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.
Anytime Tan Tanning Club first powered up its trio of German-made tanning beds in September, 1985, during the peak of the decade’s indoor-tanning boom. But just as bulky car phones and shoulder pads have faded away in the years that followed, Anytime Tan Tanning Club has stayed on top of trends by acquiring the latest equipment for its eight area locations.
The staff members at each location can pair clients with all manner of machines, from powerful Ergoline beds and booths to innovative sunless-tanning solutions from VersaSpa. For added vanity, most of the salon’s locations offer professional teeth-whitening services. And the Robinson location even provides Evolv sunless tanning and innovative red-light therapy, which aims to diminish signs of aging or the fact that someone enjoys napping on pizzas.
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.
Avanti offers a cornucopia of facial services, including the half-hour medical mini facial, which cleanses, steams, and massages your skull-sheath before applying a therapeutic mask tailored to your skin type. The treatment costs $75 by itself, but only $45 if you combine it with another service such as the microdermabrasion ($125), a skin-freshening technique that gently sandblasts the skin with tiny crystals before sucking up the fallen enemy cells with a vacuum. A few microdermabrasion treatments will help facial skin recover from the sun's savage Pesci-like pummeling—staving off the effects of aging in the process by removing fine lines and unwanted pigmentation.
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.