My Target Inner Circle trip to Los Angeles in March remains a fabulous memory that feels more like a dream. Within just a few days, I experienced so many amazing things. I already told you about my Essence Black Women in Hollywood experience, and my Napoleon Perdis smoky eye makeover. Now let me tell you about the full luxury hair experience I enjoyed at Umberto Beverly Hills!

From the moment the taxi pulled up to the stunning white building, I felt like I was transported to another dimension. The zip code is 90210, literally. The doors open unto a two storied space with Italian frescos on the walls. For the briefest moment, I felt out of place. But I soon came to realize that I wasn’t in some austere Hollywood hair emporium. In fact, I was about to get my hair done at the fanciest mom and pop operation I’ve ever been in.

Afrobella and Umberto

Afrobella and Umberto

Umberto Savone is a hair genius. His wife Babette runs the show. During my visit, his daughter stopped by to say hello. In the midst of the family and staff that’s worked there forever (most of the staff has worked with Umberto for a decade or more), there’s a nonstop parade of celebrities and Hollywood influencers coming in to get cut, colored, styled and pampered. During my visit, I entered right behind horror movie innovator Eli Roth, bedraggled and deeply tanned from a film set in South America. We were both greeted with the same friendly professionalism and I immediately felt more at ease.

Umberto doesn’t ask questions, he assesses your situation. And he LOVED my hair. He ran his fingers through it and pronounced it “perfect.” I love when a hairstylist shows appreciation and love for natural hair, and Umberto was totally about it. He gave tips and a general direction to stylist Nina Avitea and we went off to execute the vision.


This is Nina. She is AWESOME. And she knows her stuff! She admitted to me that she’s had clients who have been concerned about her ability to work with their hair texture before, but she prides herself in making every client happy and proving her ability to work with everyone’s hair. Nina especially loves natural hair, and all of the products Nina used are available at Target.

Umberto Beverly Hills sells everything from hairbrushes to shampoos to styling tools – all made to exacting, quality controlled perfection in Umberto’s factory.They pride themselves on creating ahead of the curve products for healthy hair. Some products are available at his salons, and others are available at Target and on “I always wanted to create something. I wanted to go to one place, create incredible products and get them to the consumer easily. Target believed in me, and I believed in them,” he told me.

Nina gave me subtle, perfectly placed highlights using Umberto’s color sachets, we cut some of my dead ends off, and we used the following products on my hair:

Umberto Repair Shampoo (it’s sulfate free)!

Umberto Repair Conditioner

Umberto Controller Conditioning Spray

Umberto Roman Oil Serum

And Nina gave me some styling tips that totally have helped. She told me I need to style my hair using a leave in conditioner and then a styling product, and I should section off my hair and apply product from the back sections of my hair and work towards the front, from roots to ends. Nina could tell I wasn’t applying enough product to my ends, or the very front of my hair. And when she styled my hair, she didn’t use her fingers. Using your fingers to style your hair can lead to frizz, and disrupt the curl pattern. Nina used a wide tooth rat-tail comb and used the comb’s end to lift my hair up so my curls wouldn’t dry flat at the root, and poofy at the ends. I’ve been following her tips and it’s definitely made a difference. My hair was totally drying flat on top and in an poofy inverted triangle shape. Now I’m using Umberto’s rat tail comb to give my curls a lift, and I’m loving my wash and go style even more!

I’ll admit to being cautious going into this hair experience. I wasn’t sure my natural hair would be received well or styled right in such an establishment and I’ve experienced my share of hairdresser horrors in the past. I’m happy to report that the folks at Umberto Beverly Hills not only did right by my hair, they made me feel like a princess. While I was under the dryer, I was getting this amazing manicure. My brows got snatched to perfection. When I left, I felt ready for the red carpet and absolutely blessed by the experience.

You can find Umberto’s amazing products online at, or in his salons (click for locations).

Thanks to everyone at Umberto, and thanks to Target Inner Circle for the experience!



pets says:
March 29, 2013, 11:12 pm
Back home in TnT all I can say is "Wow!" The hills and that iconic zip code - you are living (and working :)) the dream!
bella says:
April 1, 2013, 12:50 am
I had to pinch myself! Such a wonderful experience
Marissa says:
May 28, 2013, 8:29 pm
Looks like you had a great time.
Barb Louwagie says:
August 16, 2014, 2:06 pm
I love you hair spray. but the last 2 times I that I purchased it from target. the pressure in the can did not work and I have tried everything...shaking it ... putting it in warm water and shaking it again. it will not work. I have had to throw 2 half cans of this hair spray away. That is the part I am really disappointed in. I am on a budget and can't afford to keep buying this product and not know if it will work or not. Thanks
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