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 throw in a complimentary 10-minute blowout with all 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.
Paul Mitchell the School's student stylists beautify patrons with a full array of salon services, all performed under the supervision of experienced instructors. Men and women can bid adieu to split ends and overgrown laurel leaves with a cut and gloss-inducing blow-dry. The Awapuhi Keratriplex treatment cloaks cuticles in nutrient-rich keratin proteins, softening and bolstering locks' shininess. Like storing your head in a breadbox, the strengthening serum may reduce hair breakage by up to 80 percent.
Columbia’s The Salon’s epidermal artisans refurbish fusty faces, carapaces, and physiques with a suite of beautification treatments. During DermaSweep microdermabrasion sessions, experienced aestheticians counsel countenances with exfoliation and mild suction, gently jettisoning do-nothing dead skin cells like so many plastic egg shells to reveal the glistening Fabergé surfaces underneath. The multi-level, particle-free treatment helps to create butter-smooth skin as the wand’s vacuum action roots out pore-plugging oil, stimulates blood flow, and conjures collagen formation to tone and firm cutis contours. Hands made rough by sun, soap, and slap fights with the belt sander undergo a comprehensive surface scrub with a mitt-enhancing exfoliation session of their own.