There's no fire beneath the bright white mantelpiece at Substance Salon—its ornate carvings and noble busts simply cement a chic ambiance. However, clients can still warm up with sips of gourmet coffee as they wait for their appointed stylists. The salon staff carries the sophistications of the reception area to each of their stations, where they handcraft 'dos based on the tastes of clients. Pureology products help them wash and blow-dry strands into eye-catching arrays, such as the voluminous Bombshell or the Bohemian—breezy waves that wrap around a full-size acoustic guitar.
Master barber Manny oversees the hot-towel shaves and soothing scalp massages on the gentlemen's menu. The salon also has an entire department devoted to brides-to-be—Styling the Bride—whose members travel to clients throughout New York and New Jersey. Their hair and cosmetic expertise, which results in dazzling updos and radiant makeovers, has been featured on The Knot.
Each styling chair at Hilights Salon doubles as office space for the hairdressers, who start every session with a detailed consultation to make sure they understand the looks their clients desire. Once they have the right mental images, they clip and highlight hair, permanently straighten it, and craft locks into updos more intricate than a bird's nest made of Rubik's Cubes. The staff also includes a bridal specialist and two makeup artists who prep clients on location for their big day.
Despite its industrial-sounding name, there's nothing cookie-cutter about The Hair Factory. Creativity is key for their team of skilled stylists, who can coif hair into updos for special occasions, or revamp looks with edgy, multicolored mohawks. Haircare options, which are available for men, women, or children, top off a menu that also features make-up, tanning, and waxing services, which cater to clients with sensitive skin or commitment-phobic candles.
Elite Hair Studio and Spa's staffers travel to New York, LA, London, and Paris for frequent training, returning to the studio with newly acquired skills to better meet client needs during custom services. The stylists begin treatments with a complimentary consultation to determine the cut angles that will flatter cheekbones or what blend of hair color will accentuate complexion, eye color, or the necklace that can't be removed due to a curse. Through signature facials, the aestheticians evict blemishes, and nail techs pamper long-forgotten cuticles before overshadowing them with gleaming polish. Before treatments, the staff directs guests to recumbent leather chairs flanked by wood-framed mirrors and furnishes each visitor with cucumber-infused water.
The Man-U of hair services at The Gentlemen's Cut speaks to a tongue-in-cheek mixture of retro and modern style. The bond between these aesthetics is one of community: fathers and sons can share a Bonding Session haircut, while the Bromance Referral Program rewards those who introduce new guys to the fold. The barbers augment their 50's-era trims with hot-towel shaves and manicure services, proving that fingernail maintenance isn't just for courteous dentists.