It’s hard to tell if you’re walking into a pedicure studio or a Victorian sitting room. A client relaxes in a throne-like leather chair while a nail technician tends to her feet, and yet it feels as though a butler could walk in at any moment with high tea. Perhaps it’s the nail technicians, who seem to be fawning over royalty, or perhaps it’s the room’s ornate mouldings, matching the patterned wallpaper and rug, and polished hardwood floors. That distinct sense of place elevates both of Parlour on the Avenue’s locations, both housed in buildings constructed in the 1800s—one receiving a preservation award from Indiana Landmarks—and both with two floors bedecked in Victorian decor.
On the ground floors, the staff dotes over visitors with hair, nail, skin, and spa services. The second floors house Victorian wet spas—spaces where clients enjoy privacy and indulgent services such as whey baths, hot-stone massages, and stories read by Charles Dickens. To enhance the results of each service, Parlour’s team recommends aftercare products from its stock, such as lotions from Hempz Body Care and Pino and face-care formulas from Control Corrective.
A Touch of Heaven Salon Massage & Day Spa stocks a large inventory of well-respected pampering products. Nail technicians employ OPI and Gelish polish, and hairstylists primp tresses with smart Solutions, Redken, Sexy Hair, and KMS products. An assemblage of massage therapists and aestheticians performs indulgent work at the spa too, allying to relax and beautify their clients. They execute 10 varieties of massage, from the gentle, simple Swedish to the choreographed complexity of the four-handed massage—performed by two therapists or one octopus also juggling four tennis balls. They combine treatments of the body's inner tissues with herbal or peppermint-scented wraps to rejuvenate the outer layer.
Outside of the private rooms lies the salon proper, where stylists carefully ply their craft on the hair and nails of their patrons. They imbue locks with new color, wax away unwanted hair, and even provide spray tans to maintain a summery glow throughout winter's tenure.
Skilled stylist Emily Harpold helps traverse this modern world of gas-powered scissors and talking combs with her expert cut and color services. Clients can solicit Emily’s know-how for a deep-conditioning treatment, sleek layers, or more complicated services such as a perm, highlights, or a beautifying facial wax.
Though they can both claim illustrious careers in the hairstyling industry, Joey and Nikki followed very different paths to get to where they are today. Joey trained with Aveda in 1989 and then took his scissors on the road, snipping strands in salons from Nashville to LA. Nikki, on the other hand, has spent most of her 35-year career honing her management skills as the owner of a successful Cincinnati salon. In 2007, they joined forces to create Joey & Roman Salon—Roman is Nikki’s last name—a Kérastase Paris salon specializing in cuts, color, and keratin hair-smoothing treatments.
The salon is also home to stylists Chris and Jon, each of whom has spent at least one year training under Joey, learning to execute the latest styles and refining scissor-hand agility by clipping a blizzard of paper snowflakes. Industrial touches permeate the ultramodern space: stylists store their haircare products and equipment in heavy-duty Craftsman tool cabinets and sheets of corrugated tin line the slate-gray walls.
The stylists at Mitchell's Salon & Day Spa have beautified Cincinnati-area clients for the past 30 years. During that time, the staff has grown to more than 400 employees across five locations. They've also garnered several press mentions, including their most recent victory in The Knot's Best of Weddings 2013. These accolades are all possible because of the meticulous care that the salon pours into both its posh ambiance and soothing treatments. Stylists perfect 'dos with haircuts and smoothing keratin treatments, and aestheticians perform antioxidant facials, which make the skin more resilient against hazards such as environmental damage and cheek-pinching aunts.
Sunlight pours onto the hardwood floors and exposed brick walls of BeneFit Studio, creating a serene backdrop for a diverse range of wellness services. Cardio and strength-training equipment speckle the studio, challenging trainees as they work their way through personal-training, boot-camp, and yoga sessions. Just beyond the training rooms, soft white curtains shroud the salon and Aveda spa, where guests perch upon cushy chairs as aestheticians dole out cuts, colors, and manicures, as well as facials and professional BEAM spray tans. Massage therapists also revitalize clients with Swedish and sports massages. And for ongoing wellness, a staff nutritionist crafts custom meal plans based on the goals and shadow heights of individual clients.