A.J. and Allison had really important napkins. Over a few glasses of wine, the pair scribbled ideas and notes onto the normally disposable squares, and what began as a dream over drinks quickly grew into Poco Hair Company. Today, the ladies give hair the attention they once gave napkins, creating dazzling 'dos via cut and color services. Their irreverent decor engages the eyes of patrons as trained stylists expertly detach split ends, add desired layers, and remove stray pelican feathers for a variety of styles, from bohemian to natural to punk.
During more than a quarter century at the helm of LookAfter Hair Company, Peter Hall has seen the styling industry gradually split in two directions—toward the high-end salon and toward the in-and-out fast cut place. With LookAfter, Peter decided to close that gap. There, guests can get premium salon services on a walk-in basis and haircuts from stylists who will gladly slow down for careful consultations instead of racing through trims with stopwatches in their hands. The name LookAfter is meant to reflect this blend and to demonstrate his vision for a place where the staff stands ready to serve all clients, whether they need keratin treatments, eyebrow waxes, or beard trims. This approach has helped LookAfter grow to more than 40 locations across St. Louis, Kansas City, and central Illinois, and the idea has also led to ongoing community outreach. Stylists have helped raise money for disaster relief, support breast-cancer awareness, and generate funds for veterans’ programs by carrying haircare products from American Warrior.
Jessi Rekart has been charging for her salon services since she was a child; at age 10, she often styled her mother’s hair for $5 per session. Now, with 10 years of experience under her belt, she specializes in color treatments and cutting curly hair. Tired of taming her own curly mop with straighteners and sandwich presses, she trained in New York to become a certified DevaCurl care consultant. Using what she’s learned, she designs flattering hairdos for curly-haired customers and shares wave-taming techniques during styling lessons.
The expert aestheticians at Brow Spa have never met an unwanted strand they couldn't eliminate. Using a cotton thread, they rid facial areas—such as brows, upper lips, and sideburns—of hair by plucking it out by the follicle. Waxing treatments likewise eradicate excess locks from faces, as well as other body parts such as backs and legs. Besides hair removal, the Brow Spa team also specializes in other beautifying treatments, including tinting lashes, exfoliating faces with herbal bleaches, and adorning bodies with henna tattoos.
Face Enhancements' skincare treatments include facials, peels, and body scrubs, all designed to restore youth and radiance. Take the parsley-and-cucumber oxygenating treatment, which tones and purifies skin and spurs cellular repair, or the Flaxx-C anti-aging facial, which helps smooth wrinkles and tighten the skin. Face Enhancements also offers lash extensions, nail treatments, and permanent makeup.
Founder Todd Beckman opened the first Tan Company location, then called The St. Louis Tan Company, in 1994 with a pair of average-size sun retreats. After perfecting a superstore concept with multiple levels of tanning beds and an intrepid-reporter alter ego, Beckman's bronzing business now spans 53 locations in 8 states, including 39 locations in the St. Louis area. Todd ensures each salon keeps the same high standards that won the 2010 award for Best Tanning in St. Louis from CityVoter.
A knowledgeable staff maintains each bright, highly sanitized environment and stocks shelves with Australian Gold, Swedish Beauty, and Designer Skin tanning products. The Tan Company also fashions UV-free tans with Mystic Tan standup booths that evenly spritz bodies with a paraben-free DHA solution infused with aloe vera.