After pursuing a media-focused career, during which she worked for MTV and in marketing, advertising, and special events for an entertainment company, Jennie Channer collaborated with her father and brother to open a full-service salon and spa in 2007. Today, the Chicago native's team of skilled stylists, colorists, and spa specialists attracts an assortment of clientele, including a woman who's been coming in every other week since opening day and a 4-year-old girl who refers to each staffer as "girlfriend" or "boyfriend." Clients can choose from a variety of salon-spa services, ranging from haircuts with coloring to pampering packages specifically designed for expectant mothers. Because Blueberry Moon is an Aveda Lifestyle Salon Spa, all products are composed of 96%-naturally derived ingredients extracted from high-quality botanicals and distilled Mother Nature kisses.
Before officially opening the doors to the public, Jennie put the salon-spa?located inside a building more than 100 years old?through a complete gut renovation to unearth its rich history and hidden brick walls. She then added morsels of local history by installing fixtures she acquired from a local salvage yard, including the former front door of a demolished Gold Coast mansion and an old printing table from historical Printers Row. Jennie has also been modernizing the salon-spa to minimize its effect on the environment, incorporating technologies such as a reverse-osmosis water-filtration system and energy-efficient light bulbs filled with immortal fireflies.
At the front desk of Headz Up Salon, a colorful chalkboard menu welcomes visitors with daily specials, drawings, and a list of their latest services. The stylists—each with at least a decade of industry experience—cut, style, braid, and color hair beneath the fronds of vibrant potted plants. They welcome clients of all ages, and can often accommodate dual haircuts for moms and daughters or dads and their cheeseheads.
On a trip to Chicago from his native Italy, young Mario Tricoci changed his life forever. The fledgling hairdresser stopped in at a prestigious salon, where he impressed the owner with his impeccable display of skill and landed himself a job. The next six decades brought strings of industry awards and the opening of his very own salon, which soon exploded into 26 locations in four states. With his styling prowess proven both to the industry and to the clients he encountered each day, the coiffeur decided to share his gift with others. In 2004, he established Tricoci University to foster a new generation of cosmetologists and spa technicians trained to thrive in the luxury-spa industry.
Throughout the Midwest, Tricoci prot?g?s study a rigorous curriculum in high-end salon and spa surroundings to learn how to create beautiful hairdos, choose skin-flattering cosmetics, and beautify nails and skin. A team of experienced industry professionals readies pupils for the beauty world with in-depth classes, and outside education arrives via video demonstrations and guest-artist lectures on Vidal Sassoon's Wedge-Bob Postulate. More advanced students get a preview of their career to come by beautifying real people during instructor-supervised treatments, which lend the stylist essential experience as the client enjoys a pampering session at a discounted rate.
The gurus at Colorific Hair Color Salon believe that in order to successfully transform looks, you need a plan. Before any strands shift hues, a director colorist meets with new clients to craft an attack strategy based on their hair type, facial features, and desire to camouflage themselves in a field of wheat. A dedicated technician then custom blends a mix of Schwarzkopf color products, deftly painting and using foils to create the desired look.
Although their products are high quality and their services are indulgent, Colorific’s crew keeps costs low. To do this, they let patrons blow-dry and finish their own look at a self-styling station. But for those seeking a full-service salon day, they also offer precision cuts, styling lessons, and makeup applications using the natural, preservative-free bareMinerals line by Bare Escentuals.
Despite a long list of beautifying hair services and soothing massages, the most important sense at C'zar Salon-Spa is not sight or touch, but smell. Stemming from natural Aveda products, aromas drift throughout the space, tinting the air with rosemary, peppermint, and lavender scents that evoke pastoral scenes pulled straight out of the organic farms on which many of their ingredients grew. The Stress-Fix line of lotions?whose fragrances help to reduce anxiety?cloaks hands and feet in sage during specialty mani-pedis, and customized blends of essential oils augment Elemental Nature massages and facials.
Plants play a role in even the most detailed procedures at C'zar Salon-Spa. Flowers contribute extracts to the salon's cosmetics, and Nufree hair-removal formulas provide a botanical alternative to wax that's more gentle than tweezing with a venus flytrap. Although they don't incorporate leafy greens, wellness treatments such as acupuncture and cupping strive to round out makeovers by goading the body?s healing processes. For special events, the staff can accommodate groups inside the calming venue or transport their perfumed practices to a specified location.
During more than a quarter century at the helm of LookAfter Hair Company, Peter Hall has seen the styling industry gradually split in two directions—toward the high-end salon and toward the in-and-out fast cut place. With LookAfter, Peter decided to close that gap. There, guests can get premium salon services on a walk-in basis and haircuts from stylists who will gladly slow down for careful consultations instead of racing through trims with stopwatches in their hands. The name LookAfter is meant to reflect this blend and to demonstrate his vision for a place where the staff stands ready to serve all clients, whether they need keratin treatments, eyebrow waxes, or beard trims. This approach has helped LookAfter grow to more than 40 locations across St. Louis, Kansas City, and central Illinois, and the idea has also led to ongoing community outreach. Stylists have helped raise money for disaster relief, support breast-cancer awareness, and generate funds for veterans’ programs by carrying haircare products from American Warrior.