Studio J Salon’s stylists expertly wrangle overgrown hair with a pair of scissors or—for that one stylist—a pair of scissorhands. They also tend to unwanted hair all over the body, waxing away tufts of fuzz with ease. To glam up clients even more, the staff tackles fingernails and toenails with relaxing mani-pedis that end in a coating of colorful polish.
Founder Todd Beckman opened the first Tan Company location, then called The St. Louis Tan Company, in 1994 with a pair of average-size sun retreats. After perfecting a superstore concept with multiple levels of tanning beds and an intrepid-reporter alter ego, Beckman's bronzing business now spans 53 locations in 8 states, including 39 locations in the St. Louis area. Todd ensures each salon keeps the same high standards that won the 2010 award for Best Tanning in St. Louis from CityVoter.
A knowledgeable staff maintains each bright, highly sanitized environment and stocks shelves with Australian Gold, Swedish Beauty, and Designer Skin tanning products. The Tan Company also fashions UV-free tans with Mystic Tan standup booths that evenly spritz bodies with a paraben-free DHA solution infused with aloe vera.
Pacific Beach's Beauty Angel treatment pairs beautification and physique sculpting in a series of 10-minute sessions combining light therapy, vibration, and platform-based exercise. Within the stand-up booth, clients bask in a safe red light that works to reawaken the body's collagen and elastin factories, disentangling wrinkles around the eyes and firming skin across the entire physique. The booth sports a vibrating platform designed to help break down cellulite and further stimulate epidermal collagen production. The vibrating motion also facilitates muscle toning and recovery by relaxing fibers. After seven daily sessions over one week, wrinkles may begin to diminish, cellulite may begin fade, and skin may begin smooth out, negating the need to seek eternal youth in every municipal fountain.
Haircuts don't have to be a bore. At The Guys Hair Shop, clients can manhandle a TV remote while watching modern sports games or Jeopardy! lightning rounds. The stylists in the shop pamper dudes without resorting to unnecessary froufrou, instead reaching for straightforward, stainless-steel shears and steamed towels. Though they generally focus on haircuts for men of all ages, the staff also enacts a few other grooming services, including hair coloring and beard trimming. They use high-end products from brands such as Crew, Tea Tree by Paul Mitchell, and Nioxin, which envelop the skin in warm embraces that are more pleasant than hugging a fireplace. Within the salon, gleaming wood floors span the salon’s sparkling surroundings, which host vivid signage, plush red furnishings, and a vintage Coke machine.:m]]
While most 23-year-olds were trying to figure out their career path, Angelo was busy opening his own salon. And three expansions and more than two decades later, he's still at it. Each day he works with his team of talented stylists and aestheticians to accomplish the goal he laid out in 1991: to create a one-stop beauty shop where clients could get all of their aesthetic needs met. To that end, Angelo employs nail artists who pamper the digits of patrons waiting for hair colour treatments to finish processing, as well as aestheticians who dole out rose, mud, or chocolate baths that can be paired with massages, skin treatments, or giant chocolate duckies.
During more than a quarter century at the helm of LookAfter Hair Company, Peter Hall has seen the styling industry gradually split in two directions—toward the high-end salon and toward the in-and-out fast cut place. With LookAfter, Peter decided to close that gap. There, guests can get premium salon services on a walk-in basis and haircuts from stylists who will gladly slow down for careful consultations instead of racing through trims with stopwatches in their hands. The name LookAfter is meant to reflect this blend and to demonstrate his vision for a place where the staff stands ready to serve all clients, whether they need keratin treatments, eyebrow waxes, or beard trims. This approach has helped LookAfter grow to more than 40 locations across St. Louis, Kansas City, and central Illinois, and the idea has also led to ongoing community outreach. Stylists have helped raise money for disaster relief, support breast-cancer awareness, and generate funds for veterans’ programs by carrying haircare products from American Warrior.