Kevin Cody

Best woman’s hairdresser: Gilbert Gonzalez, Duc Duc Salon

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Gilbert Gonzalez makes someone beautiful at Duc Duc Salon.

Gilbert Gonzalez makes someone beautiful at Duc Duc Salon.

Best of the BeachGilbert Gonzales at Duc Duc Salon combines artistry, listening skills and a client-first mindset to win our readers’ nod for best women’s hair stylist.

“It’s like being a painter. Every person is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, everybody is different,” Gonzalez said.

He loves his job. He loves to express his “artistic side,” he loves lavishing tender loving attention on his clients, and he loves making them happy.

“We are in the service industry. We give people an experience when they come in. We cater to our clients and take care of them,” he said. “I give them what they want. They’re the ones we want to make happy.”

His world of cutting, coloring and styling is an ever-changing one.

“A lot of women are going back to the older days, getting blown out and styled once or twice a week. It’s convenient – women are so busy with being mothers, with their careers,” he said. “In the ‘60s and ‘70s it was roller sets and hair dryers, now it’s blow dries and round brushes.”

“When I started cutting hair, ‘Friends’ was a big deal. I don’t know if you remember that show – everybody wanted that Jennifer Anniston haircut,” he said.

“Everybody followed trends. Now women are more into pleasing themselves. Anything goes…We still follow the trends, but everybody expresses themselves more.”

Among the “in” trends at the moment are long, flowing hair, and highlights that are painted in rather than applied with foil, for a “softer blending effect, like a melting of colors,” Gonzalez said.

“But short cuts, bobs – really, it’s all in,” he added.

Clients flock to Duc Duc, located at the foot of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, from a large swath of Southern California. Some out-of-state women stop in to Duc Duc when they come to California on business.

Patron Erika, who weighed in on Yelp, drives in from Temecula.

“My whole family has been going to see Gilbert for years. Not only do I feel like he is the most fun hairstylist to hang out with, he always makes me feel so beautiful. He knows what to do with my naturally curly hair, and has done both highlights and color with speed and accuracy,” she yelped.

“Most importantly, he is an expert cut-and-stylist. He did my hair for my wedding, which turned out gorgeous – but he also makes me feel just as spectacular on just a normal visit. I always leave bouncing on air!”

“People say ‘why don’t you go to Hollywood and cut celebrity hair,’” Gonzalez said. “I tell them I’m already a celebrity stylist. Every person who sits in my chair is a celebrity.”

Duc Duc Salon, 24203 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, 310-375-0900, DucDucSalon.com.

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