Cosmetic-product developer David Thurston teamed with 13-year styling vet Alexis Lishman to commandeer a once-vacant commercial space, reimagining it as a luxurious, green-certified spa. The sunny 3,400-square-foot loft space welcomes visitors with Italian-made furnishings set in a pleasant white, brown, and charcoal palate, as well as stunning floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the length of the salon, giving guests views of the vibrant urban hum of Ventura Boulevard below and the passive-aggressive silence of the Encino Hills above. A butterfly sculpture with a 6-foot wingspan designed by British artists Graham Thrussel and Mathew Morris flutters above the space, symbolizing the aesthetic transformations below.
As stylists lather scalps and plot style overhauls at curvy sinks of porcelain, nail artists spruce up digits in the light, airy space. Clients emerge from fresh spray tans and waxes into the salon’s cocoon of chic modernity, surrounded by verdant palms and modern-art pieces from Archan Nair as a custom exhaust system purifies the air of any contaminants caused by keratin hair straightening or bad knock-knock jokes.
Katie Cazorla worked as an actress and comedian for 10 years until a dissatisfying mani-pedi changed her life. She became obsessed with the inadequacies of the salons in her area, resolving to open her own and do it right. Hence, The Painted Nail was born. Katie outfitted the lavender-walled space with white armchairs, vintage-inspired chandeliers, and a team of expert nail technicians who pamper guests with hair and nail services. Using hospital-grade sterilizing equipment and more than 300 colors of gel nail polish, the techs treat hands and feet to bubble baths or ice-cream-themed treatments. For after-hours pampering sessions, Katie opens the doors of the party lounge, offering karaoke stages, a photo booth, and manicure bar and pedicure lounge to help celebrate bachelorette parties or sticking one’s head between some stair-railing bars without getting it stuck.
As a practitioner of the Aveda arts, Kriza Aveda Salon Spa stocks its shelves, cosmetic counters, and salon stations with natural, botanical serums and salves. To pamper clients, the staff peppers each service with luxurious flair—stylists treat guests to a head, neck, shoulder, and hand massage with every haircut, before touching up makeup for ladies. Between appointments, they’ll even trim up bangs to keep cuts stylish or keep head hair from weaving itself into eyelashes. In addition to applying makeup for brides or for special occasions, makeup artists also consult with clients to teach them how to enhance their features and pick the shades that suit their particular skin tone during lessons. Plant-based facials leave skin radiant, diminish wrinkles, or address acne. In every location, the decor mirrors the commitment to naturalism with a light, airy feel, characterized by mostly white walls and plenty of mirrors and glass.
At Drybar, a pair of scissors or hair-coloring foil is nowhere to be found. That?s because the business?s founder, Alli Webb, opened the shop strictly for blowouts after her in-home business skyrocketed. Featured extensively in the media, each of the more than 25 white-hued, airy shops revolves around a center bar where customers sit for around 45 minutes as stylists blow-dry, straighten, and curl their hair. From a menu booklet, clients select a cocktail-themed hairstyle, such as The Mai Tai, which imparts beachy waves, and The Manhattan, which streamlines locks with a sleek finish that mimics the straight lines of downtown New York and can be outfitted with a tiny doorman who hails cabs for you. The staff at Drybar also crafts updos, travels on location for an additional fee, offers high-end products and tools available for purchase, and tallies bar tabs so that customers can pay for multiple blowouts at once.
For more than a decade, color specialist and master stylist Silvia has keep a creative watch over her team of dedicated stylists at Encino Concept Salon. Her more than 30 years of experience and international training at London Hair Academy has honed her keen aesthetic eye, which oversees a salon floor buzzing with stylists as they twirl, trim, and dye strands with botanically based products. The Bio Ionic hair-straightening system also furnishes salon services, where stylists carefully put hair through a process that aims to smooth out strands plagued by frizzes and flyaways. Hair extensions add length to manes with clip-ons of 100% human hair, and customers looking to subtract locks can recline during a waxing or threading session as a technician carefully removes unwanted hairs twisting and twirling into complicated math problems. Encino Concept Salon?s menu also promotes whole-body well-being with a refreshing European facial and spa pedicure.
When owner Linda Rich designed Ankh Studio, she wanted a contrast to the enormous, impersonal salons where she trained. “[I] wanted something that felt like home,” she says—an understandable sentiment after years of traveling the world as a stylist with Sebastian Professional. As she mulled over the details of salon decor, she gravitated toward the center of all homesteads: the fireplace. Ankh Studio's classically styled mantle is painted a chic black and white, anchoring tile mosaics and mirrors with wrought-iron borders.
Rich operates the salon with a team that includes one stylist whom she’s worked with for more than 35 years. She's chosen the new stylists with care, auditioning them with trial styling jobs and spirit quests to trim the pelts of mountain lions. Each stylist uses products from Paul Mitchell in the pursuit of the most flattering cuts.