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In the late 1920s, the Great Depression was rendering most Americans professionally and financially paralyzed. But in a small California kitchen, Merle Nethercutt Norman was putting a plan in motion to formulate her own skincare products and share them with family and friends. She truly believed in her formulas, knowing that by getting them on as many faces as possible, she would develop a following of customers. She was right?within a few years she and her nephew were opening their first studio in Santa Monica, and they eventually unveiled a series of independently operated stores that enabled women to take ownership during a time of gender-based limitations such as men-only restrooms.

Today, in approximately 2,000 stores across three countries, the three basic principles of Merle's original vision still apply. Each studio is independently owned and fosters an in-depth knowledge of the company's own line of makeup and skincare products. Just as Merle shared her creations with close friends and sallow mannequins more than 80 years ago, today's aestheticians embody the business's "try before you buy" philosophy. A menu of complimentary studio services?from foundation checks to express facials?allows patrons to sample the lauded brand before committing to the purchase of products or full spa treatments.

8643 Concord Mills Blvd
Concord,
NC
US

The Barber Crew's rich leather couches and dark stained wood welcome men looking for a smartly decorated salon and a dapper cut. The warm and masculine environment fosters comfort and camaraderie, as customers sip on a complimentary beer or nonalcoholic beverage and shoot the breeze with their stylists or fellow males whose hair doesn't cut itself. Guests recline back, keeping one eye over the TV at each station as hot towels open pores and stylists shape scalps to one's preference. The hair experts trim or remove all the sundry hairs that creep up on a man, from waxing brows to trimming beards and mustaches. Their sessions can include a dash of testosterone-friendly products from American Crew or Paul Mitchell, and stylists offer paraffin hand treatments to restore digits to equilibrium before thumb wrestling a grizzly bear tilts the scales back toward unadulterated masculinity.

3775 Concord Parkway South
Concord,
NC
US

Denise Williams has been cutting and styling hair for two decades, and at Moe Mesto, she grooms clients with her experience-honed hands. Specializing in men's cuts, she trims beards and mustaches and fixes men up with chic new haircuts.

20619 Torrence Chapel Rd
Cornelius,
NC
US

A warm, welcoming salon, Boardroom provides masculine customers with grooming services in a relaxed, upscale environment. Designed to be reminiscent of a 1920s country club, The Boardroom is outfitted with plush leather chairs, a pool table, a chess board, and an antique bathtub full of flaming stock certificates. Relax with a complimentary beverage as a stylist gives you the Benchmark, the salon’s signature service. After a personal consultation, guests receive a revitalizing shampoo and scalp massage, a cut tailored to personal style requirements, a cleansing re-shampoo and conditioning, and a finishing-touch styling before stepping back onto the street with a freshly tuned-up ’do. Going beyond particular follicular needs, the package also includes a paraffin hand dip, a moisturizing facial, as well as a steamed hand towel and complimentary beverage. With The Boardroom’s reputation for quality service and client satisfaction, guests need not worry about arriving at the next important meeting with a single sideburn or a surplus of side-ponytails.

3346 Robinhood Road
Winston Salem,
NC
US

Studio Glam Salon's classic white interior, flecked with blue and purple accents, creates a clean aesthetic where visitors can relax for simple haircuts or luxurious spa pedicures. The team—averaging more than 30 years of experience—prides itself on their compassion, which they evidence through their consultations. They hold these one-on-one consultations with clients before administering any of their signature haircuts, highlights, and natural nail services.

3076 Healy Dr
Winston Salem,
NC
US

Pure Elements Spa invites guests to relax with a number of customized beauty services. A variety of facial treatments cleanse and exfoliate visages, targeting fine lines or acne. Nail treatments include manicures, pedicures, and add-ons such as paraffin dips or gel polish. Stylists offer haircuts, color services such as partial or full highlights, and hair extensions.

3808 Littlebrook Drive
Clemmons,
NC
US