It takes confidence to look George Clooney in the eye, let alone touch his hair. Oliver Ifergan has done both. He readily takes on celebrity clients from Clooney to Tom Ford, at least when he isn't busy serving as a spokesperson for Pantene or creating looks for the pages of Vanity Fair, In Style, and People. Now the owner of his own Beverly Hills Salon, Oliver uses his skills to fashion 'dos to suit starlets as well as those who simply want a trim. Oliver and his team cut and color strands inside a minimalist space designed by Jose Antonio Gonzalez. Metallic walls and curvaceous red chairs with attached sinks lend the salon a futuristic vibe, while a collection of art books, rare magazines, and people saying "hmmmm" liken it to a modern gallery. The atmosphere is an apt one for the creative staff, who snip, highlight, and texturize coifs with products from Ifergan's own line. They even complement their sense of chic with altruism—whether they're administering a simple lip wax, or lengthening locks with human-hair extensions from Hairdreams, 3% of the profits always go to charity.
Angus Mitchell carries on the hairdressing legacy of his father Paul through his namesake salon, which opened in 2009 to fanfare from publications such as Women's Wear Daily. In keeping with Paul Mitchell fans' exalted expectations, the salon trains each of its stylists on a weekly basis to keep them up-to-date on new beautification techniques and strategies for thwarting the dastardly schemes of the wig industry.
It's perhaps due to this emphasis on education that the team lays claim to the No. 33 Best Colorist in the nation as ranked by Beauty Entertainment Magazine. But each and every stylist contributes skills to the services on the experience menu, which can range from a detoxifying hair ritual to a cut that foils strands' aspirations to finally touch toes. At the polychrome color bar, stylists concoct custom color schemes for each scalp, as overhead exposed ductwork transports the tangy scent of Awapuhi Wild Ginger products.
Though The M Salon sits on bustling Rodeo Drive, its interior wraps visitors in zen-like calm. Cool, marble halls lead to the waiting room, decorated, like the rest of the space, in sparse black-and-white hues accentuated with bright orchids. A miniature kitchen lets stylists brew coffee and espresso, slice fruits, and pour wines and champagne as complimentary refreshments for their clients, and modern cabinets tuck away premium products by Moroccanoil, OSMO, Brazilian Blowout, AVEDA and CND.
The carefully designed space by Pooya Goudarzi from VerteX design studio was long the dream of The M Salon's owner, Marjan. She began with a cosmetology license that followed with numerous certifications from Brazilian Blowout to CND shellac. She is also a certified cosmetology teacher by Santa Monica College . In addition to her newly learned specialties, Marjan has a passion for the ancient art of eyebrow threading, which uses carefully twisted cotton threads to gently remove unwanted facial hair.
Inside the sunny La Peer Beauty shop, patrons assisted by licensed pulchritude professionals browse glass shelves stacked high with candy-colored OPI nail polish, high-end skincare and hair products, and fragrances in twinkling bottles or room diffusers. Colognes such as Thymes’s Agave Nectar leave a bright, crisp fragrance on dermises, and skincare regimens from brands such as Dermalogica treat façades stressed out by harsh weather or the thought that professional wrestling is fake. An arsenal of curling and straightening irons and hair-dryer attachments help home stylists create their ideal dos, and hairsprays such as L’Oreal Elnett keep styles fast in place. An onsite salon puts La Peer’s products to the test as stylists trim hair or add extensions, aestheticians treat skin with facials and eye treatments, and wax techs whisk away unwanted hairs.
Leaning on a strident application process, Beverly Hills Color Bar recruits stylists for their artistic handling of complex color treatments, expertise with all types of hair, and their outgoing personalities. Colorists work outside the boundaries of traditional highlights as the quirkily named services denote, splashing hair with spots of color during the You've Been Punk'd, or making eyes pop by highlighting a few strands up front with the Face Framer. Notable for its industrial aesthetic and splashes of color, the airy salon looks like it was designed to house the minimalist sculptures of Donald Judd, and like any good contemporary-art exhibit, the salon's black-wood color bar displays a meticulously arranged spectrum of hair-dye products. Carefully smeared black paint gives texture to the poured-concrete floor, and geometric, gray leather salon chairs offset full-length mirrors rimmed in vibrant tangerine.
Hairstyling veterans Suzie Nomoto and Eri Yumita of Hair Studio Lotus merge Japanese styling traditions with American and European innovations to beautify hair, nails, and skin. Nomoto and Yumita studied styling techniques in Japan before training at Vidal Sassoon and Aveda, and now treat American clients to the best extracts from Eastern and Western styling philosophies. Before undergoing a signature service such as Japanese hair straightening—a thermal reconditioning treatment designed to straighten hair for up to six months—the stylists consult with clients to discover their personal styles, make recommendations, and organize daring heists of nearby pet stores. Some styling services include a scalp massage, which coaxes out tension stored in nervous craniums.