Nekesa Smith unleashes her styling prowess on each client, making sure they leave her salon feeling radiant and confident in their new looks. Using her own line of haircare products, Nekesa helps women embrace their hair texture with a variety of salon services, from loc grooming to applying avocado hair masks, which are more effective than guacamole masks. These transformations take place in her airy studio—which she describes as a "lofty femme salon atmosphere"—that pairs feminine violet walls and crisp white styling chairs with the industrial vibe of exposed brick walls.
Although Nekesa's profession helps women enhance their outer appearances, she also believes in beautifying the inner self. As such, she developed a nonprofit, Doing It Her Way, which focuses on entrepreneurship, education, and empowerment for women.
At KriShun's Hair Loft Salon, the goal is simple: Bring out clients' natural, unique beauty, from their curvaceous fingertips to their lush hair color. To accomplish this goal, they perform beauty services that run the gamut from manicures and pedicures to relaxers and sew-in weaves.
When seeking out hair to bolster and lengthen women's natural locks, the specialists at Egoven turned their eyes to the world. They imported extensions from China and India, finding that neither met their standards of quality—the products were too soft and shiny to pass as genuine. So the hair purveyors went to the place where many Chinese brands claimed their hair was sourced from: Peru. Today, Evogen's team has a relationship with many rural communities in the Peruvian mountains. They source natural, unprocessed hair from the women there, and in return, the women receive money to help their families prosper.
What Evogen's staff creates with the virgin Peruvian hair are durable, natural-looking Ovon wefts, which not only resist shedding but avoid tangling and being mistaken by birds for nests. And the extensions aren't limited to Peruvian hair alone. Brazilian hair makes an appearance in natural colors such as black and brown, or altered colors of auburn, blonde, red, and more.
G Salon and Spa's seasoned stylists and aestheticians wield quality products from such brands as Dermalogica and Davines to gussy up clients' manes and skin. Five levels of stylists slice and condition hair, as master colorists harness decades of experience to skillfully infuse locks with vibrant hues. Equally adept aestheticians perform a slate of skin treatments to battle facial foes such as acne, sensitivity, and premature aging.
When they're not busy constructing runway-ready manes for fashion shows or magazine-reading tournaments, stylists man stations amid the salon's earth-toned color palette, which pairs glossy hardwood floors with rich brown and sky-blue walls. Candles flicker in the serene massage room, where a licensed therapist personalizes Swedish and deep-tissue techniques.
"As artists," writes Helmet founder Randy Addison, "we wouldn't want to sculpt something only to have someone else paint it." This sums up the salon's start-to-finish approach to salon treatments?the stylists and colorists are one and the same. They transform clients' manes in a laid-back, welcoming environment that allows the staff to focus solely on creating flattering coiffures tailored to the needs of the head on which they rest. Armed with products from Aveda and Bumble and bumble, they snip, shape, blow-out, and color locks with aplomb. The team views each hairstyle as a collaboration between patron and stylist, brought to life through the latter's vision, skill, and shears, and the former's personality, features, and ability to sit still in a chair.
Hairstylist Chadd Jonesmith started tending tresses 18 years ago at Van Michael Salon. Two salons later, he opened ? La Mode, which is French for "in fashion," not "ice cream hairdo". His team of stylists live up to this name by drawing on their knowledge as educators and platform artists. A student of Vidal Sassoon, Chadd sets a good example for them by teaching for Kevin Murphy?a famous hairstylist who worked on Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge. He also brought his color bar out into the open to create a more social environment where clients could have their new tints applied and talk casually among themselves. A La Mode Salon is now an Aveda Concept Salon.