Over the last 10 years, Skin Essentials Med Spa & Hair Salon owner Kelly Davis has prettified more than 1,000 faces with the SofTap permanent-makeup technique. She sidesteps the racket and pain of traditional tattoo-machine methods to gently apply the pigment with a hand tool, giving her absolute control to craft a subtle lip shape or a seductively arched brow. Guests can find similar attention to detail in the spa's repertoire of other beautifying services, from simple mani-pedis to advanced exfoliation peels that obscure signs of aging. Injections of Botox or Restylane keep skin surfaces as smooth as a pancake, and full-body scrubs and masks treat the whole physique to ensure that even your Achilles' heel embodies a beauty that belies its vulnerability.
Visions Salon and Spa's owner Shirley Manulak arrives at work each day determined to fulfill her customers’ cosmetic needs. “We just wanted to have a relaxing, friendly atmosphere. We want to shampoo away some of your stress,” she told Y.C. Orozco of the Pasadena Citizen. Armed with 35 years of experience as a cosmetology instructor and a skilled staff, her salon offers an array of aesthetic services, including manicures, pedicures, and hairstyling in a salon renovated after Manulak bought it two years ago. Like jazz bands that are serious about their craft, the staff steam cleans all of their instruments with autoclaves and medical-grade disinfectant.
With Paul Mitchell Awapuhi deep-conditioning products in one hand and Babyliss European flatirons in the other, Salon Accente’s stylists reshape tresses with precision cuts and de-frizzing treatments. They’re also able to add length to locks via feather extensions and dimension to monochromatic manes with full and partial sets of highlights. Salon Accente’s beauty technicians wax unruly brows into graceful arches and tint lashes to frame peepers beautifully without the help of solid-gold sunglasses.
Through a commitment to continuous education, the stylists at Clique Salon have learned that hair fashion is a limitless art. Regional and national seminars furnish their infinite utility belts with evolving techniques, which they then apply to cuts, color treatments, and other services at their Houston studio. However, they do preserve one constant: a commitment to environmental health. Their stations remain free of aerosol and are stocked with natural haircare products, including formulas from Aveda, Modern Elixirs, and Tea Tree. Positioned within these fresh surroundings, the hair gurus begin each appointment with a consultation, during which clients sip on wine or another beverage as they describe what direction they want their locks to take. As the stylists cut, dye, and condition strands, they also dispense aftercare recommendations, enabling patrons to preserve their new color without hiring an art-restoration specialist each week.
Founded in 1957, Piney Point Barber Shop is steeped in history. Some stylists have regulars going back 15–20 years, and shoe-shiner Bill Forte has been polishing men’s soles for more than 30 years. Clients who take a seat at his antique shoeshine stand may hear his tales about the shop's past, including the time the Secret Service showed up escorting former President George H. W. Bush for walk-in haircut.
Unlike many new barbershops that more resemble upscale men's spas, Piney Point has remained true to its unpretentious roots as a neighborhood fixture where a gentleman can get a trim and polish, enjoy friendly chatter, and get on with his day. That’s not to say that the barbers ignore new trends and styles. To stay on top of the latest men's cuts, they receive ongoing training in Piney Point's preferred product lines, which include Nioxin, Matrix, and Redken. The shop surrounds visitors in masculine décor, which includes black, leather barber chairs, granite countertops, and a flat-screen television in the waiting area that converts all dialogue into the voice of Sam Elliott.
A third-generation hairstylist, Turk Inan is no stranger to hard work. He says Turk Inan Salon's brooms probably collect more than 20 inches of shed locks on any given day, some sheared by him, the rest by his team of Texas Cosmetology Commission–certified stylists. When he's not on the floor of his salon sweeping or sculpting new styles with L'Oréal Professional, Moroccanoil, and Aquage products, he travels to hair shows to demonstrate his skills to rapt audiences in locales that range from New York to Istanbul. Visitors will also be impressed with the comfortably modern waiting room, which features sleek leather couches, a flatscreen TV, and a mini-fridge where one can store the rapidly-decaying body of an alien life form.
Despite all the locks shed in his salon, Turk says his team’s signature service is applying Great Lengths hair extensions. "[All] of the hair sourced for Great Lengths is from the Temples of India," he says.