A sextet of trend-spotting stylists pampers locks in Shear Headcase’s cozy cottage, where hanging art and live bamboo shimmer off polished wood floors. Beneath a canopy of backlit parasols, stylists first swaddle strands in a cleansing coat of shampoo from an opulent line of products from brands including Surface, Davines, and Woody's. Next, blow-driers impart the entire mane with the balanced glow of a judge's nightlight.
Master stylist, educator, and platform artist Nina Grossman traveled the country before settling in Texas. Over the course of 16 years, she honed her skills from Alaska to New York, landing in Austin in 2007 to open Luxe A Boutique Salon. Throughout her career, Grossman has mentored up-and-coming beauty pros on the art of hair design as well as the importance of listening to clients' needs and reinterpretations of show-tune classics. She's gathered a team of master stylists and color specialists, makeup artists, and aestheticians to perform services that range from haircuts and highlights to peels and threading.
Her salon's exposed-brick walls and leather chairs lend it sophistication, and damask-like patterns juxtaposed with animal prints nod to both vintage and contemporary sensibilities. In a private, chocolate-toned skincare room, associates perform fragrant facials with Éminence Organic Skin Care products, soothing complexions in the way the floral artwork soothes the mind. Afterward, women can shop for apparel and accessories in the boutique area or head to the outdoor patio to relax before reemerging into the world.
Scott Sachnoff's passion for hair color began 20 years ago in Santa Barbara, California, where he began his career by assisting a head colorist for Schwarzkopf. It took a move to New York City to fully catapult him into the high-fashion world of hairstyling, however, and a stint spent training with Redken soon found him ascending to assume the title of Master Hair Colorist. While his time in the Big Apple earned him a loyal customer base, Scott soon caught the traveling bug again, relocating this time to Texas to establish his own salon and a reputation among the state's politicians, professionals, and celebrity line dancers. Today, he credits Austin's vibrant streets and nightlife with inspiring his signature cut and color treatments, which he creates using low-ammonia formulas by Italian color line Framesi.
Voted by the Nickolodeon Parents' Picks Awards as San Antonio's Best Kids' Hair Salon in 2009 and 2010, Sharkey's combines skilled scissoring with interactive games, lighted dressing rooms, and whimsical barber chairs within a vibrant, engaging atmosphere. Similar to vintage drive-thru salons, kids awaiting treatment can watch DVDs or play video games on personal flat screens while resting in miniature motorcycles, purple Barbie Jeeps, and sparkling Mercedes Benzes. A Sharkey's kids' cut ($18.95) gussies girls with a shampoo, haircut, wet style, hair clip, glitter star, balloon, and lollipop. Meanwhile, dapper lads get washed, chopped, gel styled, candied, ballooned, and tattooed with a temporary decal. Call ahead for an appointment, and to reserve your child's chosen chair.