It’s hard to tell if you’re walking into a pedicure studio or a Victorian sitting room. A client relaxes in a throne-like leather chair while a nail technician tends to her feet, and yet it feels as though a butler could walk in at any moment with high tea. Perhaps it’s the nail technicians, who seem to be fawning over royalty, or perhaps it’s the room’s ornate mouldings, matching the patterned wallpaper and rug, and polished hardwood floors. That distinct sense of place elevates both of Parlour on the Avenue’s locations, both housed in buildings constructed in the 1800s—one receiving a preservation award from Indiana Landmarks—and both with two floors bedecked in Victorian decor.
On the ground floors, the staff dotes over visitors with hair, nail, skin, and spa services. The second floors house Victorian wet spas—spaces where clients enjoy privacy and indulgent services such as whey baths, hot-stone massages, and stories read by Charles Dickens. To enhance the results of each service, Parlour’s team recommends aftercare products from its stock, such as lotions from Hempz Body Care and Pino and face-care formulas from Control Corrective.
The Dream Body's wraps envelop clients in a warm embrace of Dead Sea salt, algae, jojoba oil, and minerals from the Mojave Desert. The wraps help clients lose inches, shrinking fat cells and eliminating toxins in the body. They also come in scents such as lavender, rose, or coconut.
When owner Giovanni Finocchiaro picked up the phone at Face It Spa, he heard one of his clients sobbing. She had been preparing for a presentation at work, and in the process, her skin had broken out so badly that Finocchiaro recalls her lamenting, "I just can't do it. I have to see you." Finocchiaro, who once dreamed of being a counselor, told her to come in immediately. "When you help people look better on the outside, it really does make them feel better inward, too," he says. When his distraught client arrived, he tailored a peel for her sensitive skin that helped kill bacteria and calm inflammation. Within a few days, he says, "she couldn't believe … how [her complexion] was already turning around."
Inside his recently remodeled boutique, Finocchiaro caters to each of his clients in the same way. He offers them complimentary water or tea before leading them across dark hardwood floors to a candlelit treatment room. After cleansing their face, he uses a lighted magnifier to analyze their skin type, then employs PCA products and a wide arsenal of customizable facial treatments to help them reach specific beauty goals or the center of the Earth.
Though they can both claim illustrious careers in the hairstyling industry, Joey and Nikki followed very different paths to get to where they are today. Joey trained with Aveda in 1989 and then took his scissors on the road, snipping strands in salons from Nashville to LA. Nikki, on the other hand, has spent most of her 35-year career honing her management skills as the owner of a successful Cincinnati salon. In 2007, they joined forces to create Joey & Roman Salon—Roman is Nikki’s last name—a Kérastase Paris salon specializing in cuts, color, and keratin hair-smoothing treatments.
The salon is also home to stylists Chris and Jon, each of whom has spent at least one year training under Joey, learning to execute the latest styles and refining scissor-hand agility by clipping a blizzard of paper snowflakes. Industrial touches permeate the ultramodern space: stylists store their haircare products and equipment in heavy-duty Craftsman tool cabinets and sheets of corrugated tin line the slate-gray walls.
The stylists at Mitchell's Salon & Day Spa have beautified Cincinnati-area clients for the past 30 years. During that time, the staff has grown to more than 400 employees across five locations. They've also garnered several press mentions, including their most recent victory in The Knot's Best of Weddings 2013. These accolades are all possible because of the meticulous care that the salon pours into both its posh ambiance and soothing treatments. Stylists perfect 'dos with haircuts and smoothing keratin treatments, and aestheticians perform antioxidant facials, which make the skin more resilient against hazards such as environmental damage and cheek-pinching aunts.
Lasers are widely known for their ability to eliminate unwanted hair, but they also have a lesser-known ability: promoting hair’s growth. By boosting blood flow and tissue repair, lasers gently revive dormant follicles. Low-level laser therapy is just one of the treatments offered at Cirrus Hair Centers, though it’s hard to say which is the most sophisticated. Consider that their hair transplants use customized chisel blades, matching the size of the client’s follicular units so that new locks blend in seamlessly. Each treatment is performed by a licensed cosmetologist, who is also a certified hair-replacement technician, a dual title that can only be earned by helping a foppish judge pick a new powdered wig.