After guests have had a chance to kick back with a drink in the waiting area, Slice Hair Studio's stylists get busy mapping out a custom cranial blueprint. Once they have a plan in mind, these scissor whizzes can do everything from tidy up appearances with a simple trim to add depth and dimension with coloring and texturizing treatments. The primping doesn't have to stop with hair, though— the staffers can also put the final touches on new looks with tanning and waxing services.
In addition to taking care of guests, the stylists do their best to take care of the planet, embracing environmentally friendly business practices whenever possible. This means that they stock the shelves with natural and organic hair-care products, use energy-efficient appliances, and recycle leftover trimmings to make wigs for endangered bald eagles.
For the last 20 years, Maxamillion A.J. Wells III has doggedly perfected the techniques of male grooming. His efforts have not gone unnoticed, earning him myriad awards and even a prominent role in the PBS documentary Barbershops: PA Stylin’. At his eponymous barbershop, Maxamillion showcases his mastery of various styles and skills, including the flat top and the hot-lather razor fade. Amid the shop’s eclectic artwork and ornate barber chairs, he also softens skin with facials and buffs shoes to a dazzling shine. When he isn’t practicing his art, Maxamillion teaches it to others via salon consultations or educational sessions on everything from basic haircutting to advanced skills such as controlling clippers with your mind.
At the intersection of modern, young aesthetics — think skinny jeans and plaid shirts — and an old-school shave-and-haircut shop, you’ll find The Duke Barber Co. This hip but homey space specializes in particular brand of grooming, politely described as “straight-razor shaving, precision cutting and awesomeness.” With a coat of arms for a logo, The Duke is housed in an L-shaped space containing a row of barber chairs and a comfy, dark-leather waiting area that looks out upon the expanse of Northern Liberties’ Piazza. Wares for sale include classic chess sets, shaving supplies and stainless-steel flasks. You might want to wait until the end of the week to make your appointment, when Whiskey Fridays beckon all those looking for a weekend kickstart to combine with a fresh new look.
It was more than 30 years ago when the first lock of hair fell to the floor of the locally owned Snip Styling Salon, floating down past the styling chair after a hairdresser expertly snipped it free. Since then, the salon’s staff of seasoned stylists have performed hundreds of haircuts, arranged countless up-dos, and flattered many faces with glimmering highlights. They have worked with hair of variety of colors and textures, from crops of bouncy curls to tangles of hissing snakes.
Today, the versatile staffers extend their expertise toward hair services as well as a variety of beauty treatments, including makeup application and waxing. They also offer an array of relaxing massages designed to soothe muscles and ease aches.
The light-filled, spacious L’Etoile occupies the second and third floors of an old factory building on Main Street in Philadelphia’s Manayunk. On the main floor, a comfortable waiting area done up in shades of brown, gold and burnt orange leads to the complete-service salon area beyond, with its nearly floor-to-ceiling windows. Upstairs is the full-service spa, where you can invigorate your skin with a facial, choose a waxing or threading procedure for unwanted hair or indulge in a Swedish, deep-tissue, hot stone or reflexology massage. Besides its gorgeous space, L’Etoile distinguishes itself by offering specialties such as sweet sugar body scrub and by keeping a small selection of handmade local jewelry for sale.
Plume Salon’s adorable pink tile exterior faces Girard Avenue in the Fishtown neighborhood. The interior emanates a fun, trendy, hip vibe, with patterned fabric waiting-area chairs, mismatched work stations and vintage décor, like a tiled arch over a doorway. Plume charges reasonable prices for their services, which include men’s and women’s haircuts, single- and double-process color treatments, deep conditioning and facial waxing, and while the salon does not take credit cards or have an ATM, customers will be offered a drink while they wait. They also offers kids’ haircuts for a more than fair price. The salon stocks hair-care products from Onesta, American Crew and Wella, among others.