Named a Reader's Choice salon by the Daily Herald in 2012, the Nelson Group Salon staffs skilled stylists who groom clients' locks, skin, and nails using products by Aveda, Bumble and bumble, and Schwarzkopf. Many of the salon's stylists boast more than a decade of experience and professional training from such coiffure heavyweights as Vidal Sassoon and Aveda, which they apply to their services as they snip and color locks in modern styles.
Built in 1890, the salon's charming interior once housed a hospital, which was then subsequently repurposed into a bakery and next into a zombie factory, before finally transforming into its present state more than 20 years ago. Salon owner Nelson, a stylist for more than 23 years, still prefers "old-school German shears" to style ever-evolving haircuts. He emphasizes keeping up with trends and mastering new techniques, saying, "it's not just a job, but a craft."
Zebra-print chairs and large glass room dividers add a modern touch to Le Beaute Salon and Spa's spacious spa location, where clients rest in pedicure thrones or gaze into mirrors as stylists transform their hair. Special scents and relaxing enhancements boost the salon-and-spa services, with melted paraffin further hydrating skin during manicures and hot stones offering massage recipients the extra companionship of affectionate pet rocks. Aestheticians and therapists create an all-purpose stop where guests enjoying an hour of Swedish massage also feel welcome to stick around for a quick waxing session. Facials include European techniques and aromatherapy as well as more intensive treatments such as microdermabrasion and peels.
Every stylist who wields shears or makeup at Salon 134 West has been handpicked for the ability to employ multiple styling techniques and cross over from cutting to coloring to straightening without missing a beat. At many salons, stylists pass clients from one stylist to another in a sort of styling assembly line, all reinterpreting the hairstyle for themselves and moving away from the initial vision for the style. Rather than distorting hairstyles through such a process, Salon 134 West pairs clients with a single stylist for the entire session, allowing stylists to bring their original artistic vision to fruition while saving clients the trouble of having to explain their hair dreams ad nauseam.
While there are many styles of massage to choose from, the licensed massage therapists at Elements Massage blend a medley of kneading techniques to ease away tension. Their four-level approach helps to cater sessions to each individual client. Patrons looking for a light and relaxing massage receive a level 1 massage, whereas those with more muscle tension can opt for the medium pressure of a level 2 or 3, and clients bearing especially tangled muscle fibers or especially heavy jetpacks can find relief with the deeper manipulations and trigger-point work of a level 4.
Brow threading may be the raison d'être of the aestheticians at Eyebrow Expressions, but the team also ably branches out to de-fuzzing other parts of the body, including services for legs, face, and intimate areas. Inside the salon, which is located within Meijer, the aestheticians can also remove hair with threading, an ancient Indian technique that uses a long, wound cotton thread to zip hair away in precise lines without irritating the skin. Because the process is so gentle, the team can thread lips, chins, necks, and delicate vestigial wings.
A short walk across Nail 2NE1's hardwood floors yields green and beige velvet manicure chairs, where skilled nail technicians trim and file claws into tip-top shape. Seven days a week, patrons can sip on complimentary beverages as piggies soak in the bubbling basin of a reclining pedicure chair. After toe armor reaches an eye-catching sheen through diligent buffing, clients can scan the extensive wall-mounted bottle library to select a polish to match an outfit, the season, or the color of a pie they're about to steal from a windowsill.