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Warmly appointed walls, candles, and indoor flora set a serene tone at Capretti & Co., allowing aestheticians to perform nature-derived Elemental facials in tranquility. The 75-minute experience begins with a brief questionnaire that illuminates aestheticians on the beauty needs of each client, such as moisture-replenishing hydration necessary after a dry season or gentle exfoliation to smooth out visages that have recently weathered a micrometeor shower. With the questionnaire in hand, a Capretti & Co. technician custom-blends the Elemental Nature facial using environmentally friendly Aveda products and scented oils to soothe the skin and calm the muscles that make smiling, frowning, and frantic screaming possible.

1931 Crafton Blvd
Pittsburgh,
PA
US

Hair Relaxers: Breaking Nature's Bonds

Thanks to hair relaxers, you can walk into a salon curly and leave straight. Zoom in on the chemistry of your curls with Groupon?s introduction.

Human hair is flexible enough to run wild as a mountain stream one day and fall as straight as water over the Hoover Dam the next. But to make lasting changes to its texture, you need to go beyond the reach of styling tools down to the chemical level. All hair is made of keratin, a hard protein that?s also central to our skin, nails, and exoskeletons. To form a single hair, keratin molecules link together in different patterns with the help of three types of chemical bonds: hydrogen bonds and salt bonds, both of which break easily in water and reform when dry, and disulphide bonds, which can only be broken by certain chemicals. In straight hair, the disulphide bonds are evenly aligned. In curly hair, however, the bonds occur irregularly and at odd angles, causing the hair to twist and kink on its way down.

When you style your hair with heat or water alone, you break the weaker hydrogen and salt bonds to allow your do to take a new shape. Once water touches your hair, however, the bonds reform in their customary way, and you?re back where you started. Chemical relaxers, therefore, work by dissolving the hair's tough, waterproof disulphide bonds and preventing them from reforming in their normal pattern.

The most powerful hair relaxers contain sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as lye. Given lye?s presence in drain openers and oven cleaners, you might guess that it can be quite harsh on human skin, which is why no-lye relaxers made from guanidine hydroxide are also common. There is a trade-off, however: some find that lye relaxers are harder on the scalp but gentler on hair, and work more quickly so that you can get back to staring at your hair in the mirror sooner. An experienced stylist can recommend the best method for your hair.

1521 Superior Ave
Pittsburgh,
PA
US

The staff at Persona Hair & Spa hopes that their beauty services help clients outwardly express their personalities. Their services literally span from head-to-toe, with stylists clipping haircuts and painting on highlights and nail technicians sprucing tootsies with polish. They also perform waxing services, hair extensions, manicures, deep-conditioning treatments, and Brazilian Blowouts, which leave frizzy hair smoother, shinier, and more manageable.

1602 Potomac Ave
Pittsburgh,
PA
US

At New York Salon & Spa, hairstylists tend to tresses amid sleek, white decor accented by light hardwood floors and other modern design touches. They create new looks for guests that range from basic haircuts to formal updos or highlights.

333 Blvd of the Allies
Pittsburgh,
PA
US

A chic spot just for guys, Take 5 invites gentlemen to sit back and crack open a cold one while the stylists make them look dapper. To that end, the stylists snip sharp cuts, lather up faces for straight-razor shaves, or incite relaxation during scalp massages. Guys can opt in for monthly memberships, which include multiple haircut and shave visits with hot-towel treatments, mini-manicures, and mustache and beard trims, all enhanced by complimentary snacks and drinks. And while guys wait, they can entertain themselves with the free WiFi or Xbox, instead just counting each hair on their head.

333 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh,
PA
US

Returning back east after working under Robert Cromeans?the global artistic director of Paul Mitchell?in his California salon and traveling hair shows, Sergio Pampena succeeded his father as the owner and driving force behind Sergio?s Style. Sergio works closely with the stylists who call his Paul Mitchell Focus Salon home, including three who spend their spare time as national educators for Paul Mitchell. His stylists begin cuts and colorings by ushering clients to the wash house, an alcove situated behind a towering wall of falling water where muscles relish a head and neck massage as soft music trills from speakers and well-hidden carousels. While stylists work, clients can watch their hair color getting mixed at the floor?s color bar or affix eyes on a wall-mounted flat-screen television. Though Sergio?s stylists are chiefly concerned with haircare, a menu of waxing, spray-tanning, and makeup services are available to complement fresh cuts.

2891 W Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh,
PA
US