Despite its name, there’s nothing about Ashley’s Alley Salon and Spa that feels cramped or narrow. In fact, the salon is home to a rather large team of stylists and aestheticians who work together to deliver almost every beauty treatment under the sun. Whether infusing strands with professional Redken color, applying MAC cosmetics, or removing hair with a natural sugar paste, this team never fails to find the beauty that’s hidden just beneath the surface.
You certainly won’t think of a darkened alley when you first enter the salon. The warm interior is decorated with ornate furniture and illuminated by the sunlight that pours in from a floor-to-ceiling window. The eye is inevitably drawn, however, to the dramatic light fixture in the waiting area. Ribbons of glass burst from the center, inspiring the stylists to top their clients’ updos with glistening Faberge eggs.
Located in the heart of Columbia, Seven Doors Salon pampers clients with a host of hair, makeup, and skincare treatments. In addition to basic and precision cuts, stylists administer keratin straightening and perform expert color services. Everything is done with high-quality salon products, most of which are triple-certified as organic.
In the warm Caribbean air, peacocks march with self-assurance, their wide plumes of feathers flashing those eyes that look like sliced avocados. While on vacation, Amanda Bell witnessed firsthand the confident strut of these elegant birds instantly demanding her attention. When she returned to the States to open Nova Bella Salon & Spa, it was only natural that she would choose the peacock as its symbol, since it is her mission to make her clients look and feel as confident as those brazen birds of the Caribbean.
Amanda Bell was born into the beauty industry. A third-generation stylist, she spent her childhood in her grandmother's salon and her teenage years in her mother's. A prodigious beautician, she obtained her cosmetology license before finishing high school. These days, she and her staff of hairstylists and relaxation experts keep their beauty-boosting skills sharp by taking Redken advanced training courses and sneaking into department stores to practice on mannequins.
The sprightly staff at Logan pampers clients with an array of coiffure-crafting and skin-smoothing treatments. Feet soak in an aromatic bath during the 30-minute express pedicure ($35) before experts moisturize the feet and shape and paint nails, while a 30-minute express manicure ($25) delivers expedited hand pampering with a moisturizer and nail polish. Customers can soothe delicate infant muscles and connect with their child with an approximately one-hour infant massage class ($35), during which parents deliver comfort and relief to small muscles weary from rapid growing. Unwelcome body hair is banished with depilatory services, which provide waxing for the eyebrows ($16+) and underarms ($36+). Or harness spiritual energy with a 30-minute Reiki massage treatment ($40+), during which practitioner and recipient alike can concentrate on relaxation or chatting with the soul of the universe.
Part of the venerable Paul Mitchell network, the Columbia outpost of Paul Mitchell the School features 14,500 square feet of stylish real estate staffed by a squad of student coiffure-carvers and professional instructors. Under the close supervision of an experienced professor of pulchritude, Paul Mitchell student stylists perform a wide array of services, creating cute cuts ($10–$25) and up-styles ($20–$25), applying chemical relaxers to tame tendrils ($45–$50), and more. High-quality products 20% off by the one and only Paul Mitchell are to take home, providing a souvenir of your first date with your new ’do.