In the middle of Joshua Tree, miles away from the current wave of Bridgerton-inspired modern mullets, is the Beauty Bubble Hair Salon and Museum. Every inch of this powder-pink-and-blue beauty wonderland is filled with hair salon antique collectibles, apparatus, decor, furniture, and accessories. Once you take a seat on a bright vintage barber chair, you’ll find yourself right in the heart of owner Jeff Hafler’s dream: a beloved salon, museum and roadside attraction.
There are endless posters of Hollywood icons like Elizabeth Taylor, Marylin Monroe or even Debbie Harry to inspire your next cut and color at the salon. You could leave with the perfect bouffant or any retro-inspired ‘do you can dream up. Just be aware that the salon is open Sundays through Wednesday by appointment only, so any other days will be reserved for perusing retro delights, some of which can be purchased.
While you have your hair seen to by one of the stylists, you can marvel at walls plastered with hair-related relics, delicate trinkets, vintage dolls and appliances that have been collected by, possibly, the most notable “hairstorians.” His first collectible was the Le John hair dryer from the 1940s, which still works today and has recently been enclosed in a little glass cabinet.
One of the notable pieces to see is the Duart permanent wave machine from the 1940s donated by Earle Adams, the Tinseltown hairdresser responsible for Veronica Lake’s famous finger wave. Though, you’ll find something amongst the 3,000 plus items every time you come, and each will give you a window into the world it came from. For example, the pink 1960s salon dryer chair has a metal ashtray built into the leather armrest and there’s a Pin Whiz, a stapler gun that shoots out bobby pins.
Although “Beauty School Dropout” might start playing in your head upon arrival, Hafler’s journey actually began at beauty school and never dropped out. In fact, has even been dubbed the Valedictorian of beauty school.
You can delve further into this wonderland of bygone beauty collectibles by paying a visit or keeping an eye out for his upcoming documentary called Inside The Beauty Bubble.
Location: Beauty Bubble Hair Salon and Museum, 61855 29 Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA 92252