Transforming tresses with a touch of New York City glam.
Ever noticed the glossy, perfectly colored hair of a celeb like Jennifer Lopez or Beyoncé and thought, “I wish I could get an appointment with her stylist”? For clients at Edina’s Juut Salonspa, that dream is a reality. Stylists Alex and Roz Safdari—a dynamic husband-and-wife team—might be Minnesotans now, but they spent the first parts of their careers working with a who’s-who list of New York celebrities and business moguls (including the chic ladies mentioned above).
The Safdaris have been at Juut since 2015, and although the move to Minnesota was a first for Alex (a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native), Roz grew up in the small town of Cloquet, Minnesota. “I love it now, but I never fit in there as a kid,” Roz says. “My parents knew I was born in the wrong spot and encouraged me to get out.” She studied at the University of Minnesota for a few years,and met a hair stylist while studying in Mexico. “That’s when I started thinking, ‘This is something I could do,’” she says. “I dropped out of the [university] and walked into the Aveda Institute down the street.”
For Roz, the rest is history. After training at Aveda Institute, she moved to Atlanta, to continue her education under the master colorists and stylists at Van Michael. That’s where she met Alex. “I had started doing hair right out of school at age 17,” Alex says, adding that he started as an assistant colorist. “Right off the bat, I was one of the busiest, most creative colorists there.”
After Atlanta, the couple moved to New York City to work at Frederic Fekkai. “We met the creative director, and it just worked,” Alex says. “We were in the right place at the right time.” From Frederic Fekkai, the Safdaris moved across the street to the salons of Rita Hazan, a celebrity colorist, made famous by Oprah, Mariah Carey and other glitzy names. “With all of that came the bright social life of New York City,” he says. “We’ve worked with the princesses of Saudi Arabia—you name it.”
Nine years ago, with their young daughters—Ruby, now 14, and Harper, 12—the Safdaris started looking for some more family-friendly environs. “We checked out Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles,” he says. “But Minneapolis was getting all of these write-ups as the best place to raise a family.” The couple met with the executives at Juut and ultimately decided to make the move, with the added bonus of having Roz’s parents close by and a much-improved work-life balance. “We love it here,” he says. “We have a really wonderful clientele in Edina.”
These days, the Safdaris often tag team with clients: Alex focuses on the color, and Roz focuses on the cut. Although they’ve both dabbled in other parts of the hair world—from training young colorists (Alex) to working on the editorial side with photo shoots and shows (Roz)—they say their true passion is being behind the chair. “When I was doing editorial, I just missed being able to have 40 people a week in my chair, sharing my space, learning from each other,” Roz says. “That’s what I’m passionate about.”
Alex says, “We have the best clientele in Minnesota that we’ve ever had. In New York, the pace is much faster. Here, we get to really be in the moment with our clients and get to know them. It’s been such a blessing for our own mental health and stress level.” Alex still travels back to New York once a month to work with longtime clients there, and the couple staggers their schedules at home, so they can spend more time with their girls.
No matter who’s sitting in their chairs, the Safdaris care deeply about each client. “I’m your crown maker. Your hair is your crown, and that’s what everyone sees. Your hair is everything about you, and we really take that personally,” he says. “If you look great and feel great, that makes me feel good.”
Each session with Alex and Roz features care down to the tiniest detail, from expert blowouts to gentle scalp massages.
“Being able to work across the country and with a cross-section of people has given us a lot of confidence in the chair,” Roz says. “People can close their eyes and relax and have
a great conversation.”