Founded in 1974 in Memphis, Tennessee, by the eponymous Sam Ross, Fantastic Sams is a family-friendly salon geared toward quality. Today, the brand spans more than 1,200 locations, employing a legion of experienced stylists as they wage wars on bedhead and uneven bangs. Wielding shampoos and conditioners crafted with provitamins and soy proteins, the staff offers services such as haircuts, color treatments, and straightening treatments.
After moving to Buffalo, Nece Bellomo found herself returning to a passion she had first discovered in her homeland of Brazil: styling hair. “I just like to make people happy, to make them beautiful,” she says, recounting how she embarked on a whirlwind of education with hair mavens from Paul Mitchell and Rusk. Seven years ago, after only six years working in other people's salons, a devoted clientele motivated Nece to open her own salon and spa.
Drawing on a sleek New York aesthetic for inspiration, Nece and her daughter—a Goldwell-educated stylist and coworker—decorated the space in blacks, whites, and silvers and hung mirrors with ornate scrollwork frames to reflect back their clients' masterful coiffures. Although Nece is drawn to modern styles and keeps abreast of the latest coloring techniques and trends, she and her team focus on shearing ’dos that suit their clients’ face shapes, preferences, and inspiration from their favorite Bjork album.
In addition to pampering tresses, the salon and spa also enhances nails with chip-resistant Gelish polish, lavishes feet with scrubs and pedicures, and waxes away unwanted body fuzz.
Wood-paneled walls, vintage motorcycle ads, and a black-and-white photograph of Muhammad Ali. Any way you cut it, PJ's Barber Shop brims with sophistication and charm. The former owes to the timeless decor, while the latter stems from the fact that this father-daughter business has been in the family for more than half a century.
Though styles have changed over the years, the basics at PJ's have largely stayed the same. Classic haircuts are a matter of course here, as are hot-towel shaves. Though most of the clients tend to be men, the shop does offer some styling services for women.
A charming gray house provides the shell to Samson & Delilah's Hair Salon, whose quiet, bright interior flaunts vibrant murals, shiny mirrors, and the expertise of Cindy Bolen. During a brief 40-minute time period, the intensive express facial offers clients more scrubbing and pampering than a porcupine moonlighting as a loofa. The treatment begins with a deep pore cleansing and exfoliation. Next, Bolen utilizes Plantogen's pure plant extracts and manuka honey, soothing skin and delivering collagen-strengthening ingredients that help to protect faces from fungi and microbes while attracting the attention of red-shirted bears. The process is customizable based on client needs, with anti-aging, acne-treating, and rosacea-zapping adjustments available. Replenishing eye cream serves as the cherry to each facial sundae.