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.
Jerome Hagood loved his job at Hair Art & Co so much that he decided to stay for good. So he and his wife Rhonda bought the business in 2004. Seven years later, they moved to a new location, where they continue to beautify clients just as the salon’s original owner had since 1983. The current team includes hairstylists, aestheticians, and a horde of invisible friends. Together, they keep customers looking sharp with haircuts, mani-pedis, facials, waxing, and more.
A soft glow of gold emanates from within Asha Salon and Spa, enticing guests to enter into its spacious haven covered in sunset-colored hues and irregular amber tiles. But the décor isn't Asha Salon's only distinctive feature. The beauty haven also attracts patrons with a menu of Indian-influenced treatments and bridal packages. Along with henna hair dying and facial threading, guests are beautified with mehandi art, which consists of intricate designs hand-drawn across the back of the hands and over the palms. Back in vibrantly colored treatment rooms, aestheticians ward off signs of aging with herb and fresh fruit-infused facials, while a Shahnaz Husain's diamond treatment exfoliates the outer layers of the skin with finely granulated diamonds. And out on the salon floor, stylists tailor haircuts to meet each clients' desired style, be it a father's buzz cut or a his kid's request for a three-foot pompadour.
Elizabeth Rostro's and Barbara Boatwrigth's ER Skin Care fully embraces its name. Clients can stop in for a 75-minute CPR facial—a massage-accompanied microdermabrasion treatment that promotes collagen growth—or a soothing 25-minute ER Visit face cleansing that evokes the decadent and relaxing vibes of an actual hospital. Despite their tongue-in-cheek menu, Elizabeth and Barbara take skincare seriously. Combined, they have over 25 years experience as aestheticians and studied with Elizabeth Arden spas to hone their beautifying techniques. Today, they take advantage of the latest skincare treatments, including DermaSound facials, which nourish pores with ultrasound waves and numerous specialized peels that can target any individual concern. In addition to skincare, they perform waxing services, hair-tinting procedures, and classic massages.
Two stylists and two barbers comprise Cutz & Styles' staff. Kristin, an Aveda master stylist, begins each appointment by evaluating the client's current hairdo and eliciting feedback on his or her end goal. "I pride myself on communication and consultations with my clients," she says. "Each client receives my utmost attention to detail and quality of service."
That explains why, during each shampooing, Kristin not only washes hair but also massages the scalp in fluid, circular motions that spell relax in cursive. Afterward, she often adds a coloring or conditioning treatment such as Japanese straightening. "Most people would compare it to the keratin treatment or Brazilian blowout," she said, "but this is a permanent treatment for people who don't want any curl left."
These services—as well as mani-pedis and facials—take place in the salon area, which resides adjacent to a barbershop.