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Salon Bruce Stuart: expert stylist is back!

Master stylist Bruce Finkle, whose salon was once a fixture in Scripps Ranch, has openedSalon Bruce Stuart again to offer high quality, personalized service to customers.  (Salon Bruce Stuart/Facebook)

Salon Bruce Stuart: expert stylist is back!

By Colleen McNatt

Bruce Finkle doesn’t just cut hair. For 45 years, the master stylist has been listening to his client’s innermost thoughts and worries, and offering a friendly ear while they sit in his chair or rinse in his shampoo bowl. 

That all stopped in March 2020, like so many other hair stylists whose businesses were shuttered due to the pandemic. Before COVID-19, Finkle’s business, Salon Bruce Stuart, was operating at full capacity with 10 hair stylists. Today, he is alone in his Poway salon. Approximately 90 percent of his clients moved away due to the shutdown.

“This is my last rodeo,” Finkle said about his business recovery and his plans to rebuild his career – one client at a time.

This presents an extra layer of health and safety precautions for clients who want to receive a haircut, now that he is working by himself in his salon.

His salon is unique. His clients can look out from expansive picture windows, relax under the cathedral ceilings and embrace the warmth from the fireplace in total privacy. Private parking is included at Salon Bruce Stuart. Clients can also bring their dogs to the appointment and Finkle will share tales of his 11-year-old English Labrador Oso.

Finkle’s hair and beauty supply businesses have been centered around the Scripps Ranch area since 1994. He remembers opening up his first store, Insight, in the Scripps Poway Parkway Shopping Center. Back then, clients would travel as far away as Los Angeles to receive a precision haircut and color. Many clients worked in the television industry, including on-air talent for ESPN and CNN. Musicians and models would also make the drive down to see Finkle and benefit from his technical cutting and empathetic ear.

Trained at Tony & Guy Academy in Long Beach, Finkle also studied in Italy and perfected his techniques in individual texturing and use of color pigment in highlights versus toner. He got his first job in a unisex salon in Boulder, Colorado. His career has also taken him to hair shows and he has performed his cutting skills on stage, called platform work. Today, he prefers to create unique styles for everyday professionals in San Diego.

“The secret to creating a totally different line is 1/8th of an inch,” Finkle explained about how a minimalist haircut can transform a look.

When Finkle meets a new client, it usually takes three visits (or haircuts) to correct and maintain a current style, he explained. During the haircut, Finkle will use multiple tools throughout the process, including different scissors and razors. He also serves as a curl expert.

“Trust is a big part of the business,” Finkle stated, adding that his role is to understand what the client wants from a haircut. “I listen and deliver a customized cut per the client’s wishes.”

Salon Bruce Stuart is located on the second floor of 12307 Oak Knoll Drive in Poway. 

Finkle is welcoming new clients with 55 percent discount off a haircut and all over color or haircut and highlights. For more information, visit @salonbrucestuart on Facebook or call or text (858) 945-0017.