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.
Boda Salon's stylists breathe new life into hair by deftly cutting, coloring, and texturizing to suit their clients' unique desires. After sudsing up hair with All-Nutrient shampoos and conditioners—composed of renewable, certified-organic ingredients—they assess the ideal look for their subject's face shape and fashion sense before resculpting with precise scissor snips, laying trails of dimension-boosting highlights, or leveling out unruly locks with keratin proteins. Meanwhile, four types of facials, microdermabrasion, and waxing services lend a salon-fresh look to the rest of the body faster than taking a tiny curling iron to each arm hair.
While products from Redken, Pureology, Schwarzkopf Professional, and OPI would be more than enough to fill most stylists' arsenals, the staff of Areté Salon and Spa has another weapon at its disposal. Color-perfect lighting gives the stylists a clear view of their work, allowing colorists and others to accurately assess the results of their labor. Nail technicians work with color as well, outfitting digits with vivid shades of polish, while aestheticians employ essential oils, plant enzymes, and other solutions to rejuvenate complexions and the gardening industry.
Back in 1980, a group of sister and their parents cut the ribbon on their own salon, Shear Pleasure. Today, three of those original sisters co-own the salon, employing their family's next generation of stylists, along with a crack corps of non-related 'do crafters. Along with their coiffure cropping, the team also specializes in nails?offering shellac and gel manicures that don?t chip or wander off after a few days?and hair replacment, including micropoint extensions for thin hair.