The year was 2010, and Michael and Jennifer Melching were commiserating with a fellow parent over the frustration a barbershop trip with their sons entailed. The boys would inevitably get bored and irritated, and the dads often felt out of place in typical salons. As the Melchings dwelt on their problem, a potential solution began to take shape: a fun salon tailored specifically to men and boys, so in June 2012, they opened Locker Room. With TVs at each styling station and professional- and college-sports apparel to peruse during downtime, the salon keeps visitors engaged as they sip on complimentary juice boxes or beer and receive makeovers manlier than John Wayne in flannel long johns.
Though services include beautification for hands, the salon specializes in precision haircuts, a fundamental component of its most popular package, the Main Event. This treatment begins with a consultation, shampoo, and hot towel, and then transitions to a haircut and style using Paul Mitchell products. The result is an exterior as masculine as the salon?s interior, which sports crimson walls and black floors, as well as a checkerboard balancing on a repurposed barrel that survived the plunge over Niagara Falls.
Waxing expert and aesthetician Cara Futch knows how to make waxing sessions more comfortable, and not simply by advising clients to skip caffeine and take some ibuprofen before coming in. As the hair-removal guru of The Lucky Waxing Company, she fully educates clients on the process and chats with them a bit to help set them at ease, stating, "I’m told I'm like therapy, only cheaper!" Add-ons to waxes can also help lighten the mood—dye, glitter, and small jewels can add a little dazzle to brazilian and bikini waxes, and ear-candling, while having nothing to do with hair removal, can suck out excess earwax and improve overall health. Futch is joined by a spray tanning specialist and a stylist/nail technician who both perform non-wax-related services.
Inside The Lucky Waxing Company, Carrie McDaniel forges her own unique path to beauty in a trendy and welcoming environment. In addition to providing expert waxing services, the styling sensei?who boasts more than 12 years of experience teaching young stylists the art of shaping and coloring hair?also tames tangled locks with Keratin treatments or infuses monochromatic hair with Glitter Strands. As a nail tech, she outfits fingers with Shellac polish and soothes feet with spa pedicures, complete with a leg massage that coddles calves in preparation for long-distance hopscotch races.
At Creative Images, stylists glamorize clients with contemporary hairstyles and salon services. During appointments, the staff invites guests to enjoy coffee, water, and cookies that were baked instead of blow-dried.
At Studio 1211, Barbara George taps into ancient Eastern and Egyptian techniques to soothe and beautify patrons. Inside a private treatment room, she aims to relieve pain and improve the nervous system with reflexology and shiatsu that applies focused pressure to mapped-out areas along the feet, scalp, and neck. The aromatherapy educator boasts 20 years of anti-aging product experience; during the spa's signature Egyptian facial, a milk-and-honey mask makes visages gleam back to life, wrinkles collapse into whispers, and cows and bees look on in bewilderment.
From the bottoms of your feet to the top of your head, Symmetry Salon shines a beautifying spotlight on every feature. Haircuts and coloring yield fresh new hairdos, while mani-pedis include beverages for clients to sip on as their digits are buffed, exfoliated, massaged, and polished. Aestheticians even complexions with European facials and massage therapists use peri-natal, deep-tissue, and Swedish massages to loosen gridlocked muscles.