New hair stylist building buzz in the Vail Valley |

New hair stylist building buzz in the Vail Valley

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado
Dominique Taylor/dtaylor@vaildaily.comAnthony De Los Santos, center, owner of Vixen Hair Salon, gives Christina Bergquist, right, a quick cut Thursday at his salon at Edwards Corner in Edwards.

EDWARDS ” It took a hurricane in Houston, along with an avalanche of clients in the Vail Valley, for Anthony De Los Santos to relocate.

Just as Hurricane Ike was hitting Houston last September, De Los Santos heard from Ann Emmett, a local resident and longtime friend, urging him to come to the Vail Valley. At first, she’d lined up 30 potential appointments. By the time De Los Santos got here, that line had grown to 47. Two weeks later, the line had grown to 150 clients.

When De Los Santos returned Dec. 3 ” his birthday ” he’d made the decision to open a salon in Edwards, and the Vixen Salon was born.

Since then De Los Santos has been cutting and coloring non-stop. He also goes back to Houston every three weeks or so, works a handful of 14-hour days and returns to the valley. But, he said, the Vail Valley is home now.

“I’d always wanted to be in Colorado,” De Los Santos said. “I’ve wanted to give my kids something they haven’t had, and something I didn’t have. I’m really excited for them.”

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But moving a family of five just as a serious economic slump hit the valley was a risk.

“We’ve been really fortunate so far,” he said.

But De Los Santos says he’s never been afraid to make a bold move. He started his career in Houston, but soon moved to Los Angeles ” “I packed up my dog, my Hog and went,” he said.

Not long after the move, he was working at Giuseppe Franco Salon in Beverly Hills, one of the top salons in Southern California. After that came a move to San Francisco and a return to Houston. His regular clients include models and actresses, and he’s done hair styling and color for models for magazines including Playboy and Maxim.

So what’s the attraction?

“My background is in art,” De Los Santos said. “Now my canvas is walking and talking around the valley every day.”

And despite opening in shaky economic times, people still want to look good.

“Clients tell me ‘I may not have any moiney, but I’m getting my hair done,” De Los Santos said.

Besides style and color, De Los Santos specializes in hair repair. That’s part of what drew Anna Himmes to the salon as an assistant.

“There was a lot of buzz about Anthony,” Himmes said. “He’s really dedicated to improving hair. There aren’t a lot of salons that are.”

Himmes has a chance to move up at the salon. And if the day comes when she wants to open her own salon, De Los Santos said he’ll help however he can.

“My thing is to develop hairdressers,” he said. “I believe in catch and release.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

Call 970-569-3008

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