By Emily Glory Peters
It’s hard to overstate the effect of a great haircut—especially when done by a hairdresser you trust. Whether offering a post-breakup cut, pre-wedding twist-out or simply a new look for a new year, stylists have quietly weaved their way into the fabric of our community as purveyors of near-instant confidence boosts.
In Monrovia, Simply Divine Hair Salon is one of those “happy places” supplying professional styling, barbering and makeup services for the last quarter-century. With a particular expertise in textured and curly hair care and grooming, this salon and spa was recently recognized by Councilmember Chris Holden as a Monrovia Business of Distinction—due in no small part to its founder and owner, Keshia Bowen, and the team she’s assembled.
“My team members pride themselves on building lasting professional relationships with their clients,” she says of her Simply Divine crew. They’re relationships built on accurately matching a client’s vision with the end result as well as a healthy dose of human interest. “Not only do we care about your healthy hair, but we also care about happiness while you’re visiting us,” she says. “I am inspired by being able to sometimes just be a listening ear for my customers.”
With nine stylists and five barbers, there are plenty of ears to go around at Simply Divine, paired with a long list of services including cut and color, relaxers, weaves, braids, makeup and more. Most recently, Bowen notes, she’s added an apprenticeship to build the next generation of barbers.
“In January 2020 we will be opening our first barbering academy. It’s a traditional barber school where upon completion the student will be ready to go to the state board take the test and get a barber license,” she says. “This is very exciting for me, as I have wanted to own a school for quite some time now, and my dreams are coming to pass.”
Still, Bowen shares, it’s hard to choose what she’s most excited about with Simply Divine in 2020. One project close to her heart that’s slated to launch this February is the mobile unit she’s building out to bring haircuts to children with autism and disabilities.
“Until you have had a child with autism or who possibly uses a [wheel]chair, you don’t understand how difficult it is for families to simply bring them into the salon and barbershop to receive a haircut,” she explains. “The mobile unit will not only be able to travel to families but provide a haircut in a calm, relaxing environment.”
This attention to accessibility and comfort is displayed in other ways, too, like Simply Divine’s back-to-school program that supplies free styling for kids of lower income families, or the salon’s “library” that allows children to select books to read while they’re being styled (and to take with them on the way home, too). After all, while adults may recognize the relaxation benefits of getting a fresh ‘do, it’s a learned process for little ones—and these details go a long way to create a welcoming environment for everyone involved.
As the year turns, the next quarter century of service is looking strong for Bowen and her Simply Divine stylists, and she has no fear of the future. When asked about what challenges she’s currently facing, she answers with spirit: “Fortunately, I can’t think of one.”
That’s the kind of confidence-boost we’re looking for.
To learn more about Simply Divine Hair Salon’s services or barber apprenticeship program, contact the team at simplydivinehairsalon | 626.357.6695 | and follow along on Facebook and Instagram @simplydivinehairsalon.