Maui is a dream wedding destination, which makes “where should I hold my wedding dinner?” one of the most popular questions I get. It’s nearly impossible to answer — there are so many variables to elicit that the conversation can take ages — which is why it’s a relief when brides ask who should do their hair for their Maui wedding. There’s only one answer there: the talented team at Salon 253 in Wailuku.
Two years ago I started seeing Adiel, co-owner of Salon 253 and bridal hair wizard, for my own hair. I’d had someone cut it all off in an attempt to remove dry unhealthy locks … and it looked like a hack job. But Adiel saw the potential in my natural curls and encouraged me to grow it out and keep it curly. I haven’t blown it out once since then — and it’s long, luscious, and sexily healthy. People stop me in the street to ask who does my hair. (The sign of a great haircut!)
In their Wailuku salon — which just happens to be in the same location as the very first “beauty shop” ever opened on Maui — Adiel and her team (including co-owner Nicole) focus on natural, healthy looking hair. Women of all ages and hair types walk out looking fabulous — not fake. James and I once got into an argument about whether the stylists at Salon 253 actually color their hair. He insisted they couldn’t — it’s so natural looking. Of course, I was right — they all do each others hair — but they do it beautifully and naturally. Even the cutting edge styles, like the ombre that’s so popular right now — look authentic to the person. Which is precisely the point!
A naturally beautiful, sun-kissed look is exactly what brides have in mind when they imagine their Maui wedding. Fresh flowers, soft and touchable up-dos, or long and natural tresses are perfect for a beach setting. Adiel’s work has been featured over and over in bridal magazines, and she’s the preferred stylist for many of Maui’s best photographers. Best of all for visitors looking to get “Maui-ed,” she’s an expert at taking a photo you like and recreating the style on your locks. Her make-up is beautiful and photographs perfectly in Maui’s environment.
All of this is important, of course, but on the morning of your wedding you don’t just need a hair genius: you need someone who can help you relax and enjoy yourself. (Happy bride = beautiful bride!) That’s where Adiel’s charismatic personality pushes her services over the top. Adiel is one of those people that glows, and everyone I know feels instantly at ease in her presence. She can calm nerves with a touch on the shoulder, break tension with a witty joke, and keep people endlessly distracted with hilarious stories.
Adiel once took care of a groom’s rather, er, uptight mother while the bride and her bridesmaids giggled away. The icy stares that first greeted Adiel were soon replaced by warm, shy smiles. As Adiel lavished her with special attention and devotion, this icy matron dissolved into the warm loving mother who was simply grieving for her son’s lost childhood. As the bridal party left the salon, she embraced Adiel so closely she threatened to ruin the up-do — and the bride whispered “thank you so much” in Adiel’s ear.
Don’t be fooled: Adiel is not there for therapy, and I’m not claiming she can fix your mother-in-law issues. She is endlessly charming, but what she’s really passionate about is loving your hair into something breathtaking. When you’re in her chair, you really are the center of her world, and she really is just there to make your day start out perfectly. You will feel like a Goddess.
When I have a special occasion, I book a blow-out/style appointment with Adiel or one of her team members, so I can look and feel my best. Whether you’re getting married or just heading out for a romantic evening, I can’t recommend Salon 253 enough. Entire bridal parties are welcome — and the swanky salon with damask wallpaper and elegant chandeliers is one of the prettiest on the island. If you need a really good cut and color? I wouldn’t go anywhere else.
Book ahead of time if you can: they fill up three or four weeks ahead of time for regular services, and months for bridal services. You can even book online.
253 S. Market St
Hours: Tues – Fri 10AM – 7PM, Sat 10AM – 6PM, Closed Sun & Mon