Situated at the corner of a historic building in Old Town Alexandria, Penelope's Vanity looks as though it’s always been there. During the salon’s 18-year history, visitors have come to consider the salon a stress-free hub where they can leave their anxieties at the door and indulge in hours of time dedicated to themselves. The stylists’ ever-present hospitality is nowhere better exemplified than through the number of clients who stop in to chat or treat their hair to visiting hours with stylists on days they don’t have an appointment. After 5 p.m., the staff opens bottles of wine and champagne for clients to sip as they complete hair and skin treatments.
But the salon isn't only smiles and champagne. Under its neighborly exterior pulses a client-care philosophy rooted in providing superior haircare and skincare. The lead stylist helms the team with training from London's Vidal Sassoon school and excels at matching colors and cuts with guests’ lifestyles. With 18 years of experience in correcting complexions, the salon’s aesthetician is able to help clients overcome skin woes or indulge in an afternoon of pampering. During each shampoo, retexturing, and color service, the team treats hair with Aveda's organic, plant-based, eco-friendly products.
Trichologists study the hair and the scalp, making them experts in the science of balding. The specialized team at The Hair Loss Clinic Trichological Associates recognizes that balding can be caused by a range of conditions—from hereditary to psychological issues—and knows it takes a professional eye to diagnose and treat the problem. Staffers use nutritional and hormonal therapies to remedy some temporary hair-loss conditions. Though there is no cure for genetic hair loss, they attempt to halt familial thinning and resod rooftop gardens with topical products and low-level laser therapy.
Signature Service: Haircut, highlight, color, relaxer, keratin
Brands Used: Redken and Paul Mitchell
Staff Size: 1 person
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
Pro Tip: "My vision is to make the world feel beautiful. One at a time"
Owner Walid Shaker has sharpened his shears at salons across America and Europe, making him a go-to for actors, models, politicians, and the paparazzi who follow them. Now out of his eponymous salon, Walid and his team of stylists craft elegant layers and highlight strands with products from high-end brands such as Kenra and Goldwell. Clients can also request a restorative deep-conditioning treatment, an elegant updo, or a Brazilian blowout to straighten frizzy strands.
Diane offers a bevy of hair services that include cuts, styles, highlights, and color treatments. In addition to tending to heads of hair in a salon setting, she also offers on-location bridal packages that include hairstyling, makeup application, and eyelash extensions.
Bazzak Hair Salon's new location—a 120-plus-year-old brownstone townhouse in the heart of historic Old Town Alexandria—not only oozes charm and character but has also allowed the staff to expand its service menu. The team of American- and European-trained designers and master colorists has been caring for hair for more than 30 years, and also now can soften hands with soothing paraffin mani-pedis or calm the skin with an organic white-tea facial.
For their hair services, staffers still nourish locks with the natural and eco-friendly ingredients in René Furterer and Privé products, and specialize in adding face-framing accents or ombre highlights that, like a firefly falling asleep, slowly transition from light to dark.