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Arabella Salon – Portland, Oregon

Written By: author image Gigi Cruz
author image Gigi Cruz

We’re excited to be back in Portland, visiting Deanna Reed, the owner of Arabella Salon to chat all things hair, beauty, and fashion in Oregon and beyond.

Today we cover her ultimate hair shampooing technique, the products you need to look and feel your very best, and how Deanna and the team have built an incredibly welcoming salon that puts client happiness and sustainability at the heart of everything they do.


Deanna, tell us more about yourself

Growing up on a rural farm in Oregon, I have been grooming anything I could get my hands on since I was old enough to hold a comb. My hair is very curly, and to say I have had a lot of bad haircuts would be an understatement. That’s why I became a hairdresser. I thought, “Oh, it can’t be that hard.” So, I started that journey toward mastery and want to make people feel whatever they need at the stage in life they are in.

After training in NYC with Bumble as a network educator for six years, in 2010, I started working with Davines. I taught regionally for Davines, joining the North American artist team in 2014 and the North American Cutting team in 2016. Education is key to evolution. I love to evolve.

Arabella Salon Portland, Oregon

What will clients experience at Arabella Salon?

Arabella Salon is a truly special place.

From the outside, it’s a brick building, but upstairs, it’s a dream. We maintain this edgy, highbrow-lowbrow vibe I love. When you start coming to our salon, it won’t take long for us to know your name, remember what you drink, and perhaps tease you a little—if you’re lucky, haha.

Located in the Elliott Neighborhood on the east side of Portland, we are tucked into an 1890s building’s second floor with beautiful morning and evening light. Plants drip from a skylight, and there’s a rooftop patio garden to linger in. Locally produced loose-leaf tea and coffee can be enjoyed under a fluffy blanket if you wish. We have the most comfortable styling chairs and shampoo bowls. I wanted Arabella to feel warm as well as upscale.

We strive to use repurposed materials in our design and construction. Our floors are salvaged wood from the exterior of a lumber mill in Washington (wide-plank spruce), and cast iron industrial legs support our stations, which are topped with desktops. Light fixtures are created with collected wood from wanderings. Everything has a story and a history, just like us.

Arabella Salon Portland, Oregon Chair

We’re one big family at Arabella Salon

Our team really is a family; we laugh HARD, talk to each other’s clients, and collaborate. We love hair and each other. Combined, we have over 70 years of experience. We believe in honing skills in one area, then pivoting to another area of our craft and working on that—lifelong learning. As a Davines Concept salon, we host education for the brand. I also teach within the salon, and we travel to learn and stay fresh.

Each stylist has skills in balayage, gray blending, airtouch, and foil work; from mermaid hair to short architectural cuts, razor shapes, and precision shapes… we design the appropriate approach to achieve the looks our guests are seeking.

What specialties does Arabella Salon offer?

At Arabella Salon, we partner with Davines, an Italian brand leading the way in sustainability practices in the production of their wet lines, styling, as well as color – plus also an amazing indie line out of Colorado called Cult&King.

I really believe you are what you put on your hair and use as a company. As a stylist and Salon owner, their education and support have been incredible and you feel like part of the global family. This makes it a holistic experience of behind-the-chair craftsmanship, knowledge, and community.

As a salon, we embody the values of both brands, science and technology, inclusivity and high standards for results, and accountability for what we leave behind. The end result is our client’s hair, their health and spirit, and the planet and its resources.

What is your number one tip for a happy, healthy hair and beauty routine?

I really think a great shampoo and conditioner is absolutely the foundation for gorgeous hair. One of the immediate things that always blows people’s minds is how to shampoo hair properly. We are never really taught how to do it and why.

First, you need to understand a few things. Your hair is made up of hard and soft keratin. So, think of your skin for soft keratin and your nails for hard keratin. Your scalp is the soil for your hair to grow in. Addressing the needs of this soil is paramount in the production of the most beautiful hair you can grow. Soil health is an inside job first and can be affected by medication, overall health, and nutrient needs of the body. If there are some scalp needs, we have a great line called Natural Tech which is plant-grade topical medicine.

Shampoo should be added to your hands, and then distributed with your fingertips through the scalp only. Gently massage but never pile the ends of your hair on top of your head and scrub. Trust that the mid-lengths to ends will be properly cleansed when the shampoo is rinsed off.

