The Beauty Bubble

By Lola Alvarez

One of the most unique and breath-taking beauty parlors/museums you could ever experience is in Joshua Tree, California. The Beauty Bubble, owned and operated by proud owner Jeff Hafler, was opened in December 2015. This beauty museum and parlor was inspired by Jeff’s passion for history, beauty, and vintage. He collected all things beauty and hair, long before he had his own salon to decorate. Mikal, his partner, insisted this collection needed to go somewhere besides their apartment, so Jeff opened his first salon, Ohio Custom Wear and Hair, in West Hollywood. This new business was the start of the audacious journey that would lead Jeff to his accomplishments and to where he is today.

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Jeff’s beauty salon was a “dream come true” for him and it unfolded many gateways to fulfilling his passions, while surrounded by the things he loved. His salon was so successful that it made the front page of the Living section in the LA Times. “I have always had a love of history and old things. I’ve been buying vintage for as long as I can remember. Combining the two is what made my business unique.” Ohio Custom Wear and Hair was distinct in the best way, and there was not another beauty salon around that could compare. In 2002, Jeff and Mikal were introduced to the high desert by a friend. Once they experienced waking up to the overwhelmingly beautiful desert sun, open land, and dirt roads, they fell in love with the desert. Jeff and Mikal jumped in, and three weeks later, they had found their sanctuary in Wonder Valley. Fast forward to 2004, they were fully committed to the desert and closed their salon in West Hollywood to open the Beauty Bubble. The Beauty Bubble soon became the totally fabulous and kitschy road-side attraction that it is today.

Jeff expresses his involvement in the high desert as, “living in a painting, where every day can be different. The creative energy is very strong here and attracts such unique and interesting people.” Aside from being a terrific “hairstorian,” (as said in the documentary film, Inside the Beauty Bubble), he has numerous talents such as entertaining, singing, writing songs, playing music, and creating art. He has been singing his entire life, and now he plays in a folk band called the Wonder People with his brothers, Calen Winn and Jamie Hafler. Their folk band has recently returned to the 29 Palms Inn and performs on the first Friday of every month.

Jeff’s music was the centerpiece for Inside the Beauty Bubble, a documentary film by award-nominated videographer, Cheryl Bookout. The inspiration for the documentary happened while Jeff was giving Cheryl a haircut. He shared his exciting news of being in an exhibit at the SFO Museum inside the San Francisco Harvey Milk airport terminal. She was so intrigued by Jeff’s story that she wanted it to be a documentary. She and Cheri Gaulke produced Inside the Beauty Bubble which features eight of Jeff’s original songs, each of which share a valuable message of equality, inclusion, and kindness. This documentary is currently traveling and being screened at film festivals around the country sharing the Beauty Bubble’s magical story.

The Beauty Bubble is truly a great enhancement to the local scene of Joshua Tree, and the salon is the perfect place to get your ‘do done! Jeff’s crew, Wendy and Danielle, are available for appointments on Sundays; Ariel and Morgan are available Monday through Thursday! Make your appointment at http://www.beautybubble.net, and check out Jeff’s festival screening info at www.insidethebeautybubble.com.

About the Author: Lola Alvarez is a senior at Yucca Valley High School. This is her first published article. Her dreams after high school are to get her bachelor’s degree and eventually become a politician to try and make positive changes for her community.

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