All Dolled Up Salon and Day Spa cultivates an atmosphere that empowers its clients to decide on and describe exactly what they want. In addition to haircuts, color treatments, and conditionings, they offer keratin-based and Japanese texturizing treatments, facials, and beauty packages for prom attendees and bridal parties.
Rock music and pizza. It’s an unlikely pairing as the inspiration for an Aveda salon, but in the hands of friends Jentry and Katy, it grew beyond that as the foundation of their local hair and makeup hub.
An Austin native, co-owner, and stylist, Jentry would sneak into his hometown’s Black Cat music venue while still underage to catch sight of acts such as Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Over the years, the hall came to represent Austin’s unique charm and live-music foundation, never succumbing to gimmickry or the status-quo throughout its lifespan. The venue’s ability to stick to its roots stayed with Jentry, remaining an inspiration when years later, he and a client, marketing whiz Katy, dreamed of opening their own salon. After months of late-night pizza-and-brainstorming sessions, the concept for their salon came full circle when a black kitten curled up on Jentry’s porch. In a unique move toward remembering a tenacious rock bar and what it stood for, the twosome founded their salon: The Black Cat.
Today, a fleet of stylists brandish their shears, color, and powder puffs amid decor that reflects The Black Cat’s grittier roots. Clients see the vintage script of the “Sorry, We’re Open” front sign before encountering the salon’s gray and blue walls accented with rustic wood furniture and panels. The result is a carefully curated contrast of sleek and scuffed, much like a hitchhiker’s diamond cufflinks.
Nefertiti Esthetics proves that body wraps aren't the only spa treatment inspired by the ancient Egyptians. In fact, the center's services are less interested in mummification than with the way legendary kings and queens were in life: surrounded by luxury and pampering attendants.
One of Nefertiti's rumored beauty secrets was the use of essential oils, so the aestheticians here incorporate them into several treatments. The Aroma Touch Magic service uses no less than eight doTERRA essential oils to imbue a massage with alluring scents, and every facial includes oil work to complement its skincare formulas. For example, the Mediterranean Detox Magic facial delivers nourishing essential oils deep into pores by channeling an indirect high frequency current, which also stimulates circulation and turns each ear into a miniature bug-zapper.
In addition to its specialty services, the spa offers waxing and mani-pedis. Those who ask can even upgrade their pedicure to a Royalty Deluxe session, complete with aromatic bath salts, a paraffin treatment, and hot booties lined with soothing cream.
While she worked as a massage therapist in physical-therapy clinics and hotel spas, Nikki Sanchez still found time to beautify clients on the side. She earned her aesthetician's license, planned weekly "Beauty Bars," and eventually built a loyal customer base at a rising salon before opening her own lash and wax boutique. At Lash Love, she personalizes each set of silk and mink lash extensions to the eye shape and winking style of each client. By fashioning fibers of different lengths, curls, and thicknesses, she amps up gazes with natural or glam-style looks that require minimal upkeep and no mascara. Her waterproof extensions also permit patrons to swim and give congratulatory butterfly kisses to their reflections after each lap. In addition to augmenting lids, Nikki eliminates unwanted hair with soft or hard wax and refreshes mugs with the vitamin-rich fruit and vegetable ingredients of Skinfood express facials.
More than 20 years ago, Michael and Monica Sanders met at Vidal Sassoon in Scottsdale, Arizona—and both a personal and professional relationship blossomed. After racking up decades of experience with different specialties, they eventually opened their own salon. At Monimay Salon, the couple demonstrates why they've been featured in publications such as Vogue and Shape. Michael gets to work shaping hair, cutting tresses with his precisely trained shears. Then Monica might step in to flex her color skills, like a virtuoso crayon expert brightening the hair on a bust of Caesar.
For Salon Blanc co-owner Alan Vuong, hair is more than something to tuck behind an ear or sweep over a shoulder—it's an artistic medium that inspires creativity and pride. The salon's website even asserts that "hair is an expression of the moment we live in." Nothing could hold truer for Vuong and his team, who are continually educating themselves on the latest cutting and coloring techniques and products. They displayed these to full effect when they journeyed to California for the 2011 International Salon and Spa Expo—one of the largest professional beauty events on the West Coast—a trip chronicled on Living Local.
Vuong's trendsetting artistic vision earned him the title of Honolulu magazine's Editors' Pick for Best Hairstylist in 2009, and according to that publication, "he even has clients flying in from Japan and Guam to get the Vuong vibe." He and his crew rely on the Kérastase and Shu Uemura lines for haircare, and also offer services such as bridal packages, makeup, and waxing.
It should come as no surprise that Vuong is as concerned with the salon aesthetic as he is with his clients' satisfaction. His blank-canvas hair philosophy is much like the look of the Ala Moana Beach–facing salon itself; in fact, he compared the space to an artist's studio in a feature in American Salon magazine. The minimalist, white-on-white interior is accentuated by black leather chairs and feathery chandeliers that are lighter and more elegant than a performance of Swan Lake on the international space station.