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Meet Jarrod Harms and Kirk Bell of Detour Salon & Store in Encinitas and Hillcrest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jarrod Harms and Kirk Bell.

Detour Salon was founded in 1998 by Encinitas native, Crystal Wells. Launched with a mind for playfulness, style, talent and a welcoming environment for men, women and children, Detour Salon quickly became one of the hottest in north county. Along the way Detour expanded from a 7 chair salon to include 19 chairs, three suites, and a retail boutique. Current partner Kirk was a critical part of that success as a senior stylist and salon manager. When the time came to pass the torch, he was the obvious choice. He and his partner, Jarrod, first bought into the business in 2008 and completed the transition in 2011.

Their influence can be felt at every level. Important to the DNA of the company is an authentic welcoming to anyone, a responsible attitude with civil service and volunteerism, a true desire for excellence in service, a passion for the craft of hair dressing and an environment that feels real. It has led Detour Salon to be noted as a Top 200 Salon in North America by Salon Today magazine, as well as earning Best Hair Salon for 7 years running by Ranch & Coast Magazine readers.

Today the salon has expanded its reach to include a location in the vibrant Hillcrest neighborhood in San Diego. They’re regularly active in volunteering for the AIDS Walk, underwriting haircuts for persons living with HIV/AIDS, donate services for the homeless twice per month with Showers of Blessings, supporters of Rancho Coastal Humane Society, as well as contributing to the community’s donation requests when possible. They know they can’t exist separately from their community.

Their in-house training program has cultivated amazing talents that lead to a busy salon, as well as allow them to exercise themselves creatively. They regularly are tapped to do editorial hair for photoshoots for publications ranging from Rancho Santa Fe to Russia. Detour was behind the hair nominated for Best Hairstyling in the 2017 fashion film, Pearl, which debuted at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival.

Their store is a natural extension of the beach and trend lifestyle. The ever-changing selection is stocked with beauty and grooming items as well as clothing and jewelry for both men and women.

Their passion and commitment for doing what’s right for their community, their business, and their staff has positioned them as leaders within the industry and the community. They have been honored to speak on business panels and mentor other salon owners. They don’t take it for granted.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all.

When you buy a business, you get employees who signed on to something else, and someone else. Transitioning employees in a business to a new vision, new methods, new accountability, new expectations, etc, was back-breakingly painful. It was especially true when dealing with a creative team that already had experienced a certain level of success-whether that success was by accident or design. We could see that current levels of performance that were acceptable in the go-go years of the mid 2000’s wouldn’t translate well to a tough economy when customers started becoming more judicious in how they spent.

We lost many service providers over the course of a few years as we started elevating standards. Unfortunately in our field, each time you lose a service provider, you also immediately lose the revenue they generate. That’s a gap that takes years to make up.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We’re a hair salon first and foremost. It’s our core competency.

We don’t strive to be the fanciest, the most posh, or claim to “pamper” as so many salons do. What we do want to do is provide consistently great services, have a great time doing it, and do it in an environment that is memorable, warm, and welcoming. We’re extremely irreverent in so many ways, but try not to ever lose that professional touch. We’re known as a terrific training salon. As we are never comfortable hiring stylists away from another salon, we strive to hire directly from schools or from out of state. (We think poaching from another salon is only building your business on someone else’s misfortune.) With those hiring practices, it is incumbent on us to polish the rough edges of a school graduate and help them develop their eye and talent to become excellent hair dressers. We take that seriously.

We’re most proud of our staff longevity. In a field where staffers come and go, our turnover is far below industry average. We have several stylists and staff that have just passed their 10-16 year marks with us. Many have been around more than 5 years. That’s what we’re proud of. We hope that the supportive work environment is a key reason for that loyalty.

We’re set apart from many other salons in the market simply because our staff is made of employees. We all have a common vision and common goals. Many other salons are “booth rental” with the stylist in charge of their own business and destiny.

Many times, that situation doesn’t create an ideal professional environment. If you’ve ever been getting a haircut while your stylist is on the phone, or had your face subjected to bare arm pits while getting a shampoo you know what I mean. As employees, Kirk and I set the tone for the staff, as well as the client experience.

Our staff benefits from it-literally. We’re very fortunate as a small business to be able to offer a retirement plan, as well as health benefits to our staff.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The city itself is just as good as any other. This is the sort of field that is so filled with misinformation and hearsay disguised as training that it is truly up to an individual to decide their path, seeking out the best schools, salons and mentors to show them the route to success.


  • Hair cuts from $32
  • Highlights from $92
  • Balayage from $127
  • Hair color from $76
  • Keratin straightening from $362
  • Shave from $36
  • Permanent waves from $102
  • Shampoo & blow dry from $38

Contact Info:

  • Address: Detour Salon & Store
    594 South Coast Hwy 101
    Encinitas, CA 92024Detour Salon
    142 University Ave Suite B
    San Diego, CA 92103
  • Website:
  • Phone: 760-634-1999 and 619-297-9000
  • Email:
  • Instagram: detoursalon
  • Facebook: Detour Salon & Store, Encinitas
  • Twitter: @DetourSalonSD

Image Credit:
Chase Life Photography
Florian Saez
Brandon Jameson and Leeeric Photography
Dorogoe Magazine

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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