Having each gained 25 years of industry experience, Angela Berk and Russel Thompson teamed up to create Carmichael Salon and Color Bar, a 2011 and 2012 San Francisco Bay Guardian Best of the Bay winner for Best Salon. The experienced team of stylists attends weekly classes to make sure that its cutting and colorizing techniques remain as current as a calendar with a page for each minute of the year. Hair extensions come in natural or defiant hues, and brow and lash services frame peepers better than sets of gilded bifocals. Products from Redken, 2 Boys and a Girl, Affinage, and Wella line the salon's shelves, spilling onto tresses to add volume, shine, and vibrant color.
Today, future innovators of the beauty industry might be walking the halls of Cinta Aveda Institute, where veteran cosmetologists school their protégés in the many ways of client beautification and environmental consciousness. Under the watchful eye of licensed professionals, aspiring beauticians receive first-hand experience as they practice their chosen salon discipline on visitors, helping clients achieve a movie-star appearance with haircut and coloring services, skin-balancing facials, glamorous makeup application, and a bell that dings with every smile. Calling upon Mother Nature’s nurturing touch, Cinta’s instructors and students wield Aveda’s line of all-natural products packaged in eco-friendly containers made out of recycled materials.
A kelly-green façade and thatched roof greet visitors at the entrance to Shear Irish, a salon that captures the relaxing essence of a sojourn to the Emerald Isle. Striking a delicate balance between cozy and quirky, the shop lets its heritage be known through an interior mural of the Irish countryside and a pair of wooden leprechauns who scan the floors for locks of golden hair. Stylists stand beside swiveling chairs with shears at the ready, consulting with each client before trimming tresses down to size. Though trips to the salon often result in simple, flattering cuts for men, women, and children, the stylists can cultivate more sophisticated looks with services that include highlights and lowlights, perms, root touch-ups, and facial waxing.
Hair Play, a chic and spacious salon in the heart of Hayes Valley, calls itself a ?multicultural hair mecca? with cutting-edge expertise and style in multicultures. Its haircuts were praised in Allure magazine?s Best of Beauty issue, and the owner was featured in San Francisco magazine. Hair Play?s stylists snip and charm the most distraught bristles, frizzies, and Medusa head-snakes, dousing them with products from Hair Play?s signature line. Specialties include color, keratins, relaxers and extensions. Hair Play hosts custom makeover parties for group and elevates elegant updos for weddings, complete with a consultation to discuss ideas and the impending comeback of the powdered wig.
Every time Jubilee Hair Studio's stylists consider a client's face shape, hair texture, and skin tone, they draw upon experience honed on two continents. Educated in both Europe and the United States at such training academies as Toni & Guy, Bumble and bumble, and Sassoon, they pride themselves on keeping pace with international trends. This attentiveness has sharpened the stylists' expertise with short styles, earning the salon a place in 7x7's list of Four SF Salons Specializing in Short Cuts. It's also enhanced their color work—when not at the salon, owner Jubilee uses her skills to teach color classes for TIGI or apply vibrant highlights to washed-out rainbows.
At Hair by Ali, the meticulously trained, eponymous stylist outfits each client with a custom coif that suits individual age, features, and lifestyle. During his nearly 20 years of experience in the hairstyling industry and extensive training in upscale salons in Chicago and Dallas, Ali has mastered Brazilian keratin and Japanese Yuko hair-straightening treatments, gained specialized training in handling curly locks, and learned to calm frazzled ’dos with only a whisper. In addition to enhancing each patron's eye and skin color with signature highlights and color services, Ali strives to crop manes with high-quality cuts that maintain their original design and beauty as they grow and leave for college.