A hair affair for Oak Creek salon

Longtime stylist Cindy Wettstein thrilled about her new home, business

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When you walk into Oak Creek's new South Routt Hair, expect to kick off your shoes, put on a pair of slippers and make yourself at home.

That's exactly the kind of environment salon owner Cindy Wettstein hopes to create at her shop at 103 Nancy Crawford Blvd. She even provides the slippers, which await customers in boxes at the salon's front door.

"I want people to feel comfortable when they come to get their hair cut. I want them to be able to enjoy the experience," Wettstein said.

South Routt Hair opened Oct. 15, and all 10 clients that came in on that first Saturday were new faces for Wettstein, who previously owned Seventh Street Salon in Steamboat Springs.

"Being here in (South Routt) is a change. This part of the valley is growing like crazy. We love it here," she said.

Wettstein moved to Oak Creek after selling her Steam--boat business, and she hopes to build a home in Stagecoach soon.

South Routt Hair is in the same building as Black Moun--tain Tavern. The building used to be a hotel, and Wettstein's salon is in the former hotel's lobby.

She and her husband, Brock, have renovated the space, a task that included transforming the mauve walls and blue carpet into a bright and welcoming salon accentuated with relaxing blue and purple hues.

Wettstein began styling hair when she was 18, and she hasn't looked back since.

"Hair is my life. I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I was 18," she said.

Wettstein went to beauty school in Pueblo, where she returned to teach years later. In the interim, she was the director of education for Paul Mitchell hair care in Southern California.

"I do this because I like to make people feel good about themselves," she said. "Going to get a hair cut or getting your hair colored is something you can see immediately."

Wettstein said she has lowered the prices of her services and is offering a free haircut to anyone who refers three people to her business.

In addition to doing haircuts for children, men and women, Wettstein also does coloring, facial waxing and paraffin wax hand dips. In the future, she might expand the business to include a massage therapist or a chiropractor. But for now, she's happy with her one chair and mirror.

"I'm too old to work with gossip," she said, laughing. "I'm a one-woman show, and that's how I like it. It's just going to be me."

Wettstein said she wants to add things such as local artwork and plants to the salon.

"I want my walls covered. I still sound like I am in a warehouse," she said.

South Routt Hair is the largest salon she has owned. She looks forward to being able to walk the four blocks from her house to the shop.

Wettstein said she is available for walk-ins and also takes appointments. Most haircuts are less than $40, and she is offering a $5 discount for first-time clients.

"I hope people begin to understand that getting their hair cut here is worth the $20 or $30, because it is a quality haircut," she said. Wettstein also offers shampooing and a neck massage with every cut.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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