Massage therapy is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. With her experience working everywhere from hotel spas to sports-focused chiropractic centers, Hilary Rinsland recognizes the role that massage can play in relaxing overstressed muscles, relieving chronic pain, or addressing any number of holistic concerns. Hilary's certification in numerous therapeutic modalities allows her to better identify a client's particular needs to determine the most-fitting techniques from her arsenal of careful kneading and direct-pressure maneuvers. Deep-tissue strokes and trigger-point therapy can unfurl tightly knotted muscles, but Hilary can also rely on centuries-old Thai massage techniques as she restores energetic balance throughout the body. Although light oils and massage lotions can accentuate the modalities' effects, Hilary also plays soft music from time to time, which allows clients to either relax or sing along to remixed versions of presidential debates.
Unlike more traditional how-we-met stories, the chance meeting of Natalie Gordon and Rachel Shrader eventually led them to many, many weddings. That’s because the two met while working on the beauty team for a three-day Indian wedding in 2009, and they knew they had an artistic connection; shortly thereafter, they founded Avenue 42 Style Studio. Each woman brings extensive experience to their business: Natalie has completed more than 130 hours of professional training and is an adjunct professor at the Virginia Cinema Makeup School, whereas Rachel has worked as a stylist for 10 years. Their mission began as a bride-centric one, and business boomed by 300% in their first year together. When they realized they couldn’t handle demand on their own, they brought stylists Sarah Bell and Gracia Triplett on board. In 2012, the opening of a permanent Avenue 42 Style Studio downtown solidified their presence in Richmond as not just wedding stylists but everyday stylists.
Today, the four-woman team at Avenue 42 Style Studio specializes in beauty services that cater to both the glam-seeking bride and the man, woman, child, or chow chow in search of a simple haircut. They hand-select hair color from lines by Schwarzkopf and Aveda, brushing color over roots to touch them up or creating ombre highlights. The styling team can also craft updos for formal occasions, as well as extend manes with Hairlocs, which adhere to the head without glue, heat, or forcing strands that just met to hug. As for aesthetics, their expertise now extends into organic airbrush tanning, airbrush makeup, and airbrush tattoo cover-up. Their on-location bridal services continue to flourish and have been featured in Southern Weddings magazine, among other publications.
Accented by clean lines, Razors of Richmond’s spacious, newly renovated studio features cushy salon chairs that sit opposite full-length mirrors. Skilled stylists perform men’s haircuts and straight-razor shaves, cleanly eliminating stubble without the aid of electric razors or Wooly Willy magnetic pens. They also perform spa services, such as mani-pedis, facials, massages, and waxing, and all services include a complimentary beverage.
Dangling stained-glass lamps and crystal chandeliers, leafy plants, golden walls, and bamboo fans—it's fair to say that no one element of Scissors Hair Studio’s decor dominates. And like the studio's look, its menu of services brings many styles together in a combination that works. Owner Simone Nicole—a veteran with more than 20 years of experience and training in New York City—specializes in long hair and hair coloring, though she and her team also perform mani-pedis, facials, massages, and other services that leave clients as relaxed as a turkey on Black Friday. Having worked with movie and TV production crews, touring musical acts, and local theater productions, they understand what it takes to deliver beauty on the go, which is why they also man the Beauty Bus, a mobile service that brings styling to brides and other remote clients.