Yes, that was a bold title but I promise this story will DELIVER.

San Francisco loves to hate on L.A. Though I went to college in L.A. and have a deep appreciation for the place, I understand much of the criticism. Still though — there are certain core competencies where despite all the Google and Facebook cash-money flowing in the Bay, Los Angeles reigns supreme.

We all know entertainment is #1. And it’s #2 corollary? The beauty industry.

When I lived in L.A., I had a hairdresser named Daniel who — given 20 minutes and $85 — could turn any plain Jane into a supermodel with just a few snips of his shears. I have no idea how he did it (I’d been to many hairdressers before who were half as good and twice as much), but he was a magician of the mane. And to top it off, Daniel was unbelievably beautiful. A gorgeous, tan, dashing man from Spain, he would lean in so close to my face during haircuts, deeply concentrating on getting the perfect angle while I tried desperately not to drool.

This is Daniel ^. Hunka hunka burnin’ hairdresser.

The irony of Daniel’s business model was that he was so good, his haircuts lasted for 4–6 months. Meaning — I only saw him twice a year. So though we got to know each other, our relationship was pretty intermittent.

You can imagine my misery when I moved to San Francisco and left Daniel behind. For years and years, I tried new hairdressers. Some were recommendations from friends, others were random walk-ins. But every single one was awful because they all loved to CUT. By that I mean — I would ask for an inch off, and they would take 6. Any woman who values her long hair can relate to this trauma. At one point, I just stopped going to hairdressers altogether.

Finally, after a few years hiatus, I decided to give it another shot. So I went on Yelp, searched “long hair”, and to my surprise the 1st result that came up was called “Bambiana for Long Hair”. After reading reviews of women who’d previously had my same traumatic experience but raved about Bambiana’s commitment to long hair, I had a feeling this was meant to be.

On the day of my appointment, I sat in the waiting area, nervous that I’d made a mistake. What if she chops my hair like all the other hairdressers did?, I thought. I’d spent the last 3 years letting my hair grow out, and today might be a return to The Trauma.

But then Bambiana walked out…and I instantly knew this was a good decision. She had long, brown hair that was utterly perfect in cut, color, and shape. She was also stunning — she wore a fitted hot pink skirt, high heels, and was clearly the belle of the salon as all the male hairdressers turned every time she walked by.

After the haircut, Bambiana handed me the mirror so I could see the cut from behind. “What do you think?”, she asked.

I was amazed. It was…perfect. I had finally found my new Daniel.

My new hairdresser, Bambiana.

Months later on my 2nd visit to see Bambiana, I was ecstatic to return. As she snipped away at my hair, I asked how long she’d lived in SF.

“Well, I’ve been in California for a long time. I came here for a sex change and actually lived in L.A. before moving here”, she said.

Though I was shocked at this revelation, I deftly kept my cool.

“Were you a hairdresser in L.A. too?”, I asked.

“Yes”, she replied. “I worked at a salon on Melrose Avenue.”

“Whoa”, I said. “I used to go to a salon on Melrose”.

She froze. “Who was your hairdresser?”.

“His name was Daniel at L Salon”, I quickly answered.

She dropped the hairbrush on the floor. THUMP!

Her mouth dropped open and she looked at me in shock and awe.

“I…am…Daniel”, she said.

I turned around in the chair to face her.

“Oh my God”, I said.
“Oh my God”, she said.
Oh-my-god”, I said.
“Ohhh-myyy-god”, she said.

For 15 minutes, we just kept repeating variations of “Oh my god”.

That’s right, folks. After 5 years away from Daniel, I somehow managed to find him in a different city, at a different salon, as a different gender.

The day I walked into that San Francisco salon and met Bambiana, my gut had been spot on. It was indeed meant to be.

I had finally found my Daniel.


• • •

(Note: This is a 100% true story. Nothing has been fabricated. In fact, Bambiana asked me to write this as a Yelp review which you can find HERE.)

Before. And — after!