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.
Audrey's Hair Studio's stylists' portfolio of work is a colorful one. Rainbow and solid violet stripes woven into hair, eyelids shaded with funky pink, green, and yellow hues—it all converges in one spread of trendy, fun looks. But that doesn't mean the stylists lack the skills to appease a traditionalist. Their salon services include cutting and styling, coloring and highlighting, and perming and straightening—plus waxing, mani-pedis, and makeup application.
Featured in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for its hair-removal expertise, Brows R Us employs the ancient Indian technique of threading to eliminate unwanted follicular fuzz. This organic method shapes eye accents by using special cotton threads and nimble fingers to quickly remove brow bristles from their roots, leaving frontispieces as smooth and refined as a shrink-wrapped ballroom dancer ($12).
Laser Hair & Skin Center of Monroeville's experienced staff specializes in noninvasive med-spa services that have earned multiple awards, including the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Readers' Choice Awards Gold and Silver honors. Staff members attend routine seminars to keep their skills sharp, staying ready to perform the latest skin rejuvenation and hair-removal techniques. Among their arsenal of beautifying treatments, staff members can harness LED lights to boost collagen with photomodulation procedures, minimize blemishes with organic Hylunia facials, and remove unwanted hair without burning it off during a round of fire limbo.
At Melody’s Massage studio, licensed massage therapists harness the therapeutic techniques of ancient Hawaiian healers during traditional lomi lomi massage sessions. Pain and stress head for the getaway car as long, gliding strokes ripple down backs, with practitioners delivering nurturing kneads with the aid of deft hands, elbows, and forearms. Two therapists team up for the tandem massage to jointly manipulate in balance the body's left and right sides for clients with extra muscle tension and problematic lumps of coal. Faux island getaways unfold in one of the studio’s private massage rooms, where warm incandescent lights ease tired eyes, cool sheets enfold bodies, and an active volcano quietly warms the therapist’s dinner.
At Phalanges Unlimited, the decor strikes a balance between charm and chic. A wall-to-wall, monochromatic portrait of a woman greets guests in the reception area, her fierce gaze surrounded by curled hair and bejeweled earrings. It's a striking image, offset by numerous blackboards that adorn the walls with quirky quotations and service prices.
Licensed and certified technician Cherie Dercqu oversees the venue with expertise that is as varied as the salon's design. Having been in the beauty industry for more than 20 years, she administers nail and cosmetic treatments with meticulous care. Natural-nail specialist Tina Costello performs pampering mani-pedis, and her acrylics artfully enhance hands and feet. Cherie also applies permanent makeup to lips, eyebrows, and eyelids, canceling out the hassle of putting on eyeliner or wearing sunglasses at night when you forget. Her other services include eyelash extensions, ear candling, and formal makeup sessions.