We spoke with Waxing Room owner CherylAnn Gutierrez about how it feels to have your hair removed with thread and what you can do to make the process quicker and easier.
What does threading feel like?
CherylAnn compares the sensation to tweezing, "but many hairs at a time." As the aesthetician works strands of cotton thread around the brows and lips, a quick twist uproots an entire line of hair at the follicle. CherylAnn says her staff can help soothe away any sting afterwards by applying ice, cortisone, a gentle massage, or even cucumber slices to the treated areas.
How quickly can your aestheticians thread a line of hair?
"We've never timed it," she says while laughing, "but very quickly."
Which is better: threading or waxing?
CherylAnn refuses to take sides: each one has a place. Threading may be especially useful for people who are allergic to certain waxes or who have sensitive skin due to, for example, a recent chemical peel. But her general advice is "try each one." She says fans of threading tend to believe the process gives aestheticians greater control, allowing them to create better definition, straighter lines, and more dramatic angles than are possible with waxing. But the main reason CherylAnn offers threading is that she knows it's ultimately a personal preference, and she "wants to be able to serve everyone."
What can clients do to get the best results?
During appointments, clients will be asked to slightly stretch the skin around their eyebrows so that it's flat and level. According to CherylAnn, the most important thing you can do at this time is to hold your skin so that it's as taut as possible. She says this allows the aesthetician to go line by line with greater speed and accuracy, which minimizes any potential discomfort.
Housed inside the offices of a renowned facial plastic surgeon, the aestheticians at True Skin Care Center were hand-selected to form an elite team, whose access to results-driven skincare tools, methods, and products upgrades clients' spa visits into transformative experiences. All of the staff members have undergone rigorous academic training and held careers in high-end spas, yet their resum?s impress with different feats?Terri has co-authored a book on her work and founded an education program for her fellow aestheticians, whereas Kaitlin specializes in precision lasering. Joanie draws from past jobs as a model and makeup artist to augment her procedures, Gigi and Jennifer boasts an expertise in exfoliating services.
The team administers a broad range of treatments, from chemical peels to firming ultrasound sessions. To prep for a special event, clients can recline for an Intraceuticals oxygen facial, whose black-cherry-scented formula helps polish complexions to a firm and healthy glow. Laser hair removal helps clients achieve smooth skin, and microdermabrasion buffs away dead cells to reveal brighter complexions and previously undiscovered dimples. Other offerings include waxing, makeup applications and comprehensive bridal packages. Regardless of its type, however, each appointment begins with a thorough client consultation, which identifies both current and past concerns before devising a new skincare regimen.
After pursuing a media-focused career, during which she worked for MTV and in marketing, advertising, and special events for an entertainment company, Jennie Channer collaborated with her father and brother to open a full-service salon and spa in 2007. Today, the Chicago native's team of skilled stylists, colorists, and spa specialists attracts an assortment of clientele, including a woman who's been coming in every other week since opening day and a 4-year-old girl who refers to each staffer as "girlfriend" or "boyfriend." Clients can choose from a variety of salon-spa services, ranging from haircuts with coloring to pampering packages specifically designed for expectant mothers. Because Blueberry Moon is an Aveda Lifestyle Salon Spa, all products are composed of 96%-naturally derived ingredients extracted from high-quality botanicals and distilled Mother Nature kisses.
Before officially opening the doors to the public, Jennie put the salon-spa?located inside a building more than 100 years old?through a complete gut renovation to unearth its rich history and hidden brick walls. She then added morsels of local history by installing fixtures she acquired from a local salvage yard, including the former front door of a demolished Gold Coast mansion and an old printing table from historical Printers Row. Jennie has also been modernizing the salon-spa to minimize its effect on the environment, incorporating technologies such as a reverse-osmosis water-filtration system and energy-efficient light bulbs filled with immortal fireflies.
State Street Barbers opened its first shop more than a decade ago. The owner Mike Malik, had a goal to create a place where modern men's hairstyles met time-honored barbershop traditions, like straight-razor shaves and breaking into song with your three best friends. Customers soon clamored for spots in the shop's throne-like leather chairs, so much so that State Street Barbers now boasts four Chicago locations.
To find out more about the shop, we chatted with one of the barbers, Rami "The Razor" Natour. Cutting hair just might be hereditary?his great-grandfather was a barber, too.
On State Street Barbers' signature haircuts
Naturally, haircuts are the shop's bread and butter. But the ones at State Street nab you more than just a trim. ?Every haircut includes a shampoo, conditioner, hot lather neck shave, a mini neck massage, and a hot towel over the face," Rami says.
On what keeps regulars coming back
?They love the ambiance. It?s an old, classic feel. We have a lot of vintage stuff.? For example: Rami?s great-grandfather?s antique razors and strops, which currently live in the shop?s display case. As for the decor, ?It?s all oak wood, all around. The stations are wood, the floors are hardwood.?
On a not-so-secret State Street Barbers perk
?We offer complimentary neck shaves to our clients,? Rami says. ?So they can come in anytime for a cleanup, which just includes the sideburns, around the ears, and a neck shave, for free."
At The Lashe Spot, a team of highly skilled eyelash technicians led by owner Melinda Rodriguez help their clients break free from the hassles of clumpy, high-maintenance mascara. By placing a single extension on each individual natural eyelash, they instantly create long, luscious lashes with natural-looking volume. Eyelash extensions range from dramatic cat-eyes to natural looks to fit each client?s personal style. Most looks require upkeep every two to three weeks. The Lashe Spot also offers a training program for aspiring lash technicians who can then go on to use Lashe Spot?s proprietary lash extension products and techniques and encourages interested candidates to inquire when visting. Waxing and nail care services are also available.
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The stylists at XEX Hair Gallery love being in downtown Chicago. “It’s such a blend of different kinds of people down here,” says David Perry, co-founder and lead stylist at the Aveda concept salon. For such a diverse clientele, stylists are trained in-house to master haircare for all ethnicities. They also travel around the country to attend ongoing-education classes. “We always try to stay up on what’s current and what’s in fashion,” Perry says.
There’s a notable visual difference between XEX Hair Gallery and most other salons—pieces of Venetian Murano glass artwork by Raphael Darra provide bold pops of pigment along the salon’s neutral-toned walls. Besides giving the salon a funky, artsy feel, the pieces serve as a metaphor. “Hair is art,” Perry says. “Not only does [the art] bring a lot of color to the salon, it also reflects the individuality of what people are.” If the art on the walls recalls a hip coffee shop or David Geffen's attic, it’s not an unfounded connection. Perry calls his salon a “discharging chamber . . . where people come in and they feel like it’s home. People know your name, you feel welcome, it’s a cool place.”
As for the coffee, the salon serves wine and beer, but someone will run out and get a cup of joe for clients if that’s what they request. Says Perry, “You name it, we’ll get it for them.”