Nicole Hogan and Charles Gillick, owners of Blu: A Color Salon, don’t rest on their laurels just because they employ a team of talented stylists. During weekly three-hour continuing-education sessions, they keep their staffers abreast of the hottest trends in the salon world, such as feather extensions and silly-string ponytails. As its name implies, the salon specializes in coloring hair using products from the L’Oréal Professional line. The stylists also rely on L’Oréal products for power-dose treatments, which repair and strengthen damaged locks.
As clients await their turn in their stylist’s chair, they can sip from a complimentary glass of wine or cup of coffee. The warmly lit salon keeps easily frightened hair follicles relaxed with sleek decor that includes potted plants, track lighting, and a high ceiling.
Three independent aestheticians at Street Side Salon buff, polish, and style clients’ hair and nails, creating sleek new looks for all who enter. In a station designed to evoke the essence of a mini spa, Jessica Hentrich uses a decade of nailcare experience to pamper hands and feet. Weary feet can rest in a heated basin, or patrons can sink into an overstuffed chair.
On the other side of the salon, Debe Hentrich and Linda Hessling create face-framing hairstyles. An experienced cosmetologist and hair artist, owner Debe snips and colors strands, infusing them with high-quality products from Moroccanoil, Keratin Complex, and Pureology. Her healthy-hair program leaves manes looking lush, and her eye for style is evidenced by the salon’s overall appearance. Linda Hessling expresses her hair expertise by shaping layers and lengths to fit each individual’s face or to match their looks with photos of their pets.
Studio J Salon’s stylists expertly wrangle overgrown hair with a pair of scissors or—for that one stylist—a pair of scissorhands. They also tend to unwanted hair all over the body, waxing away tufts of fuzz with ease. To glam up clients even more, the staff tackles fingernails and toenails with relaxing mani-pedis that end in a coating of colorful polish.
Haircuts don't have to be a bore. At The Guys Hair Shop, clients can manhandle a TV remote while watching modern sports games or Jeopardy! lightning rounds. The stylists in the shop pamper dudes without resorting to unnecessary froufrou, instead reaching for straightforward, stainless-steel shears and steamed towels. Though they generally focus on haircuts for men of all ages, the staff also enacts a few other grooming services, including hair coloring and beard trimming. They use high-end products from brands such as Crew, Tea Tree by Paul Mitchell, and Nioxin, which envelop the skin in warm embraces that are more pleasant than hugging a fireplace. Within the salon, gleaming wood floors span the salon’s sparkling surroundings, which host vivid signage, plush red furnishings, and a vintage Coke machine.:m]]
While most 23-year-olds were trying to figure out their career path, Angelo was busy opening his own salon. And three expansions and more than two decades later, he's still at it. Each day he works with his team of talented stylists and aestheticians to accomplish the goal he laid out in 1991: to create a one-stop beauty shop where clients could get all of their aesthetic needs met. To that end, Angelo employs nail artists who pamper the digits of patrons waiting for hair colour treatments to finish processing, as well as aestheticians who dole out rose, mud, or chocolate baths that can be paired with massages, skin treatments, or giant chocolate duckies.
During more than a quarter century at the helm of LookAfter Hair Company, Peter Hall has seen the styling industry gradually split in two directions—toward the high-end salon and toward the in-and-out fast cut place. With LookAfter, Peter decided to close that gap. There, guests can get premium salon services on a walk-in basis and haircuts from stylists who will gladly slow down for careful consultations instead of racing through trims with stopwatches in their hands. The name LookAfter is meant to reflect this blend and to demonstrate his vision for a place where the staff stands ready to serve all clients, whether they need keratin treatments, eyebrow waxes, or beard trims. This approach has helped LookAfter grow to more than 40 locations across St. Louis, Kansas City, and central Illinois, and the idea has also led to ongoing community outreach. Stylists have helped raise money for disaster relief, support breast-cancer awareness, and generate funds for veterans’ programs by carrying haircare products from American Warrior.