In 2009, Redken Master Stylist and Certified Pureologist technician Elena teamed up with her sister, Rosalia, to open Invidia Hair Design. Since then, their team has grown to include eight total stylists. Among those eight, there are several other Master Stylists, each of whom maintains her skills with continuing education classes. Inside their upscale and modern space, the team cuts hair, adds flair with feather extensions, and drenches locks in new hues with such eye-popping color the salon has an optometrist on call. The team performs all of these services with the aid of products by brands such as Redken, Chi, and Pureology. Many of these styling aides are available for purchase on Invidia's retail shelves and can be taken home after visits.
The stylists at Fantastic Sams keep things simple—but that doesn't mean plain. At salons scattered across the United States, the mane-makers fill a head of hair's everyday needs with services such as adult cuts, bang trims, and facial styling. They also go beyond basic services with texturing treatments, foil highlights, and hair relaxers more effective than simply slipping some gin into the shampoo. All services are complemented with their trademark FantasticStyle shampoo therapy, a treatment that includes a three-minute scalp massage and a nourishing argan-oil serum.
La Bella beautifies 'dos with an assemblage of styling services for the aesthetically conscious looking to spruce up their hair. Unruly coiffures are put in place by the expert stylists, starting with a detailed consultation that lays out style options and allows customers to choose the cut that best meshes with an active lifestyle, a sharp clothing style, or a frequently traversed turnstile. Cuts are preceded by a shampoo and relaxing scalp massage. Women's cuts ($40–$60) include a complimentary makeup touch up with Arbonne products, ensuring faces match the newly optimized aesthetics of their furry top hats. Men's cuts ($30–$40) include a mini-facial, which exfoliates and moisturizes skin made tough from exposure to the elements or regular shaving with rusty bowie knives. Swap shades with all-over color services ($55–$80) performed by staff members specially trained in the use of Schwarzkopf color products. Finicky frizz is mitigated by a selection of straightening treatments ($70–$125+), smoothing out kinks, ameliorating the undesirable poofiness of humidity's moist touch, and creating an ideally uniform surface for repelling microsportsmen. Liquid hair removal ($15–$45) is accomplished with Nufree, a soy-based antimicrobial hair remover that eliminates unwanted down while minimizing pain and leaving skin smooth and soft.
Unlike more traditional how-we-met stories, the chance meeting of Natalie Gordon and Rachel Shrader eventually led them to many, many weddings. That’s because the two met while working on the beauty team for a three-day Indian wedding in 2009, and they knew they had an artistic connection; shortly thereafter, they founded Avenue 42 Style Studio. Each woman brings extensive experience to their business: Natalie has completed more than 130 hours of professional training and is an adjunct professor at the Virginia Cinema Makeup School, whereas Rachel has worked as a stylist for 10 years. Their mission began as a bride-centric one, and business boomed by 300% in their first year together. When they realized they couldn’t handle demand on their own, they brought stylists Sarah Bell and Gracia Triplett on board. In 2012, the opening of a permanent Avenue 42 Style Studio downtown solidified their presence in Richmond as not just wedding stylists but everyday stylists.
Today, the four-woman team at Avenue 42 Style Studio specializes in beauty services that cater to both the glam-seeking bride and the man, woman, child, or chow chow in search of a simple haircut. They hand-select hair color from lines by Schwarzkopf and Aveda, brushing color over roots to touch them up or creating ombre highlights. The styling team can also craft updos for formal occasions, as well as extend manes with Hairlocs, which adhere to the head without glue, heat, or forcing strands that just met to hug. As for aesthetics, their expertise now extends into organic airbrush tanning, airbrush makeup, and airbrush tattoo cover-up. Their on-location bridal services continue to flourish and have been featured in Southern Weddings magazine, among other publications.