When hairstylist Scott Schuman opened Illusions in 1990, he was joined by a team of cosmetologists and stylists who also happened to be his longtime friends. With this tight-knit crew in tow, Scott and his business partner, Teri, opened up the salon’s current location, a sun-drenched space with wooden floors and glimmering display cases filled with professional-grade hair products. The staffers, who consider themselves members of the same extended family, perform a wide array of salon services, from men’s and women’s cuts to color treatments and elegant updos suited for formal events or fancy games of laser tag.
A haircut isn’t just a haircut for stylist Lauren. She starts off each appointment learning her clients’ grooming routine, face shape, and hair type to create the most flattering looks. Then she gets to work, snipping off split ends and adding any desired layers or bangs. For those clients who'd prefer longer hair instead, Lauren sews in weaves. To change up hair colors, she mixes dye in classic blond or turquoise hues that pepper locks with face-framing highlights, and Lauren also offers keratin treatments that smooth frizzy and curly hair.
Each appointment at CXC Salon & Spa is like a mini makeover. Stylists use Redken, Big Sexy, and Joico products to help them transform clients’ hair into fresh new dos. Technicians paint nails with bold hues in a special OPI gel polish that helps prevent chipping. Other visage-enhancing services include airbrush tans and permanent-makeup applications. Swedish and hot-stone massages work to relieve guests of stress and tight muscles.
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 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.
When she entered the beauty industry 30 years ago, Shari Renfro dreamed of channeling her creative energy into her own salon, where she could help clients to create new looks and rebuild their damaged strands. After a decade of hard work and dedication, she actualized her aspirations and opened Giggles on Main, where today she leads a staff of Aveda– and Framesi–trained stylists. The team softens and enriches strands by introducing rich botanicals and vibrant coloring formulas rather than marshmallow fluff. When they aren't arranging manes, staff members happily perform facials, Aveda mani-pedis, and Opi polishes.