Stepping into Fia Salon/Spa is like stepping into a Mad Max fashion show. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city proper, the owner and namesake has spread her European roots and visionary eye, carving out a landscape that swirls together industrial sensibilities with a steam-punk edge highlighted by gunmetal-gray roses. Yet despite hard accents, the studio space is surprisingly inviting, balancing the chrome and steel with gold and copper and an open layout that gives visitors space to breathe and think. There, perhaps drawing inspiration from the metal spin-lock door or perhaps imagining a vault behind that door filled with toupees, clients dream up fantastic hairstyles that Fia and her staff make into reality.
International training with the likes of Toni & Guy and Vidal Sassoon has helped Fia cultivate a team of skilled master colorists and stylists. To stay swimming in the rushing current of fashion, the team regularly undergoes training on the latest techniques and uses products by Coppola, Sebastian, and Wella to transform looks. Several staffers draw from experience working in salons on Newbury Street and in the greater Boston area, and Boston magazine, which named Fia Salon/Spa the Best in West Boston in 2007, touted the spot's "Newbury Street panache minus the hassle of driving in from the ’burbs." The staffers’ know-how has also earned them recognition on WGBH's Boston A-List, including the award for Best Hair Highlights in 2011. When the team is not tousling hair into the last trend, Fia Salon/Spa's team pamper visages with luxurious skincare treatments aided by Dermalogica products.
At Drybar, a pair of scissors or hair-coloring foil is nowhere to be found. That?s because the business?s founder, Alli Webb, opened the shop strictly for blowouts after her in-home business skyrocketed. Featured extensively in the media, each of the more than 25 white-hued, airy shops revolves around a center bar where customers sit for around 45 minutes as stylists blow-dry, straighten, and curl their hair. From a menu booklet, clients select a cocktail-themed hairstyle, such as The Mai Tai, which imparts beachy waves, and The Manhattan, which streamlines locks with a sleek finish that mimics the straight lines of downtown New York and can be outfitted with a tiny doorman who hails cabs for you. The staff at Drybar also crafts updos, travels on location for an additional fee, offers high-end products and tools available for purchase, and tallies bar tabs so that customers can pay for multiple blowouts at once.
At M22 Hair Design, stylists guide hairdos through artful rebirths with deft scissor work and products by brands such as Paul Mitchell, Mizani, and L'anza. Paying close attention to each client's personal style, they trim, clip, and tease every strand to fall gracefully as they frame the face and accentuate the features, and colorists take the baton during highlights, lowlighting, balayage, and color-correction services. With the same savvy touch, stylists perform perms and hair extensions and welcome brides, bridal parties, and bowls of unformed wedding-cake batter to help dreams take shape on their special day.
Bella Le Spa shapes, restores, and adds hues to clients’ nails with custom manicures and pedicures. In a one-hour pedicure, a talented digit decorator trims and tidies talons, halting the advance of cuticles and adorning them with a fresh coat of Essie or OPI polish. Nail technicians also exfoliate feet, apply a moisturizing mask, play a quick round of “This Little Piggy,” and administer a relaxing leg-and-foot massage. Then fingernails begin their 30-minute beautification process, during which manicurists pare, polish, and pamper fingernails with care and precision. Bella Le Spa’s friendly staff members perform these ministrations while evincing preternatural levels of hospitality and showing off an impressive collection of prehistoric Chinese finger traps.
Like Charles Dickens, Igor Vasiljuk spent much of his career in London, styling celebrities and building a resumé. His experience includes being named to the Wella top-stylist team in addition to being on the styling teams for BBC America, Reuters, and Sundance. Now, as owner of one of Citysearch’s Top Rated Salons, he helms a team of stylists whose work has been featured in magazines and on runways. Inside Fulham Salon, the stylists structure hair and remove split ends—unlike a football team, which uses its split ends all the time. Using products from Wella and Sebastian, they infuse hair with moisture, add streaks of color, or change the hue of the whole head. They also draw attention to features with professional makeup application.