Pearl’s Place Welcomes New Stylist

It’s all about beauty for Pearl Cha, left, and Candyce Valencia of Pearl’s Place. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Los Alamos Daily Post

Candyce Valencia is the new face at Pearl’s Place. Valencia joined the salon Aug. 1. She has been doing hair for 12 years, starting in Santa Fe and Espanola. She comes from a family of cosmetologists.

Owner Pearl Cha has been in business at her 800 Trinity location in Los Alamos for 14 years, seven of them under the name Pearl’s Place. Valencia shares her vision for the shop, Cha said.

“We want our town to be a beauty town as well as a science town,” Cha said. “Beauty is basic.”

The shop offers diverse cultural styles (Cha is Korean and Valencia is Hispanic). The two stylists try to keep up with new trends

“We go to hair shows all the time to continue our education,” Cha said. Clients moving to Los Alamos from big cities expect the same level of service they received there, and the salon strives to provide it, she said.

“In this field, you’re always learning,” Valencia agreed. “That’s one of the things I like about it.”

One secret of the success of Pearl’s Place is the welcoming friendly atmosphere, the two stylists said. “Our clients even enjoy waiting, because it’s a friendly place!” Cha said. “It’s a small shop and we’re a family. It’s peaceful. Part of our job is to make people feel better!”

Another secret of their success is listening to their clients, Cha said. “We want to know how they want to look.”

But clients need to listen too, she stressed. “You need to follow the directions! Do you want to be a flower garden or just grass. It’s up to you!”

Health needs to come first, then beauty, the two stylists emphasized. One very basic issue for their clients is dry skin and hair, due to the desert climate of New Mexico. The salon carries a variety of professional products to help deal with these issues. “Natural products are best,” Cha said.

Valencia is currently building her clientele. In addition to her skill with women’s hair, she also does men’s haircuts. “I definitely want to see men,” she said. “I have all the barbering skills and I’m a master with the clippers!”

Valencia is offering weekly specials on Facebook (search Pearl’s Place) and via the Facebook page “Keep It Local, Los Alamos.” She also offers a referral program where those referring a new client get a 20 percent discount.

Between them, there’s little Cha and Valencia don’t offer in the way of beauty and hair care. In addition to hair styling, they offer nail services, waxing, permanent make-up (Cha is the specialist for this service), lash-tinting, special occasion make-up, and make-up consultations.

“If you come in for a special occasion, like Prom or a wedding, we’ll make you look like a movie star!” Cha said.

The salon hopes to offer workshops soon, to teach people how to create these special looks at home.

To make an appointment with Valencia, call her at 505.927.5941. To make an appointment with either stylist, call the salon at 505.661.2400.