A luxurious interior welcomes men to Weldon Barber, which blends a warm, modern aesthetic with rustic accents, such as a fireplace tucked into a stone wall. While waiting for a cut or shave, guests sink into plush leather chairs and sip complimentary coffee, cola, or bottled water while feasting eyes on a flat-screen TV or a selection of men's magazines.
During signature haircuts—the shop’s bread and butter—stylists commence to pamper with a shampoo and a scalp massage before snipping away extraneous strands to craft a custom haircut inspired by a favorite celebrity or janitorial mop. A delicate detailing of brows, ears, and the nose eliminates rogue facial hairs, and a hot face towel and neck shave leave visages smooth. Clients can pair cuts with a timesaver or a signature shave to quickly and comprehensively free jawlines of five o’clock shadows. Throughout the entire andro-aesthetic adventure, stylists lavish clients with Aveda, Jack Black, and American Crew products.
A beauty-industry veteran for more than 20 years, owner Inez Gray fosters a creative environment at Habitude Day Spa and Salon, where her energetic staff beautifies clients with customized hair-, skin-, and body-care services. Her team of innovative stylists and aestheticians enhances exteriors with the aid of Aveda and Bumble and bumble products and goes to great lengths to ensure each client's experience parallels the calm obtained from a bedtime story read by Morgan Freeman. While clients indulge in such services as essential mani-pedis and Brazilian blowouts, Habitude's eco-friendly space wraps around them, helping to soothe their senses with its contemporary western decor and eco boutique packed with fair-trade gifts and trinkets. The salon makes regular donations to its good-karma bank by continually giving back to the community and by serving as a training ground for up-and-coming green stylists, who earn their shears through the Crux Academy.
"When a client is in your chair they should be the center of your universe," Armand states matter-of-factly on his website. The sentence sums up the mission that he and the Salon Armand team back up with pampering action and their signature customized consultations. More than just a quick check-in, these consults involve a staff member listening thoroughly to the client's hair desires. The team works closely with guests to ensure each service matches the client's lifestyle and personal expression, even whipping up hair color tailored to the client's own mood ring?red means mad, whereas purple means under the influence of grape soda.
The thoughtfulness of the boutique salon shines through in its earth-friendly and personal touches. Rotating displays by local and national artists dot the walls, and organic and sustainable products styled exclusively by Aveda.
Clients relax as they sip frothy beers and tart ciders amid the elegant white décor of The Wax Bar's lobby before following aestheticians back to a private treatment room for one of a broad repertoire of signature hair-removal services. Staff at The Wax Bar's two locations aim to make waxing or sugaring a luxurious and dignified experience, soothing clients' jangling nerves with drinks from the wet bar. Each aesthetician boasts a repertoire of discomfort-minimizing tricks to ensure sugaring and waxing services for men and women's brows, backs, and bikinis go as swiftly and painlessly as possible. After follicles have said their tearful goodbyes to unwanted hair, aestheticians apply aftercare products and advise clients on the best way to reduce irritation on freshly bare skin. Staff members also offer facials whose targeted therapies incorporate products from Dermalogica and Aveda.
Driven by core values that include empathy and accountability, the staffers of Lake Union Wellness cultivate optimal health in their clients through natural and holistic methods. Licensed chiropractors and massage therapists address aches, mobility issues, and alignment problems with deep-tissue massages and spinal therapy, not drugs, surgery, or tickling. The practitioners promote ongoing wellness in clients by guiding them toward strength-building exercises, therapeutic stretches, and nutrition coaching. Even as they do serious work, Lake Union’s staffers maintain a lighthearted, friendly environment, seeking to build long-term relationships with clients. Perks such as free parking and evening appointment times make the experience as relaxed as Barry White’s answering-machine greeting.
Maverick stylist Vidal Sassoon started a revolution when he opened his first salon in London in the 1970s, bringing art to the business of cutting hair. Decades later, his vision lives on in stylish Sassoon Salons that bear his name, including one in downtown Seattle. Even the most finicky clients are impressed by Sassoon Salon’s creative pros, and trained stylists consider each individual’s features before taking hair in a new direction with a precision cut or a custom color. The Fifth Avenue space has a sleek, sophisticated feel with a dramatic black-and-white palette serving as a backdrop for oversized photos on the walls. But inside the vibe is warm and welcoming, as guests are greeted with a handshake and a cup of tea. It’s a small gesture, but deeply appreciated by the growing legions of loyal clients.
Despite its reputation as a casual city, the fact that a quality Seattle day spa can be found in almost any of the city’s neighborhoods tells a different story about its residents. Whether it is a facial, a manicure, a massage, or a new hairstyle, Seattle is full of skilled personal care professionals who provide these services at the highest level of excellence and reasonable prices.
There are many salons in Seattle, such as the Dandelion Salon, that can execute the latest hairstyles with ease. Most salon estheticians perform their work in an environment with a beautiful decor and a friendly demeanor, which helps ameliorate any discomfort commonly associated with such personal maintenance practices as waxing.
Since the city embraces the work hard, play hard philosophy, Seattle massage therapists, such as Gina at Ballard’s Ruby Massage, are available to melt away both tension from working and aches from playing. An inviting environment, scented oils, and massage therapists who know how to read a body contribute to the wellness of patients at Ruby and other locales, like BodyGood Massage Therapy in Columbia City.
The insouciance towards personal appearance that prevailed in the city in the 90s is a thing of the past. These days, a great many Seattle hair salons have their patrons looking their absolute best. A flood of compliments generally follows a visit to cutting-edge places like Intermezzo Salon in Queen Anne and the Cristy Carner Salon in Fremont.
Seattle is home to a much higher number of great personal care service providers than the city’s reputation lets on. Moreover, the friendliness for which the city is noted means that these personal services are delivered without the slightest hint of pretentiousness. After all, an esthetician’s friendly demeanor can do as much to put a smile on a patron’s face as a gleaming manicure can.