GS Hair owner Greg Saumure is so particular about who he hires that he created The Cut Test, a trial by scissors that challenges prospective stylists to execute five different haircut styles as well as demonstrate mastery in coloring tresses. The result is a staff of Paul Mitchell– and Vidal Sassoon–educated stylists with such extensive knowledge that they can cut a trendy bob while blindfolded with a writhing koala. These stylists work their mane magic across a 3,000-square-foot space complete with 20 hair stations, ergonomically designed shampoo bowls, and even a mani-pedi lounge.
From hair extensions in vibrant colors to keratin formulas to bowls of warm wax, the specialists at Studio Hair Design have every tool necessary to bolster their clients’ visages. They remove unwanted hair from upper lips or antlers and ready faces for any situation with permanent-makeup applications. Additionally, stylists take their scissors and curling irons on the road when they travel to housebound customers or bridal parties for on-location appointments.
Nestled inside Salons Within's Carmichael studio, expert aesthetician Patsy Farrar employs techniques perfected over more than 25 years as she coddles skin and brows. Customized facials alleviate epidermal woes with cleansers and other professional-grade products, microdermabrasions banish dead skin cells to cleanse and brighten complexions, and photorejuvenations refresh faces with compliments shouted by a nearby paparazzo. Patsy also shapes brows with precisely placed layers of wax and highlights favorite strands and eyelashes with alluring tints.
Clinical aesthetician and visual artist Sherry approaches each client's skin as if it were a canvas, painstakingly attending to it until it flourishes with a glowing beauty. Inside ZÁD Salon & Spa, her full-service, ultramodern salon—reminiscent of an art gallery with white walls interrupted by bright flounces of color—she uses her 20 years of international experience and the Dermalogica skincare line to design and customize facials, body wraps, and hair-removal treatments. She’s joined by master hair stylists, a nail technician, and massage therapist, who create masterpieces similar to the artwork adorning the walls or the one-act plays put on by the cleaning crew at night.
Conversations with strangers usually don't lead to newfound good looks, unless those strangers are the amiable sextet helming Vanity Lounge Beauty Boutique. Amid lavender-hued walls and potted orchids, the stylists involve each client thoroughly in the beautification process, discussing individual aesthetic wishes at length before delving into any procedure or genie-bottle rubdown. As the professional prettifiers work, they instruct clients on how to re-create new looks at home, sharing wisdom gained in training from Goldwell and Sebastian.
Walking past the kaleidoscopic ranks of bottles from brands such as Sebastian, Crew, and Number 4 lining the walls, patrons reach a range of boutique accessories such as jewelry, clutches, and hair doodads. Excited chatter drifts back and forth between the stylists and guests planning private beauty parties, which include refreshments and hair dryers trained to drown out dull stories.
From styling celebrity hair to revitalizing complexions with relaxing facials, the team at Willo Aveda, an Aveda concept salon, aims to fill local mirrors with visions of beauty. Stylists of five different experience levels wash and rinse hair before breathing new life into languishing strands with a tailored cut and blow-dry. Alternatively, hair artisans can deploy Aveda's 97%–99% naturally derived formulas to refresh hair with a single-process color or nourish locks with conditioning plant oils that leave hair shinier than a freshly licked ring pop. The stylists at Willo Aveda also stay engaged with their clients through an active blog that celebrates lauded hair happenings. Most recently, the business collaborated with other Aveda salons to help set a Guinness World Record for the most money raised for charity in 24 hours through haircuts alone.