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The Heart of Salon 51: Barbara Ann Ives

Just east of Andrews and Prospect Road on the north side of the street in the plaza is Salon 51. Salon 51 is a salon “for all ages-the young and the young at heart”! From the receptionist to the hairdressers to the nail technician, the Salon 51 team is made up of dedicated professionals. They make their clients smile and feel good, and for that reason they have kept coming back, year after year, for 32 years!

So what is the secret to Salon 51’s long time success? It is, no doubt, the the charisma of Salon 51’s owner, Barbara Ann Ives. 

Growing Up In Oakland Park

Barbara Ann’s grandfather owned Becker Window Parts and Service in Oakland Park when she was growing up. He was very involved in the community. He would ride his truck in the Youth Day Parade each year. She remembers being a child on the back of her grandfather’s truck riding in the Parade. 

“I grew up loving Oakland Park. I have lived in California, I have been all over, but I keep coming back here.”

Raising A Family In Oakland Park

Oakland Park has been Barbara Ann’s home for years now. She is the mother of two young men, Kevin and Matthew, and both were raised right here in Oakland Park. They both graduated from Northeast High School. Kevin went on to serve in the Army and is an Iraq veteran. Matthew, who lives in Wilton Manors, will be starting law school soon. Barbara Ann beams  when speaking of them, she could not be more proud of her sons and the two wonderful men they have become.

Because she grew up her and raised her family here, Oakland Park has a special place in her heart and that is why she loves giving back to the community. She feels that giving back, is an essential part of her being good citizen of the City in which she grew up. 

Giving Back To The Community

After Hurricane Dorian Barbara Ann spearheaded efforts to collect donations to those affected in the Bahamas. She called Channel 10 and offered her salon as a collection point. After she collected rooms full of donations she trucked them over to the main collection points.

While this was Barbara Ann’s most recent contribution to the community, it is not her first, nor will it be her last. 

Barbara Ann offered Salon 51 as a collection point after Hurricane Dorian.

On her days off she often takes care of clients that can’t make it to the salon. The day before I interviewed her she had gone to two clients’ homes. Both of them suffer from dementia and coming to the salon is very difficult. So Barbara Ann went to them. 

After the Salon closes Barbara Ann will give haircuts to the homeless and wash their clothes. Recently she was inducted into Oakland Park Kiwanis. As part of Kiwanis Barbara Ann, plans on giving out 500 free haircuts to underprivileged children. “It does not bother me one bit if all 500 of them come back… Just call first“, she says jokingly. 

Barbara Ann is now part of Kiwanis.

In October of 2019, she hosted a haircut-a-thon  for breast cancer awareness. Together she and her staff raised over $250 which was donated to the American Cancer society. 

Barbara Ann was inducted into Oakland Park’s Kiwanis chapter late last year. OP Kiwanis is a powerhouse of charitable work in our community and through them Barbara Ann intends to spread the love even more. 

She relates that she always tries to do as much as she can and is always looking for a place to deposit her goodwill and love of helping others. 

I want to help in any way I can. I have been here all my life just about so I really want to give back to the community that helped raise me up”.


Becoming a Hairdresser

Barbara Ann never really thought about becoming a hairdresser until a haircut opened her eyes to the possibility. Her husband, at the time, needed a haircut so Barbara Ann picked up some shears and cut his hair. When her mother-in-law saw the do, she said “It looks great, why don’t you become a hairdresser?“. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Barbara Ann went to beauty school and scored the 2nd highest on her entrance exam and state boards. Since then a whole new world of opportunities has opened up for her. She has done work in theater, for commercials, print work and even for funeral homes. It was not what she initially thought it was and gained a new respect for the world of beauty, “It is a science, it is an art“, she conveys.

Opening Salon 51

Her first salon was 750 square feet and was in the same plaza as the current Salon 51. She wanted to expand in order “to create a place where people could come to not only feel better looking, but feel better internally“.

According to Barbara Ann, that dream almost cost her her shirt though. It took her two and a half years to move into the new spot and all the while she was paying both rents. But in her characteristically positive style she shares “No guts, no glory! In this space we can do hair, nails, skincare, everything”.

And just as she dreamed, people leave Salon 51 feeling a lot better about themselves. Barbara Ann has no regrets about the struggle it took her to get here, “the higher the risk, the higher the reward” she exclaims.

Salon 51, A Salon For All, The Young and Young At Heart

Her desire to do good by others is evident in the way she runs her business. She has a staff of 13 that is as diverse as their skill set when it comes to hair. According to Barbara Ann, it doesn’t matter what kind of hair a person has, they can cut hair types from any race. When she speaks of her staff she is clearly proud of the talent she has brought together to form the Salon 51 family: “We are family and I love my people”.

Barbara Ann and her Salon 51 family.

On any given day you can walk into to Salon 51 and there she will be with a smile from ear to ear ready to make you feel great about yourself.  Just like Barbara Ann’s heart, her salon is “for all, the young and young at heart“. 

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* is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

Desiree Avila


Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 33 years. In addition to publishing, Désirée has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism.

Désirée consistently professionally develops herself and has earned several different professional designations and certifications in real estate including the PSA, e-Pro, AHWD, SRS, ABR, and SFR. She was also awarded the C2EX, Commitment to Excellence award by the National Association for Realtors (NAR). This award is given to Realtors® that distinguish themselves for their commitment to excellence in the real estate industry.

She is esteemed by her real estate colleagues and has consistently received 5 star reviews from her clients. Her philosophy about real estate is that being a Realtor® is a way of teaching and helping people, and in the process a real estate transaction may occur, that is to say her foremost priority is and has always been about helping others.

She is dedicated to her hometown of Oakland Park and works consistently on building and fostering a strong community. She is passionate about photography and loves to read books about history ; the more detail the better! In addition to English, Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

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