In the early 1960s, a young man dropped out of high school and got a job cutting hair at Saks Fifth Avenue. According to TribLive, he made $4.95 for his first haircut, and as this new job transformed into a burgeoning passion, he decided to sell his car to pay for tuition at Pittsburgh Beauty Academy. Philip Pelusi, this blue-collar boy with a modest past, eventually came to own 13 of his own salons, create signature hair and skincare product lines, and garner a slew of accolades, including being named one of the top 10 stylists in the country by InStyle magazine.
At Philip Pelusi Salons, each of the stylists specialize in Pelusi’s patented Volumetric haircutting method. Following architectural principles, the method takes face shape and hair texture into consideration as scissor snips carefully build from the bottom up to create a style that follows the hair’s natural growth pattern and preexisting electrical wiring. To complement this structural approach, the staff calls on Pelusi’s own line of eco-friendly, plant-derived salon formulas that are bolstered with sunscreens, proteins, and moisturizers to keep strands healthy. The salon magnate’s skincare and cosmetics formulas follow the same nourishing recipes and take a starring role in the salons’ menu of facials and makeup services.
Top-shelf products by Aveda, Kevin Murphy, and Baco line the shelves at Cristo Bello Spa Salon and Gifts, where beauty experts cosset their clients with an array of services. Experienced hairstylists spin around cushy black styling chairs in the salon, ribboning hair with full-foil highlights and freeing men, women, and children from pesky split-ends and lengths that present choking threats. They dole out helpings of the Brazilian-blowout treatment to transform frizzy strands into smooth and shiny locks, or put a hint of bounce into stick-straight strands with spiral texturizing. Nail technicians work close by, shaping and polishing nails and enveloping skin with hot stones.
Guests can escape the chatter and noisy blow dryers by retreating to the spa for a massage or facial. Licensed massage therapists push stress aside with Swedish, deep-tissue, and shiatsu massages, while clients sip on herbal tea or wine. Meanwhile, aestheticians call upon Aveda and Dr. Alkatis Organic Skin Care products to cleanse and clarify skin. They use the soy-based Nufree system to remove hair from the face and body without the irritation or bee trail of traditional waxes, and create a natural-looking tan in minutes with Norvel organic spray-tanning solutions.
Beyond a towering, slate-colored archway that looms over a façade of large windows, Salon Eye Candy's feminine interior merges elements of old and new. Surrounding modern styling stations styled after bedroom bureaus and manicure tables repurposed out of antique writing desks, the undulating branches of a hand-painted tree mural swirl across a whitewashed wall as a chandelier lends its eye-catching sparkle overhead. Stylists tend to heads with diligent snips of scissors and dollops of professional Wella hair color, while cosmetologists highlight facial features with cosmetic and eyelash applications. Meanwhile, nail techs refine extremities and lacquer nails with OPI polish and CND no-chip shellac manicures, and spray tans gild bodies in golden, UV-free hues to suggest a recent tropical vacation or romantic tryst with a film-award statuette.