From the outside, Social Agenda Salon and Boutique looks traditional. It's housed in a white bungalow marked with a wide picture window and bright-blue awning, surrounded by trees and greenery. But inside, a team of professional beautifiers ardently pores over the latest trends. Stylists coil and cut locks into diverse looks, from edgy pixie cuts textured with crimped pieces to vintage-inspired dos and intricate braids. Nail techs brighten fingertips with no-chip Shellac and a rainbow of OPI shades that make hands stand out like a penguin at a nightclub for polar bears.
Inside the studio, the team keeps things homey and relaxed. While they wait, visitors indulge in a handful of freshly popped popcorn, a mug of coffee, or a cold Coke, or stroll around the back patio to enjoy complimentary views of the sky.
The licensed nail stylists at Essence Nails & Spa maintain a full-service nail salon brimming with six cushy spa pedicure chairs and ample finger-pampering workstations. Basins of warm water beckon hands and feet for a pretreatment soak before busy files trim back encroaching cuticles, slough dead skin, and shape nails back into their natural retractable form. Lotion enrobes arms and legs during a relaxing massage, and OPI polish slathers nails with sturdy chromatic color.
At Relax the Body Salon & Spa, treatments center on the client's needs rather than a display of technique. A nationally certified massage therapist heeds muscular complaints with customized strokes, ousting tension with Swedish and deep-tissue modalities. Meanwhile, facials strive to nurture pores with a combination of masks, warm towels, and inspiring bedtime stories such as the Cleft Chin that Could.
A chandelier sparkles over stylist Alicia's clients at Attache Salon while she cuts, colors, and conditions their hair. The salon's earth-toned palette adds warmth to the surroundings, weaving throughout the patterned armchairs, hardwood floors, and full-length, black-framed mirrors.
The highly trained stylists at Barnette’s Salon are accustomed to hearing compliments from satisfied clients, but in the past few years they've also had to get used to reading praise in print. Along with being named a "Top 100 Salon 2011" by Elle Magazine and "Reader's Choice for Best Salon 2012" by Mississippi Magazine, the salon––which boasts three locations––has also earned the title of "Best Beauty Shop of Jackson 2012" from the Jackson Free Press](http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/25/best-of-jackson-2012-urban-living/), who proclaimed, "the staff is not only friendly and professional, but also immensely talented, consisting of some of the top stylists in town."
Those top stylists owe much of their success to the salon's training program, which divvies the staff into five levels, according to experience, and inducts new stylists only after they have endured at least one year of extensive training and learned to identify each hair color by its smell. Specialists if precision cuts and custom color, the team reaches for products from Aveda, Bumble and Bumble, MoroccanOil, and CareTrico, and add instant length and volume using 100% human hair extensions by Great Lengths. For tresses in need of a new texture, they can also calm unruly curls with Keratin smoothing treatments or set strands with permanent waves to help cut down on time spent dealing with hot curling irons or hot rollers.