When it comes to haute haircuts and the most relaxing beauty treatments, the spot that San Francisco’s top socialites prefer is no secret. It’s Cinta Salon and we couldn’t agree more. Hands down, no questions asked, Cinta is simply top notch when it comes to everything from cuts and color to microdermabrasion and manicures. For the past 20 years, the stylists at Cinta have been holding court on the second floor of a nondescript building on Grant Avenue in downtown SF. Last year the salon experienced a makeover of its own and the space is more modern and inviting than ever. If you’ve never been to the salon, we suggest you run, not walk, to make an appointment. Why do we love Cinta so much? Let us count the ways.
Thanks to Cinta’s longevity and beauty school program, the Cinta Aveda Institute, the establishment attracts some of the nation’s top hair and beauty talent. Arvins Tohardi, a mentor stylist who specializes in cuts (he’s in charge of San Francisco’s former first lady, Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s lovely blonde locks) has been at Cinta for 12 years. He has cut hair all over the world — in Indonesia, London, and New York — and is passionate about making women look beautiful and feel confidant and sexy whenever they leave the salon. Sara Watson, the salon director, has been at Cinta for 15 years and is still as enthusiastic about hair as she was when she first started cutting it at age 12.
Cinta is a one stop shop for all things beauty. The salon offers everything — from 16 different kinds of hair coloring services to makeup lessons to the ancient Middle Eastern art of threading. If you’re in need of a peel, they have nine options to choose from as well as a variety of rejuvenating facials.
Open and inviting, Cinta is a large and airy salon with plenty of light, marble counter tops, and large windows that overlook bustling Grant Street. While some salons are stuffy and pretentious, Cinta is the opposite. It’s has a welcoming vibe that’s purely sophisticated and you can’t help but feel relaxed and pampered from the second you walk through the door. The two-story salon is set up into stations: manicures are performed upstairs in an open balcony area, the shampooing area is directly under a giant hypnotizing fan, and cuts and color are performed along the edge of the salon underneath the windows.
Decide you need a blowout for a last minute date? Realize you haven’t had your eyebrows tinted in way too long? Cinta will be able to get you in — even if it’s at the last minute. While each stylist and esthetician’s schedule is different, the salon is open daily, Monday – Saturday, at 8:30 am and stays open until 8 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Therefore, if you have a demanding work schedule that requires you to be in the office late, you’ll still be able to get an appointment at Cinta. Customer service is important and in the odd chance that you end up having to wait for a treatment, you’ll most likely receive a complimentary manicure. That’s one of the best things about Cinta: if you want to come in for a day of beauty and get a cut, manicure, and wax all in the same 3-hour time span, you can easily do it.
Only the hautest products are used at Cinta. All of the facials involve Aveda creams, serums, and lotions. As for hair, Bumble and Bumble and Kérastase (two personal favorites) are used for shampoos and treatments.