Perm in Philadelphia

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Hair Conditioner: Ticket to a Molecular Makeover

Your hair?s sure to feel silkier once your stylist conditions it?learn why with Groupon?s close-up look at conditioner.

Although human hair may look smooth, each strand's outer layer?the cuticle?is actually quite rough. Under dry conditions, the tiny scales that cover its surface become raised and brittle, causing hairs to tangle and lose their shine. Conditioner aims to correct this problem by bonding a particular class of molecules, called cationic surfactants, to the cuticle. This is possible because keratin, the protein that makes up most of the hair shaft, bristles with negative ions, which attract the positively charged surfactants, coating each thread in a thin film that weighs it down and reduces frizz. (The negative charge of keratin is also what causes static whenever positive ions are stripped from the hair?the static that makes it possible to stick a balloon to the wall or to power a miner's headlamp.)

The other ingredients in conditioner don't always need ions to do their jobs well. Humectants suck in water from the surrounding air, thereby moisturizing the hair, and oils simply penetrate the cuticle. Glossers coat the hair with light-reflecting polymers, increasing shine, whereas other ingredients raise the acidity level of the conditioner, which helps protect the hair's protein structure.

13037 Bustleton Ave
Philadelphia,
PA
US

Two salon chair sit in front of mirrors, surrounded by bright light, dark hardwood floors, and an even rarer sensation at a salon?privacy. Instead of a dizzying cacophony of hair dryers and scissor snips, ARS LAB surrounds each client with peace and quiet, ensuring individual attention from a stylist?including owner Andr? Richard Baldini?who takes the time to get to know them, their needs, and their desired aesthetic. After a full consultation, the stylist hydrates hair with Phyto conditioning treatment before cutting, coloring, or styling it to match the latest hair trends or most popular neighborhood topiaries. The salon also features a dedicated MAC makeup station, where Baldini?a MAC makeup specialist?creates new custom applications and teaches clients how to get the same look at home.

201 South Camac Street
Philadelphia,
PA
US

Brands Used: Influence, CHI color, Jane Carter, DermaOrganic

Reservations/Appointments: Optional

Established: 1994

Staff Size: 2?10 people

Parking: Free street parking

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Q&A with Rachelle Russell, President

When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?

I first developed a passion for the beauty industry while working at my aunt's salon in 1983. I loved meeting new clients, and seeing their faces after I finished doing their hair. As a woman, getting your hair done can boost your ego, elevate your mood, and make you feel like a brand-new person. All that being said, I just love people, and I love making them feel like a million bucks.

5823 Market St.
Philadelphia,
PA
US

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.

3440 Ashfield Ln
Philadelphia,
PA
US

The staff at Tommi Salon and Spa pamper clients in an airy space with third-floor views of the center city. Stylists trim tresses beneath broad windows in the salon, which also offers services from coloring and straightening to ornate wedding-day updos. The spa swathes clients in a luxurious, but minimalist aesthetic. Footbaths glow blue, purple, and green along a sleek white banquette with six pedicure stations. Other services, such as facials, massages, and waxing, take place in four private treatment rooms; aestheticians also create custom-blended treatments inside a dedicated Spa Lab.

718 Chestnut St
Philadelphia,
PA
US

Metric Salon is an elegant studio with sunlit hardwood floors and pristine white walls. Skilled stylists circle the sleek black styling chairs, transforming hairstyles with cuts, coloring services, and shine treatments as their customers sip on complimentary beer and wine. The stylists strive to snip styles that best suit each client's unique hair texture and face shape, favoring advanced products from brands such as Redken and Pureology.

3502 Scotts Lane, Suite 21
Philadelphia,
PA
US