleux,’ too.”
Perhaps best known to some New Tampa residents is Christine, who not only has 30 years of experience, but is also married to Maj. Michael Beale, who is known for running the outstanding Junior ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) program at New Tampa’s Paul R. Wharton High.
Christine, who spent nine years as a stylist and color specialist in La Jolla, CA, when her husband was stationed in that area, says that color is her first love in the business. She also has been a platform artist, working with hair and makeup for runway models, for Tressa Hair Products.
Spa Services, Too!
As she was preparing to open in her 56th St. location, Jasmine already was assembling the finest spa team she could find. Ruby, her nail technician, is from Colombia and she brings more than 20 years of experience to Paris Hair. The same can be said for Shannon, the spa’s licensed massage therapist (LMT), and for Wendy, a licensed aesthetician with more than 25 years of experience who also owned her own spa in her native Peru.
“I was one of Jasmine’s clients at her first location for nine years,” Wendy says. “We became friends, of course, and when she told me she was adding spa services at the new location, I was very happy to provide the different facials and skin treatments.”
Wendy was the only spa employee I got to interview, but I did also get to chat with her client Kim, who was getting a deep cleansing facial as I visited.
“Kim was my hair clee-ont and my amie (friend) first,” Jasmine says with a smile. “She has told many people about my salon.”
Kim agreed: “My mom and I come here all the time. Wendy is amazing and Jasmine is very special. I’m so glad I found her!”
In other words, if you’ve been thinking about trying a whole new look for 2012 or you just want to enjoy great hair cutting and coloring and/or spa services AND great conversation with an authentic French accent, say “Bonjour” to Jasmine and her staff (and she is hiring qualified hair stylists and nail technicians, too) at Paris Hair and please tell them Monsieur Nager (pronounced “Nah-jay”) sent you to receive 30-percent-off one hair or spa service!
Paris Hair, The New Look Salon, is located at 11103 N. 56th St., Temple Terrace. For appointments and more info, call 985-3343 or visit ParisHairTheNewLook.com.