When the Douglas J Aveda Institute opened in Knoxville in 2011, it joined a family of institutes and salons that Douglas Weaver started in the 1960s. Here, Aveda students pursue certification in cosmetology and esthiology while practicing their craft on real clients under the supervision of licensed educators. And because students perform the services, the rates are lower than at traditional salons. The Knoxville treatment menu includes hair design—cuts, color, retexturizing—as well as Aveda’s Elemental Nature facials, pedicures, and manicures.
The Institute is inside the historic S&W Grand building, a handsome art-deco landmark that, like a compassionate fairy-tale prince, is equally handsome on the inside. The spa rooms have a rustic balance of exposed brick and wood paneling, and the salon’s geometric light fixtures gleam upon checkerboard tile floors and industrial shelving lined with Aveda’s signature products.
The board-certified colorists at Pura Vida Color Studio strive to live up to their name?which intends to capture the essence of good vibes and relaxation?by using sustainable, earth-friendly Davines products. The Davines concept salon also specializes in flamboyage highlights, a spin on balayage that uses gently gripping mech strips to separate small sections of hair instead of using traditional foils. The technique produces natural-looking waves of color.
The salon's subdued decor turns eyes' focus toward vibrant tresses. Stylists can judge and calibrate colors in the abundant natural light from wide windows. The salon's neutral-colored walls echo the burble of the storefront fountain and the footfalls of the well-coiffed elves who live inside the potted plants.
Beneath a lofted zenith of upward-sloping walls that converge overhead to give the space a quaint yet roomy feel, stylists work diligently at their chairs, expertly snipping locks and coloring coifs. A lineup of waxing services—or a magnet for clients whose hair is literally cobalt—de-fuzzes physiques from eyebrows to bikini line to legs. Cream-colored walls, punctuated by light that drifts in from a trio of windows, lend an air of serenity to the full-service salon and spa. Aestheticians tucked away in private rooms cleanse and exfoliate complexions with six different types of customized facials. Massage services focus on hands, feet, and backs during reflexology treatments and dorsal kneading sessions that, like explaining to a child how one knows what one knows, lasts up to 90 minutes.
At each of Tricho Salon and Spa?s four locations, trained stylists stand ready to refresh outdated hairstyles with products by Schwarzkopf, Bumble and bumble, Keratin Complex, and Moroccanoil. Dr. Sonya Friedman, an accomplished author, CNN talk-show host, and radio psychologist, teams up with dermatologist Dr. Scott Friedman to helm the spa side of the business, where clients can find eight types of facials, nine styles of massage, noninvasive micro treatments, and advice for mending a hairdryer?s broken heart. Fingertips and toes in need of some TLC can also be pampered inside this full-service beauty haven, as nail techs doll-up digits with OPI and Essie polishes as well as Shellac, acrylic, and fiberglass tips.
Against the minimalist backdrop of the white-walled salon bustles the secret force responsible for the complex works of hair, makeup, and skin artistry that emerge from the shop, where a staff of beauticians spends days focused intensely on gussying up clients. Special events and seasonal treatments, such as cold-weather facials and Valentine’s Day body crystals, serve as pleasant holiday reminders, unlike ice-cream-stained letters on the mailman’s birthday. The salon’s mirrored walls also occasionally reflect glimpses of newly minted bridal parties, who flock to the studio to transmogrify tangled locks into smooth cascades of tresses that trickle gently over shoulders.
Since its founding in 1954, Dessange Paris has expanded from its original Champs ?lys?es location to more than 1,000 salons worldwide, including this Ann Arbor outpost. Employing a toolkit of signature house products, L?Or?al hair color, and hair balms from women?s magazine darling K?rastase, stylists indulge clients and refine their exterior appearances. Beautifying treatments run the gamut from regular mane maintenance to makeup application, waxing, and mani-pedis, which help patrons sport summer sandals and fingerless motorcycle gloves with pride.