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Shop Talk Spotlight: Grove Salon and Blow-Dry Bar

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Grove Salon, which opened last year at 1483 Solano Ave. (at Santa Fe), offers expert hair services in an award-winning designed space. Photo: Grove Salon

[This story is sponsored by Grove Salon. Visit Grove Salon’s website for more information.]

Once people discover Grove Salon on Solano Avenue, they often don’t want to leave — literally.

“It’s not uncommon for clients to ask if they can stay longer even after their service is complete,” says Christina Lameraner, who opened the stylish salon and blow-dry bar last year with her husband, Chris Speer.

“They say it’s because of how much they enjoy the experience of being in such a vibrant, yet peaceful space and the genuine and warm service they receive,” she adds.


As one client put it: “Christina has created an oasis on Solano.”

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Grove Salon owner Christina Lameraner believes a person’s hair should be a reflection of who they are as a person. Photo: Grove Salon

The salon’s award-winning design, with its lovely white-oak wall, abundant natural light, comfortable modern seating and private outdoor deck at the back for relaxation, plays a large role in encouraging people to linger. The complimentary freshly ground coffee and espressos, wine and biscotti are certainly appreciated too.

But the principle reason customers come back, and keep coming back, is — as it should be — Grove Salon’s expertise in hair care, be it styling, coloring, straightening or blow-drying.

Christina says clients who used to schlep across the bay to San Francisco for a hair-cut or color treatment now revel in the luxury being able to put themselves in the hands of experts nearer to home, in a space that this year won ‘Salon of the Year’ award for its stunning design.

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Clients describe Grove Salon, which offers complimentary fresh-ground coffee and espressos, wine and biscotti, as an “urban retreat.” Photo: Grove Salon

Hair styling with integrity

Christina has a passion for gorgeous, natural-looking hair. Professional but informal, each visit with Christina guarantees a thorough consultation and her full, genuine attention.


Christina is popular for her soft, beautiful and easy-to-maintain cuts and her well-known wizardry with hair color. She is passionate about healthy hair and always respects and protects the integrity of the hair, using a variety of top European coloring products to ensure the healthiest hair possible.

Christina believes that all the magic happens in the last five minutes of a haircut, when the final details are assessed and polished off, and that “something special” occurs. Most importantly, she believes a person’s hair should be a reflection of who they are as a person. “Hair should enhance a person’s look and match their spirit and lifestyle,” she says.

Christina is passionate about continuing education and has chosen to create, and grow Grove as a premier training salon with a team of highly skilled, wonderfully friendly stylists. Christina‘s style is collaborative. She and her stylists work as a team, sharing best practices and techniques to constantly elevate their craft. In a bid to get the most exposure possible for her staff and trainees to a wide variety of educators and inspirations, Grove hosts in-house classes each week and brings in top educators from the field.

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The salon offers a special glass-walled ventilated room for keratin treatments. Photo: Grove Salon

Grove Salon offers haircuts as well as a wide range of coloring techniques, blow-drying and styling. It also does hair smoothing and straightening services for which Christina and Chris built a special, ventilated room for the improved health and safety of both clients and staff. It’s made a glass, so clients receiving treatments can still feel part of the salon experience.

Almost all the salon’s color is ammonia free and it only uses what it considers to be the best products on the market. The salon sells a selection of hair care and beauty products, including Shu Uemura, Kérastase, R & Co, and Smith and Cult, as well as a local line of stylish and affordable handcrafted jewelry.


Grove’s design voted a “top salon of the year”

Grove’s interior, designed by Berkeley resident Eric Robinson of Paulett Taggart Architects and built by Berkeley’s Jetton Construction, is outstanding, as any loyal customer will attest. And professionals agree. This year, it was voted among the Top 20 U.S. salons of the year by “Salon Today” for its overall aesthetic and design. Grove was one of only two salons selected for the award this year in the state of California.

Highlights of the design include the floor-to-ceiling windows on both the front and back of the building, the lovely wooden elements throughout, the glass-walled space used for keratin treatments, the garden deck at the rear, the stylish but welcoming reception and retail area, and the easy flow throughout.

Grove’s design is modern and timeless. Skilled craftsmen using high-quality materials and finishes built the salon. There is a strong sense of thoughtfulness embedded in the design, and the overall look and feel is certainly a cut above what one might expect to see in the East Bay.

Christina says the beautiful interior seems to appeal to women and men of all ages. “It’s cool enough for the young and hip and yet sophisticated enough for our older clients,” she says. “Even men who don’t normally set foot inside of a salon are coming in and enjoying their visits tremendously.”

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Grove’s design is modern and timeless. Skilled craftsmen built the salon, including its beautiful white-oak wall, using high-quality materials and finishes. Photo: Grove Salon

An ideal location with easy parking

Christina says she is thrilled with Grove Salon’s location. “We couldn’t imagine a better home for Grove. We have wonderful business neighbors all around us and East Bay residents and neighbors are really making a point to support our new business. It’s really touching.”

She and Chris wanted a vibrant and busy area, that was still relaxed and offered good parking.
“I find the clients here extremely committed, loyal and supportive,” Christina adds.

In the end, Christina believes a visit to the urban retreat that is Grove Salon should be about much more than getting one’s hair done. “We are as committed to the overall customer experience as we are to the services we are performing,” she says.

Which is probably why if you visit once, you’ll almost certainly be back.

The garden deck at Grove Salon is used by customers to relax before, during and after treatments. Photo: Grove Salon
The garden deck at Grove Salon is used by customers to relax before, during and after treatments. Photo: Grove Salon

Special offer for Berkeleyside readers: Come in for a hair cut or blow dry and be treated to a complimentary, luxurious customized Kérastase hair treatment at the same appointment. Simply mention Berkeleyside offer when booking. Offer valid through Jan. 31, 2016.

This story is sponsored by Grove Salon. Visit Grove Salon’s website for more details, connect with the salon on Facebook and Instagram, and check them out on Yelp. Grove Salon is at 1483 Solano Ave., Albany, Tel: 510.526.9874. Hours are Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.