Best of OC 2004: Part 1



1. Chad Fults. If he had his way, his Chad Fults’ barber shop would look even more like an art gallery than it does now. He even sees the day when he’ll stow the barber chairs and sinks altogether. Fults admits he’s more interested in art than barbering lately, something that’s evident looking at the assorted handmade purses and pillows stuffed in every available nook and cranny in the three-chair shop he bought at age 23 in 1987. It’s also apparent in the kitschy décor, which includes corrugated-tin walls, Craftsmen toolbox drawers, Diamond-Brite chrome counters, sinks rising out of oil drums, a Unocal 76 gas-station ball embedded in a wall, letters spelling out P-A-T-S-Y C-L-I-N-E over the entryway and enough memorabilia dedicated to his hero Elvis Presley to rival Graceland (which Fults has visited too many times to count). Fortunately, Fults is still cutting heads for the time being, and a great cut will set you back only 12 bucks. (Chad’s Barber Shop serves both men and women, so prices may vary.) Whether his shop remains dedicated to hair, handmade crafts or both, local charities will be happy to hear that whatever the future holds, Fults has no plans to split town. He’s raised funds over the years for war veterans, local schools and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation through such unusual promotions as guessing how many Pez dispensers or rubber duckies have been placed in his front window. And for those customers who’d been coming to the shop since its original opening in 1965 but can no longer make the trip, Fults makes house calls to local nursing homes. 2118 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 541-4513.

2. Leslie Washburn. The motto at Leslie’s Head Quarters, Barber Shop and Rumor Control is "Get a good fucking haircut." Works for us. In fact, it works so well we married her! Or, more precisely, Weekly contributing editor Jim Washburn married Leslie a few years back, which we’d admit to being a conflict of interest were it not for a fact that Ms. Washburn has had the shop since 1977 and we’d been fans long before the celebrity coupling. Besides, name another Orange County shearer who doubles as a philosopher? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we refer you to Mr. Washburn’s Aug. 23, 2002, Lost in OC column, where he wrote the following:

With the world going to hell, does design matter? I wondered this aloud the other night, and my wife, Leslie, chimed in with her perspective, which she often does whether I’m wondering aloud or not.

"Hair design is important," Leslie said. She is a barber.

"Why so?"

"Because it’s good for society for you not to look like a fuck, and a good haircut that fits you and your lifestyle has a trickle-down effect. A bad haircut can wreck the next few weeks of your life, attitude-wise. Nobody wants a sourpuss with a bad haircut coming in their office. But with a good haircut, you feel happy, lucky and sexy and you spread goodwill."

500 Old Newport Blvd., No. 203, Newport Beach, (949) 642-4247.

3. David File. The senior stylist at Crew Salon seldom speaks, but he’ll listen to his customers’ every word. It’s best to cut the chatter and give him the creative license to do just about anything he damn well pleases; he’ll deliver a perfect cut every time. Best of all, you can typically call and get an appointment for that same day . . . uh, before this appears in the paper anyway. The Lab anti-mall, 2930 Bristol St., Ste. A102, Costa Mesa, (714) 751-0111.

4. Toni Rumble. Customers describe rookie hairstylist Toni Rumble at Salon Gregorie’s as the female Edward Scissorhands due to the way the follicles fly as her scissors whiz at warp speed. (The shop knows how to spot talent, winning Editor’s Choice honors at the 2002 North American Hairstyling Awards.) Rumble is such a perfectionist she seems to care more about her clients’ hair than her clients do—something the freshly cut appreciate while fielding compliments after leaving her station. And she’s a hoot! 200 Newport Center Dr., Ste. 103, Newport Beach, (949) 644-6671.

5. Suzan Redman. One steady customer of Suzan Redman at Bushire Salon & Spa says the only other time someone other than Redman has touched her head in the past decade was the time Redman got in a car accident and couldn’t keep the appointment. She’s that good, and her customers are that loyal. Of course, considering she frequently offers clients a mimosa or glass of wine when they come in, is it any wonder? 1108 E. Katella Ave., Ste. C6, Orange (714) 744-1080.

6. Kristi Mitchell. This stylist at Alexander’s Grand Salon can give you any hair color you want on this earth—even colors that haven’t been invented yet! The shop itself is to hair what cosmetic surgeons are to perfect bods. Besides coloring, Alexander’s specializes in the Euro Locs/Hairlocs system of hair extensions, which uses real hair (from Europe!) without glue, heat, sewing, braiding or chemicals. 5579 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd., Anaheim Hills, (714) 420-1534.

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