Top-shelf products by Aveda, Kevin Murphy, and Baco line the shelves at Cristo Bello Spa Salon and Gifts, where beauty experts cosset their clients with an array of services. Experienced hairstylists spin around cushy black styling chairs in the salon, ribboning hair with full-foil highlights and freeing men, women, and children from pesky split-ends and lengths that present choking threats. They dole out helpings of the Brazilian-blowout treatment to transform frizzy strands into smooth and shiny locks, or put a hint of bounce into stick-straight strands with spiral texturizing. Nail technicians work close by, shaping and polishing nails and enveloping skin with hot stones.
Guests can escape the chatter and noisy blow dryers by retreating to the spa for a massage or facial. Licensed massage therapists push stress aside with Swedish, deep-tissue, and shiatsu massages, while clients sip on herbal tea or wine. Meanwhile, aestheticians call upon Aveda and Dr. Alkatis Organic Skin Care products to cleanse and clarify skin. They use the soy-based Nufree system to remove hair from the face and body without the irritation or bee trail of traditional waxes, and create a natural-looking tan in minutes with Norvel organic spray-tanning solutions.
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.
Surrounded by yellow walls, lushly patterned drapery, and large gilded mirrors, the savvy stylists at Le Beaute' Boutique create chic coiffures with cuts, color, and other hair services. Tress wranglers tame wild follicles with a haircut ($42+ for women; $22+ for men) and concoct curls with nothing more than a wink of a third eye during a perm ($75+). Clients can stand out in a crowd of monochromatic manes with a partial foil highlight ($65+) or prepare for a stint in the witness protection program with a full-color change ($47+). Updos ($40+) glam up head hair for special events, such as proms or a driver's license exams.
Using the Shellac treatment system, Alure's manicure mavens bestow long-lasting pigment and shine upon digits in an open and modern setting. The hypoallergenic treatment, which can last up to two colorful weeks, brandishes UV3 technology to overthrow the tyranny of chipping polish. Phalanges pampering takes up to an hour, and Shellac’s lack of dry-time frees fingers and toes to finally take up finger-sock knitting or giant-piano playing.
With more than a decade of experience, local hairstylist Megan Sharek huddled an experienced team of other style superheroes to join her beauty lair, called Megan’s Loft…a hair and nail studio. Since her salon’s doors swung open, the team has honed a range of services, including tress-transforming techniques from haircuts for women, men, and children to foil highlights and special-occasion updos. Facial-waxing services further spruce up appearances, whereas customized mani-pedis make fingers pretty enough to shake hands with a scrutinizing American bald eagle. Nail services treat fingers and toes to a soak, massage, and paraffin treatment before crowning them in coat of traditional polish, long-lasting Shellac, or acrylic tips.
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.