Veronica’s Hair Studio is a family affair

........................................................................................................................................................................................

Walking into Veronica’s Hair Studio in Los Lunas, you are greeted immediately by stylist Veronica Montoya’s “little helper,” 3-year-old Shontelle Montoya, her youngest daughter.

In ringlets and a huge smile, Shontelle welcomes you into this family-friendly business before resuming her play in her special corner of the salon.

Ungelbah Daniel-Davila-News-Bulletin photo: Stylist Veronica Montoya and her ‘little helper’ Shontelle, are the faces at Los Lunas’ new Veronica’s Hair Studio.

Veronica Montoya will tell you that having the opportunity to open the shop in September with her mother, Toni Otero, has been a blessing because it has provided her the opportunity to spend more time with her children, as well as her mom.

Montoya, who is the mother of three girls, ages, 3, 5 and 7, credits the love and support of her husband, Gabriel, for her success at her new venture.

Montoya, a graduate of San Juan College in Farmington, has been working as a stylist for seven years, but has been around the industry her whole life.

“My mom was a stylist and she owned her own shop,” says Montoya. “So I’ve been around it my entire life.”

As a little girl, Montoya imagined herself growing up to be a ballerina, but soon realized that dream might not come to fruition. Never, she says, did she imagine she’d grow up to follow in her mother’s footsteps.

As a junior in high school, she got her first inkling that cosmetology might be in her blood after all when she started experimenting with doing “crazy stuff” with her hair and makeup.

Today she says she’s blessed to be able to work alongside her mother, who commutes to Los Lunas from Farmington, where she has her own established shop.

Montoya says sometimes it can be, well, “interesting” working with the senior stylist, though she wouldn’t specify in what way.

Otero is a busy woman in her own right, working in two different shops in two distant cities, while also ministering to kids in the Farmington detention center. Otero doesn’t have a fixed schedule, and will just come stay in Los Lunas for a week or two here and there, at which time she can be found in the salon.

For this reason, Montoya suggests making appointments with the salon in advance, though she is willing to do walk-in appointments if necessary.

After seven years in the business, Montoya says there’s never a dull moment and that she finds her career “fascinating,” because every day there are different clients with different requests.

But her specialty, she says, is color and creating drastic transformations to her clients’ hair.

One color job she remembers in particular took four hours to achieve in which she turned a boy’s dark hair platinum blond.

She said her favorite hair styles to cut are women’s, though she can do men’s as well. She said she’s noticed there are several barber shops in Los Lunas and feels good to be one of the only salons for women.

Besides haircuts, which run about $25 for a cut and style, $10 for men’s buzz cuts, and $8 for a cut for a kid under 10, the salon provides a host of other services.

An up-do style starts at $30, single process color/highlights start at $45, full foils starts at $55, and a basic permanent wave starts at $45.

The salon also offers conditioning treatments for $12, and facial waxing with eye brows, lip and chin $10 each. Nail treatments include paraffin manicures for $35 and paraffin pedicures for $45. Otero also does ear piercing for $25.

The salon is closed Mondays and Sundays and is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday or by appointment only after 3 p.m. Saturdays the salon is open from 8:30 to 11 a.m. with walk-ins after 11 a.m.

For more information, call Veronica’s at 804-4048, or visit the salon at 227 N.M. 314 in Los Lunas.


-- Email the author at udavila@news-bulletin.com.