The aroma of percolating coffee drifts from the espresso bar past sleepy-eyed Buddha statues as the in-house DJ spins a never-ending sonic web of music. Though these decadent details lend the sprawling, deep-brown surroundings the chic feel of an art gallery or café, it is SEVEN Salon that calls the space home. Focused on bolstering energy and rejuvenation rather than relaxation, a seasoned crew of stylists bustles about the refined salon throughout the day, drawing on styling skills they learned under the tutelage of Graham Breakwell, former stylist to the likes of Paul McCartney and The Who.
One of the largest cosmetology schools in the northwest, Gene Juarez Academy instructs students to skillfully style hair under the watchful eye of licensed and experienced instructors. While making their way through the program, students perfect their skills on the bustling salon floor by snipping, coloring, and styling tresses. Guests not only receive these services at a discounted rate, but also get a unique, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the process via the instructor’s running commentary.
Bolstered by top-notch products from brands such as OPI and Pureology, Salon Amenity's crew enhances trimmed tresses with a comprehensive line-up of services. In addition to sleek haircuts and coloring, they imbue skin with permanent makeup, tackle epidermal woes with cleansing facials, and gussy up nails with manicures, pedicures, and french-tipped thimbles.
When an Allure magazine staffer received a haircut from Madison Thomas, Madison hinted that the staffer's blunt-cut bob wasn't all that flattering. So Madison created some layers to bring out the staffer's natural wavy texture and shortened pieces around her face to emphasize her cheekbones. The staffer was thrilled with the result and praised the stylist "brave enough to dole out tough love."
Madison honed her sharp eye working in the beauty industry for 20 years. She mastered many of her skills abroad at the Toni & Guy training center in Milan and learned how to design hair for photo shoots in London. She now plies her trade at BYB at Salon Amenity (short for "be your best"). In addition to creating flattering cuts and painting strands with ammonia-free color, Madison?who is also a trained aesthetician?fights acne and wrinkles with relaxing Bioelements facials. She also performs oxygen-infusion treatments, which uses a machine to pump oxygen into skin and encourage cellular renewal.
Beyond Salon Cerchio’s glass-paneled, fire-engine-red door, a gauntlet of leafy potted plants welcomes guests to a world of foil highlights, gel manicures, and stylish haircuts executed by seasoned professionals. The salon, with its colorful paintings and evergreen-shrouded porch, is housed in the former studio of renowned local artist Ilona Ritter. Each stylist brings a wealth of experience and specific skill sets to the table as they practice their own art, such as founder Debi Pinorini's “board method” for hair foiling. Their work is part of Salon Cerchio’s holistic, three-pronged approach to its craft. The team beautifies the body with expert styling and pedicures, relaxes the mind with tranquil surroundings, and nourishes the spirit with a healthy diet of positive vibes, like the vibes you get when someone says yes—to anything.
Starting in 1985 with a single location on Pacific Highway, Stan Parente proceeded to build a large client base at his eponymous salon, eventually expanding to his current locations in Federal Way, Maple Valley, and Bellevue. Despite the steady march of his hair empire, Parente remains true to the fundamentals that led to his initial success. He still works onsite in each salon and keeps shelves stocked with products from quality brands such as Oribe Hair Care and Bumble and bumble. Professional seminars and practice sessions hone stylists' skills until they can make unkempt hair arrange itself with a single, intimidating glance. Each location boasts its own unique aesthetic: Federal Way is decked out in vibrant yellow walls and high ceilings, Maple Valley sports rich wooden floors and brick walls, and the newly remodeled Bellevue branch is kitted out with corrugated-metal stations and unvarnished, wooden walls.