When stylist Darren McHugh met Amy at a salon in the United Kingdom, the two quickly discovered they had a lot in common. They had both spent a year mastering techniques at the TONI&GUY International Academy, had a passion for hairstyling and fashion, and harbored ambitions to start salons of their own. Their kinship continued over the next few years, as the duo dressed models’ hair for prestigious shows at New York Fashion Week and managed a salon in Gloucester. Today, the seasoned stylists have achieved their ownership dreams, bringing their years of rigorous training and high-end experience to a salon of their very own design—Essensuals London.
Nestled amidst the upscale shops of the Cherry Hill Mall, Essensuals London occupies a chic studio space with sleek black styling chairs and a bright collage of fashion photography sweeping across the back wall. That sophisticated aura extends to appointments as well, as highly trained specialists transform hair with stylish cuts, gleaming color, or smoothing keratin treatments. They can also arrange hair into elegant up-dos, ideal for special events such as a formal dance or informal black-tie gala.
Beyond Hair Salon and Spa stays true to its name with an array of services that beautify tresses as well as fingers, faces, and other areas that aren’t traditionally classified as hair. In the salon—which was featured in an episode of the television show Tabatha's Salon Takeover—stylists enliven locks with haircuts and starburst highlights or outfit heads with custom wig caps, full weaves, and lace-front wig infusions. In addition to revamping ‘dos, the spa staffers coat fingernails and toenails with Gelish polish, dress up faces with professional makeup applications, thread eyebrows into neat arches, and refresh complexions with facials.
On Wednesdays, the staff focuses their pampering efforts on mothers with their Mommy Makeovers, treating the spawn-saddled ladies to a manicure, hair styling, and eyebrow waxing or threading.
A combination of technical prowess and creativity steady the shears and blow through the hairdryers at Bernard's Salon and Spa, a beauty center that aims to have its clients feeling like they just stepped off the cover of Vogue. Not all the staffs' attention is focused on the scalp, however—aestheticians deftly apply cosmetics before nights-on-the-town, perform rejuvenating facials, remove unwanted fuzz with wax, and shape cuticles during mani-pedis. Massage therapists, meanwhile, use swedish and deep tissue techniques to ease tension from the body, making clients appear more relaxed, approachable, and less likely to pop a neck vein.