Finding a great hairdresser is more important than finding a soul mate. A good hairdresser might be with you for life; a soul mate probably won't. Plus, how are you going to find your soul mate without great hair? Paula Jones is the best in the West. Brilliant with color and scissors, it's her heart and soul that really stand out. Her devoted clients know to book two-plus months in advance, and they get a lot more than great hair in her chair (i.e., you know your hairdresser cares about you when she threatens to never cut your hair again if you go back to that one smarmy ex). Born and raised in Oregon, Paula was precocious and started beauty school when she was only 19. She wielded her scissors for two years at Salon In Vogue before opening her own salon, Pleiades, with six other women at the tender age of 24. After six successful years, Paula started Villa Villa Kula (named after Pippi Longstocking's house). Ada Kay (pictured) was born two years later, causing considerable consternation amongst Paula's clientele when she took three months maternity leave.
How did you become interested in hairdressing?
I was the kid who did everybody's hair growing up. My grandma was a hairdresser and I always did hair with her—my cousins', my friends'. I started doing all my Barbies' hair when I was five, putting fingernail polish on their hair, and taking their faces off with acetone so I could put new make-up on with fingernail polish and magic marker. When we moved to a farm in Estacada, I did all the horses' hair.
What is your favorite part of the job?
The art and the people. Creating something and meeting amazing people.
What do you find most challenging?
Making sure people love their hair. It's the best part, and the most challenging part.
With your popularity and devoted clientele you could charge whatever you want, yet your prices are some of the lowest in town. And you've always given really interesting discounts: There's a sex worker discount and an alternative transportation discount.
I try to always be really aware of working-class issues and keep the prices low so that everybody can get their hair done. I haven't raised my prices in 10 years. I have my own business, so I'm able to keep prices where I want them. I make a great living and love what I do. Why would I need any more? VIVA LAS VEGAS