In all our U.S. travels, I’ve found two places that I would actually travel back to just for a haircut. One is in New York City; the other is Fabrika Monet. I had never been picky about my hair before—in fact, I used to cut it myself. But when I finally got a haircut that suited me, I was hooked. Now I will only get my hair cut on one of the two coasts.
It’s not often a hair salon ends up on a list of places you should go out of your way to visit, but Fabrika Monet in Encinitas, California, isn’t just any salon. It’s a gallery, and those who visit come as blank canvases that get turned into art. At least that’s how owner James Mendoza treats every client. “Artist,” is a title he takes seriously, putting the philosophy to work in his tagline: “the art of hair.”
A haircut isn’t the only reason Fabrika Monet is worth the detour. Soak in the Pacific air and take a tour of the grounds while you’re there. What appears to be a typical Southern California backyard from the outside looks more like a set for a fashion photo shoot than the grounds of a hair salon. Behind the main salon is an artist’s garden with several one-room school-house style buildings—one of which is the nail salon and another a vintage furniture and collectibles shop (Vulcan Vintage).
Palm trees and hanging lights tie it all together to create an allure that’s hard to resist. It’s clear that the artist’s eye extends beyond the salon and a trip here will inspire the creative juices to flow from just about anyone who visits.
Continue to feed your inspiration at the ocean. Be sure to leave time after your appointment to explore the quaint beachfront town of Encinitas.