In 2010, Up Close Beauty tacked “Max” onto the end of its name to reflect the continued dedication and drive to dole out exceptional beauty services from each stylist, aesthetician, nail technician, and therapist. Owner Michelle Mai—an experienced hair colorist, extension artist, and aesthetician—guides the staff as they beautify exteriors with the latest brands, including Paul Mitchell haircare, Cellex-C skincare, and OPI nail polishes.
As clients relax in the jacuzzi tub or on two massage tables in Up Close's spa room, aestheticians revive lackluster visages in a room of their own, performing facials, microdermabrasions, and chemical peels. Out on the salon floor, stylists beautify manes with snap-on and glue-in hair extensions and hair-straightening services such as the De Fabulous Kerafusion, which irons out strands for up to six months with a protein complex infused with mineral oils, shea butter, and cocoa butter, without including harsh fumes or smoke. Clients can also indulge in a traditional or gel mani-pedi, more than 10 massages, or radial-endodermo-therapy sessions designed to clean out the lymphatic system and help banish cellulite to the body's black hole, located directly behind the spleen.
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.
Armed with their own brand of natural-looking and colorful lashes that last for two to four weeks, Amazing Lash Studio’s aestheticians expertly gussy up eye regions. Within the warm-toned boutique, staffers individually attach the synthetic fibers to lashes 1 millimeter from the skin with a pharmaceutical-grade adhesive, creating a lush lash line without damaging natural lashes. Each fiber is curled to seamlessly double as a natural lash, and clients can wear the extensions in water or apply salon-approved mascara 48 hours after application. To keep flirty appearances going strong, aestheticians fill out thinning lashes after one to four weeks during touchup sessions. They also use their follicle-wrangling skills in the salon's threading and waxing treatments, which carefully groom brows and depilate faces of unwanted hair.
Owner Mythili Muktevi truly believes the maxim that beauty starts from within. To this end, she focuses not only on fulfilling the beautification needs of her clients but on enveloping them in a welcoming, self-affirming environment. She and her talented team utilize a range of facials to quell troubles on a variety of skin types, infusing treatments with herbs, fruits, and plants that encourage glowing complexions and invigorate mental activity. Within the beauty haven’s salon area, stylists renovate lackluster locks with women’s and men’s haircuts and opt for relaxers and perms to transform the texture of manes. Additionally, waxing and threading sessions sweep away unwanted hairs, and henna services utilize a temporary dye to ink intricate designs along the body, eliminating the need to put a pet squid through art school.