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Salon C is a full-service salon that updates clients’ looks while bestowing them with personalized attention and complimentary beverages. The experienced and well-rounded staff—composed of Paul Mitchell educators and graduates of the Aveda Institute—keeps their skills current through continual education. Ever on the hunt for the most flattering looks, they begin each service with a thorough consultation that evaluates clients’ eye color, skin tone, and DNA.

On the spa side of the treatment menu, aestheticians use Dermologica skincare products to foster younger-looking facades, while waxing techs create hair-free surfaces. Makeup artists forge temporary or permanent enhancements, and nail techs add another dimension to fingers and toes with 3-D nail art.

98-1256 Kaahumanu St
Pearl City,
HI
US

For Salon Blanc co-owner Alan Vuong, hair is more than something to tuck behind an ear or sweep over a shoulder—it's an artistic medium that inspires creativity and pride. The salon's website even asserts that "hair is an expression of the moment we live in." Nothing could hold truer for Vuong and his team, who are continually educating themselves on the latest cutting and coloring techniques and products. They displayed these to full effect when they journeyed to California for the 2011 International Salon and Spa Expo—one of the largest professional beauty events on the West Coast—a trip chronicled on Living Local.

Vuong's trendsetting artistic vision earned him the title of Honolulu magazine's Editors' Pick for Best Hairstylist in 2009, and according to that publication, "he even has clients flying in from Japan and Guam to get the Vuong vibe." He and his crew rely on the Kérastase and Shu Uemura lines for haircare, and also offer services such as bridal packages, makeup, and waxing.

It should come as no surprise that Vuong is as concerned with the salon aesthetic as he is with his clients' satisfaction. His blank-canvas hair philosophy is much like the look of the Ala Moana Beach–facing salon itself; in fact, he compared the space to an artist's studio in a feature in American Salon magazine. The minimalist, white-on-white interior is accentuated by black leather chairs and feathery chandeliers that are lighter and more elegant than a performance of Swan Lake on the international space station.

1288 Ala Moana Blvd, Ste 100
Honolulu,
HI
US

Rock music and pizza. It’s an unlikely pairing as the inspiration for an Aveda salon, but in the hands of friends Jentry and Katy, it grew beyond that as the foundation of their local hair and makeup hub.

An Austin native, co-owner, and stylist, Jentry would sneak into his hometown’s Black Cat music venue while still underage to catch sight of acts such as Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Over the years, the hall came to represent Austin’s unique charm and live-music foundation, never succumbing to gimmickry or the status-quo throughout its lifespan. The venue’s ability to stick to its roots stayed with Jentry, remaining an inspiration when years later, he and a client, marketing whiz Katy, dreamed of opening their own salon. After months of late-night pizza-and-brainstorming sessions, the concept for their salon came full circle when a black kitten curled up on Jentry’s porch. In a unique move toward remembering a tenacious rock bar and what it stood for, the twosome founded their salon: The Black Cat.

Today, a fleet of stylists brandish their shears, color, and powder puffs amid decor that reflects The Black Cat’s grittier roots. Clients see the vintage script of the “Sorry, We’re Open” front sign before encountering the salon’s gray and blue walls accented with rustic wood furniture and panels. The result is a carefully curated contrast of sleek and scuffed, much like a hitchhiker’s diamond cufflinks.

3512 Waialae Ave
Honolulu,
HI
US

Twelve years ago, husband-and-wife team Chris and Shirley Yawata envisioned a community-oriented salon specializing in island-inspired looks. Drawing on a combined 18 years of experience in the hair industry, the couple made their vision a reality when they opened Island Style Cuts.

Thousands of cropped tresses later, the salon’s stylists continue to craft hairdos for customers of all ages and preferences—from timeless to funky and many styles in between. Feather and vivid extensions make loud fashion statements without damaging hair, and highlights find inspiration in the local islands with accents available in volcanic red, deep-ocean blue, and sunburned-tourist pink. Committed to supporting their community, the Yawatas can often be found doling out free haircuts to children’s soccer teams and supporting the local Citizen’s Patrol.

843 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu,
HI
US

ViVi Salon & Spa aims for luxury. Whether snipping strands, waxing stubble, or gussying up nails, the techs and stylists reach straight past the bottom- and middle-of-the-line products for their topside superiors. Nail techs?all with at least five years of experience?apply eye-catching shades of OPI and China Glaze polish to nails, or massage feet as clients relax atop plush pedicure chairs and their accompanying whirling footbaths. During pedicures, they lavish feet with products such as La Palm, Gabel's Cosmetics, and Gena, exfoliating along the way with an organic pomegranate sugar scrub. Patrons while away the hours as hot-stone massages and facials dissolve tension more effectively than a clown parachuting into the middle of a duel.

1111 Dillingham Boulevard
Honolulu,
HI
US

An integral cog of the beauty industry for more than 25 years, Salon AVA's owner, head stylist, and namesake trims and tints, tresses alongside a team of stylists, each of which counts at least 15 years of experience. They flesh out a menu of traditional salon services with contemporary methods for pampering manes, such as the Japanese Mucota treatment. This replenishing serum infuses damaged, tightly coiled, or scurvy-stricken tresses with a natural enzyme that straightens hair to a natural, healthy shine. As stylists dream up new designs, pillars of light illuminate clients' glossy tendrils and bounce off the parquet floors, which sport modish, bright-orange chairs.

1670 Makaloa St, Ste 202
Honolulu,
HI
US