HeartZilla

Guardian Small Business Award winner took her Pirate Salon clientele to a groovy new spot on Valencia

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GUARDIAN PHOTO BY AMANDA RHOADES

Hidden in a strange, inward-facing compound at 18th and Folsom streets that is filled with small art galleries, hair salons, and oddly themed storefronts, Pirate Salon has always been groovy spot to get a killer hairdo with a rogue flair, particularly by the Barcelona-born-and-trained queen of color and style Ana Rivero Rossi for the last four years.

While Pirate Salon is still a small business worth recognizing and visiting, Rivero Rossi's brand new salon on Valencia Street between 24th and 25th, HeartZilla, is really something special. Along with her boyfriend Todd Hanson, also a fellow artist, Rivero Rossi has scoured the Bay Area for groovy vintage chairs, fixtures, and other funky decor that ooze the same unique flair (for example, we dig the colorfully drip-painted walls) that she brings to her clients' hair.

"It is important that each hair style that I do is custom designed, with love, to the desires and idiosyncrasies of the client. I collaborate with every client to create a look that allows each person to feel uniquely themselves, their inside worlds expressed outwardly, with freshness and finesse," she said, describing the concept behind her new salon at "a love-hair monster."

As a visual and conceptual artist (anariverorossi.blogspot.com), Rivero Rossi (who is my stylist) has created some interesting street art pieces, including Aqui Love, a series of artistic custom hearts connected by shoestrings hanging from overhead electrical wires around the city — a play off of the hanging pairs of shoes that are the stuff of urban legends.

Now, Rivero Rossi is pouring her own heart into HeartZilla — which is just now getting off the ground in this high-profile location, and she's still in the process of selecting the right stylists to fill out her other chairs — so we thought this newcomer to Valencia Street deserves some love from us and from you.

1380 Valencia Street, SF

www.heartzillasalon.com