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.
The licensed aestheticians at FaceLuXe clear skin of dirt and unwanted hair with a full spectrum of facials and waxing services. Their concern for individual care shines through in the consultations that precede each treatment, during which they select products that match clients’ specific skin types. They then use these products in signature facials designed to address issues associated with aging, such as fine lines and burn marks from trying to blow out too many birthday candles at once. As a partner of MassageLuXe—a company dedicated to improving health through therapeutic massage—FaceLuXe offers relaxation packages such as the Day of Renew treatment, which includes a massage, facial, and warm lavender paraffin treatment for the hands and feet.
The skilled staffers at Belleza Salon transmogrify pale skin into golden silk using a precise combination of the TANS spray-tanning solution and sunny disposition. Special tanning tents encase clients during the personal pigmentation process, emulating human-sized cocoons when newly bronzed bodies emerge ready to pollinate beaches with confidence and dance moves. An all-natural blend of sugar cane and bronzer, the TANS solution is alcohol-free, contains SPF 15, and tastes great when liberally applied to ice cream. Containing antioxidants and no harsh chemicals, the TANS spray solution works well for most skin types and imbues radiance that lasts approximately 7 to 10 days.
The vintage posters and floor murals in LuLu’s Hair Parlor call to mind the quirky, anything-goes philosophy of 1950s Las Vegas. Like the decor that surrounds them on all sides, the salon’s staffers negotiate the delicate balance between stylish and charming. Amid images of pinup girls and Rosie the Riveter, stylists cut and color hair and sculpt fancy updos for special occasions. Nearby, certified nail technicians prepare their clients for sockless sock hops with mani-pedis and acrylic nails.
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.
Tom Zimmermann, the cosmetologist behind Tommy Z's Salon and Spa, has been in the beauty business since 1978 and running his own shops since 1984. Those decades of experience helped him assemble his current crack team of stylists, skincare specialists, and massage therapists. In the salon, they revamp looks with cuts, colors, and straightening sessions for men’s and women’s hair and work with brides-to-be to create personalized looks and rice-catching updos for weddings. In the spa, the crew pampers complexions with facials and peels and kneads stress out of muscles with expertly executed massages.