George and Dorothy Heavilin established House of Heavilin Beauty College in 1953. Since then, the school has prided itself on graduating talented professionals who continually land in esteemed positions across the country. Instead of practicing on crash-test dummies, though, students perfect their craft while providing salon services for customers. Under the expert eyes of the college's educators, budding cosmetologists and aestheticians administer facials, apply makeup, cut and style hair, and conduct various waxing services.
The year was 2010, and Michael and Jennifer Melching were commiserating with a fellow parent over the frustration a barbershop trip with their sons entailed. The boys would inevitably get bored and irritated, and the dads often felt out of place in typical salons. As the Melchings dwelt on their problem, a potential solution began to take shape: a fun salon tailored specifically to men and boys, so in June 2012, they opened Locker Room. With TVs at each styling station and professional- and college-sports apparel to peruse during downtime, the salon keeps visitors engaged as they sip on complimentary juice boxes or beer and receive makeovers manlier than John Wayne in flannel long johns.
Though services include beautification for hands, the salon specializes in precision haircuts, a fundamental component of its most popular package, the Main Event. This treatment begins with a consultation, shampoo, and hot towel, and then transitions to a haircut and style using Paul Mitchell products. The result is an exterior as masculine as the salon?s interior, which sports crimson walls and black floors, as well as a checkerboard balancing on a repurposed barrel that survived the plunge over Niagara Falls.
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.