Los Angeles is home to a veritable sea of salons, many with no great distinguishing factors. One that stands out from the crowd is the months-old dpHUE House, which is actually not a salon in the traditional sense, but still has celebs clamoring to get in. Instead of operating like a typical hair haven and taking appointments from just anyone, this exclusive spot is invite-only, and it’s not the place to get a cut or color — it's for the in-between times.
It's the baby of celeb colorist — and blonde expert, see Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Kirsten Dunst — Justin Anderson, creative director and partner of dpHUE, a brand of products created to keep color fresh between salon visits. He gets to choose who comes in to see him, when he's not at Chris McMillan touching up famous flaxen-haired beauties.
"Our CMO came up with the idea — he calls it a brand experience space and content studio," says Anderson, who adds that "it's not a salon in the sense that we don't charge people and you can't really make an appointment. We invite people we want to hang out with! It's our guest list, you know?"
A major draw for celebrities is that it's "private and chill, which is much better for them than showing up at a public salon." It's like being in someone's home, says the colorist of the space that features a living room area with just one chair, a giant mirror and really good lighting for selfies. Since opening this summer, visitors have included Leighton Meester (who takes home dpHue's color-boosting GLOSS+ deep conditioner in Golden Blonde), Erin Andrews, Chelsea Handler (who uses the brand's Cool Blonde Shampoo & Conditioner), Jenna Elfman, Rita Ora and Molly Shannon (who uses the Root Touch-Up Kit to ensure she has no grays on camera), with Anderson's friends Kristin Cavalleri and Morgan Stewart coming over to the laid-back spot "all the time."
They've also been inviting their favorite Instagram personalities and influencers for fun that includes not just rinse treatments (Anderson works on only one person at a time) but music, selfies, drinks and a bite to eat.
The space also gives him a place to try out new products. The latest release is ACV Scalp Scrub ($38), an exfoliator for your head that's almost like a step in a skincare routine. The scalp, after all, is a continuation of your skin, says the colorist — "it's just covered in hair. The salt in the scrub is going to help you break up dead cells, and apple cider vinegar helps kill bacteria and rebalance pH of the scalp, and with the salt help remove product buildup, pollution and sweat, without stripping natural oils or color, which is key." The product can be used at home or in the salon, and Anderson says it feels amazing with a head massage, plus it leaves a clean and fresh feeling that lasts a week.
"We are trying to shake up the notion of how professionals think about their clients in between color appointments," says Anderson, who adds that many pros don't like the idea of touch-up products or anything that might keep people away from their chair for longer periods. "I don't believe in that way of thinking," he says. "I have clients who have been with me 10, 15 years because they trust me to have their best interests in mind. I can't be there during weeks two or three when changes start happening, color starts fading, roots come in, but I want them to have the tools they need to keep that color fresh so when they’re at the grocery store people will ask, 'Who does your color?'"