Sofia Perez has always had a passion for hairstyling and beauty treatments. Her mentor, accomplished hairstylist Gilbert Febles, taught her how to both design hair and push herself beyond perceived limits. After years of experience in running a high-volume beauty salon, Perez created the first Sofi's Color Lounge in Cranford in 1997. Here, she gathered together a team of former coworkers and skilled professionals, and the venture was successful enough to spin off a second location in Summit in 2008.
Today, Perez's adept staff perform their signature color treatments and diverse hair services using hand-picked, innovative products from makers like Goldwell, KMS California, and GK Hair. Both locations have a sleek, modern feel: the Summit site has metallic blue and silver walls, and the Cranford salon also welcomes guests with a metallic color scheme.
Salon 1100’s fire-engine-red wall signals to customers that its stylists aren’t afraid of making bold statements. But whether clipping innovative or classic cuts, they make sure to stay in line with each client's vision and comfort level. The stylists also add length with extensions, brush on all-over color or highlights, and straighten unmanageable locks with Brazilian blowouts. All the while, they incorporate Scruples and Arrojo products, which clients can purchase to recreate looks at home or while stuck at a four-way stop sign.
At Elegant Image Salon, styling veteran Claudia Cruz and her staff sculpt hair for men, women, and children with a variety of haircare services. In addition to standard haircuts, they perform keratin treatments to make hair smoother and add hair extensions to add volume and offer clients a shortcut into the world of '80s hard-rock superstardom. Cruz sees that her staff stays apprised of the latest industry trends and techniques to maintain a standard of quality cuts.
Hairdressing runs in his blood. As a third-generation stylist, Jeff—the owner and director of Gemmette Hair Studios—not only loved hair from a young age but acted on his passion and began working in the industry at the age of 15. He then went on to attend the Vidal Sassoon school in London before garnering enough skills to become a color specialist and educator for Paul Mitchell. Now Jeff shares his endless love for hair not only with his clients but with his team of stylists at both Gemmette Hair Studio locations. Under Jeff's tutelage, each stylist much complete the salon's training program before working their way through the ranks of junior, senior, and designer stylist. And, even after all that training, the group still shows offs their hunger to learn by mastering the latest hair trends and techniques through continuing-education courses.
Along with precision cuts for adults and kids, Japanese hair-straightening treatments, and corrective coloring, Gemmette's crew is skilled in eyelash extensions and makeup applications. Hair can also be restored with the salon's reviving blow-dry treatments, which help brighten locks, protect against breakage with argan- and olive-oil-infused products, and boost volume.
Though the focus in each Gemmette Hair Studio is the client, the owner did not skimp on decor. Both locations offer elegance—one with baroque decor and the other inspired by zen—as well as fully stocked color bars boasting every shade of the rainbow, including pot of gold.