Coiffure chemistry

Angelina Seva

Photo By mike iredale

Local hair stylist Angelina Seva wasn’t planning on opening her own salon, but that all changed when she stumbled upon a quaint, old-fashioned brick warehouse on 34th Street. Now, a couple of years later, Deeda Salon has revived this once-overlooked section of East Sacramento. Interestingly, Deeda’s building feels like it was designed by Sigmund Freud. There are subtle phallic figures—yes, I wrote phallic—throughout its intricate design, which is something you don’t really notice at first. But then someone points it out and you can’t take your eyes off of them. Anyway, Seva and her team of stylists create bangin’ hair styles, too. Here’s the cut.

What’s hot in hair-styling world these days?

Natural. Shiny and healthy. Bangs are big, too. For a while, people were into disheveled and messy, but now I think, even in fashion in general, structure is coming back.

I think it all relates to the economic climate: People are getting a little more serious. And it also just seems like for a longer time people were trying to be what they weren’t, and that’s kind of what got us into trouble. It’s funny how hair and fashion reflects the mood of a culture.

Art reflects society, right?

Doing hair is like a functional art. It’s cool because business owners always say the three things you never talk about with clients are sex, politics or religion, and that’s all we ever talk about. I think it’s just someone telling me I can’t do it that makes it come out.

But what are we supposed to talk about? The flowers? The personal part is the best part of my job.

What’s the worst?

When colors don’t go right, that’s the worst.


It happens to everyone. Coloring hair is like chemistry; it doesn’t always react the same way on everybody’s hair, and sometimes it’s just beyond theory. It’s like art combined with chemistry, but on someone’s head.

Here’s another tricky part: When people are asking for something but they’re describing it weird, you have to do the math. Someone could say an inch, but they mean 2, or someone could say brown, but they mean dark blond. So you have to really be able to read people.

Why’d you choose this location for Deeda?

I found this building and I fell in love with it. I thought it was just this front room, but then I walked into the rest of it and it was so cool. I kind of feel like this place just happened to me. The best part about being in this building is that we can throw these big amazing parties and there are no sound ordinances around here, so we’ve had bands here, people dancing around in the streets.

So what happens at these amazing parties?

Culture. Art. I can’t believe I’ve gotten away with it for as long as I have. We’ve had bands that come up from the Bay Area, like Thank You Julius, and people are just walking around. I think that’s the coolest thing that has come out of this building.

What events are coming up?

We’re going to start a thing called Mommy Mondays, where we invite moms to come get their hair done, but we’ll have activities for their kids here. The economy is bad right now. We know it’s hard to get a baby sitter and get your hair done, so we try to help out with a part of that. I love moms. People sometimes refer to this as a young people’s salon, but we cater to all kinds of people. It’s just about culture and creating a vibe.

And the vibe is …

I would say kick-back and urban, but more on the comfortable side. This building has character and we like to vibe off of it. We feature different local artists, too, like Raul Mejia; he did live art at our last show.

But my staff is a big part of that vibe; the team of girls that I have right now is the best I’ve ever had. They are all really down-to-earth for hair dressers. That’s what I’m most proud of in my staff.

Is that your hiring criteria?

I actually tell them to make me a mix tape, to test them out, because one of the most important things to me is vibe and energy. So I feel like it’s a great way to see if someone is a good fit. Some people get confused, but most people get excited. I think how I end up judging it is “How does it make me feel at the end?” Was I feeling anxious? Was I feeling angry? Was I feeling calm or was I feeling driven? It just depends on what Spice Girl I’m looking for at the time. (Laughs.) Because sometimes I’ll need more flavor or I’ll need someone who’s calmer. It’s been a really accurate way of hiring. … I do feel bad for the people who don’t get hired, though. It’s more personal.