Apply conditioner to the mid-lengths to ends first, then bring the remaining product close to the roots with fingers, a comb, or a wet brush. Let it sit for a few minutes at a minimum. Then rinse with lukewarm to cool water, and stop rinsing when the hair still feels like it has something left on it, but when you rub your fingers together, they are not slimy. You have to leave enough on the hair to condition it but not so much that it’s weighed down. Now you’re prepared for styling products.

What Portland hair, beauty, and fashion trends are you seeing right now?

I love living in Portland! We have such a diversity of humans in this city and because of that a wide fashion range. I want to say that personal style is always in style and that reigns in my city.

Lots of shaggy little razed bob shapes, with a late 80s, 90s flair are in right now. The shag has been hot for the last few years and will forever be a personal favorite for its ease and curl-highlighting capacity.

Lots of men are going blond for summer and exploring more gender-fluid looks. This is a very fun time for hair!

Arabella Salon Portland, Oregon Entrance

What hair and beauty products do you think should be in everyone’s day-to-day routine?

I think we are in a time where we need great results from our products and brand accountability for the byproducts of their production, packaging, and shipping. So, aligning yourself with something you can feel good about putting on your skin and ultimately into the water system is essential. These products fit the bill.

For all hair types, I love the Superwater from Cult&King, which features hydrosols of anti-inflammatory botanicals in a rose water and green tea opalescent bottle for your scalp.

From the Nourishing line of Natural Tech by Davines, the Keratin Sealer is fantastic for the mid-lengths to ends, offering shine, heat protection, and elasticity. Oi oil can be used on wet and dry hair for shine and frizz and humidity control. The Circle Chronicles offers a conditioning experience that travels well and has seven options for different hair types and needs—which is perfect for everyone.

If you heat style, invest in a great blow dryer. We love the Gama and the Dyson, depending on hair type. At a minimum, it needs to be ionic and have tourmaline. Good brushes also make a difference, and use the concentrator! It’s the nozzle that you likely tossed when opening the box, but it’s meant to smooth the cuticle of your hair. Since your hair has scales, always blow dry down the hair shaft and across the surface of the brush, never directly into the brush. You’re smoothing, not cooking, your hair.

A good rule of thumb is if your hair tools are more than 10 years old, it’s time to replace them. Technology has changed a lot, and your hair will behave better for you if you’re better to it.

Arabella Salon Portland, Oregon Street

Beyond Arabella Salon, who else would you like to give some love to?

We love Arium Botanicals, it’s a plant store down the street from us. They installed our skylight of plants and are just so lovely, with such a great collection of plants.

Portland Cà Phê is our go-to for coffee and Bhan Mi….. without them we could not get through our day and we also serve their coffee in the salon.

Jasmin Pearl tea, also local, is the tea we serve in our Arabella Salon and a wonderful way to take the experience of a calming cup of tea home with you.

A lot of our training has been done with Allilon, an academy out of London. if you want to reach for mastery as a stylist, then train with them. They have a salon called Ena, if you are in the city check them out. Top-notch skills with so much heart. I just love them and the space is so wonderfully curated.

Which current celebrity or public figure is getting it so right with their hair, beauty, and styling?

I like to ride between Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, and Cher for women. Classic beauty is always in style and having a core look is timeless and powerful, as these women started to break molds and embody feminine unabashed power making way for future generations to push the mold. Cher had a physical evolution for what was happening inside and we got to watch it unfold. It never gets too old to play!

David Bowie and Prince for males……do I even need to explain?!

Which current celebrity or public figure is getting it so right with their hair, beauty, and styling?

Jennifer Lopez is crushing this aging thing, and I’m excited to watch Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our SalonOtter readers?

I am so proud of my Arabella Salon team and so grateful for our wonderful clients. We underwent a remodel before lockdown, doing most of the work ourselves, then closed for 3 months, and reopened kind of until we could resume business as usual. Our clients were amazing throughout!!!!

I had a child and leaned heavily on my staff. Each of us in the salon has taken turns with a few personal years of grief with losing parents and friends…. its been 4 years of a lot of change. The way we have all shown up for and held space for each other, it’s the proudest I have been as a business owner in 12 years.

What we have and how we show up for each other and our guests. I’m so grateful for my people behind the chair and in them and for this life we walk together. That’s Hair Love!

Where can people find Arabella Salon in Portland, Oregon?

We’re at 2637 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212

Check out our website to make a booking and we’re also on Insta

Thanks so much, Deanna, we can’t wait to visit you and the Arabella salon team again soon!

author avatar
Gigi Cruz Editor