Armed with current techniques for properly maintaining noggin lawns, Regis Salon’s network of stores keeps clients’ hair in order as dictated by the latest trends. Within this caravan of hair bazaars, customers’ wild manes are tamed by skillful stylists; use your Groupon toward a shampoo, cut, and blow-dry, and lean back and dream of breakdancing Stay Puft Marshmallow Men as a stylist carefully cleanses hair with shampoo and conditioner and then clips it into stylish head hedges that beautifully complement scalp-garden pathways. Afterward, the hair that’s left behind will receive a loving blow-dry for a style that gleams and glitters like a ruby-encrusted bowling ball. During the treatment, stylists offer helpful tips and tricks to help clients care for hair at home. If a shampoo and cut isn't your cup of sports drink, put your Groupon toward the cost of another service, such as hair coloring (starting at $52), highlights (starting at $75), or a perm (starting at $75).
Rock music and pizza. It’s an unlikely pairing as the inspiration for an Aveda salon, but in the hands of friends Jentry and Katy, it grew beyond that as the foundation of their local hair and makeup hub.
An Austin native, co-owner, and stylist, Jentry would sneak into his hometown’s Black Cat music venue while still underage to catch sight of acts such as Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Over the years, the hall came to represent Austin’s unique charm and live-music foundation, never succumbing to gimmickry or the status-quo throughout its lifespan. The venue’s ability to stick to its roots stayed with Jentry, remaining an inspiration when years later, he and a client, marketing whiz Katy, dreamed of opening their own salon. After months of late-night pizza-and-brainstorming sessions, the concept for their salon came full circle when a black kitten curled up on Jentry’s porch. In a unique move toward remembering a tenacious rock bar and what it stood for, the twosome founded their salon: The Black Cat.
Today, a fleet of stylists brandish their shears, color, and powder puffs amid decor that reflects The Black Cat’s grittier roots. Clients see the vintage script of the “Sorry, We’re Open” front sign before encountering the salon’s gray and blue walls accented with rustic wood furniture and panels. The result is a carefully curated contrast of sleek and scuffed, much like a hitchhiker’s diamond cufflinks.
At Fringe, stylists keep abreast of the latest techniques for snipping strands and shifting hair shades through ongoing instruction from Paul Mitchell’s trainers. At a color bar, they custom-blend hues to transform manes into a new beach-ready blond or the precise shade of gray needed to blend in with a rival’s office cubicle. The salon encourages clients to unwind with a complimentary mimosa in the morning or a glass of wine or cold beer in the afternoon, and guests relax further during a manicure or pedicure.
At Jese Salon, hair stylist Jenny and aesthetician Ses work together to totally revamp visages. Jenny cuts hair into trendy styles and employs coloring techniques that range from face-framing highlights to ombre color. Ses, meanwhile, treats guests to indulgent European facials as well as soothing acne treatments, acupressure skin therapy, and waxing services for brows and upper lip.
For Salon Blanc co-owner Alan Vuong, hair is more than something to tuck behind an ear or sweep over a shoulder—it's an artistic medium that inspires creativity and pride. The salon's website even asserts that "hair is an expression of the moment we live in." Nothing could hold truer for Vuong and his team, who are continually educating themselves on the latest cutting and coloring techniques and products. They displayed these to full effect when they journeyed to California for the 2011 International Salon and Spa Expo—one of the largest professional beauty events on the West Coast—a trip chronicled on Living Local.
Vuong's trendsetting artistic vision earned him the title of Honolulu magazine's Editors' Pick for Best Hairstylist in 2009, and according to that publication, "he even has clients flying in from Japan and Guam to get the Vuong vibe." He and his crew rely on the Kérastase and Shu Uemura lines for haircare, and also offer services such as bridal packages, makeup, and waxing.
It should come as no surprise that Vuong is as concerned with the salon aesthetic as he is with his clients' satisfaction. His blank-canvas hair philosophy is much like the look of the Ala Moana Beach–facing salon itself; in fact, he compared the space to an artist's studio in a feature in American Salon magazine. The minimalist, white-on-white interior is accentuated by black leather chairs and feathery chandeliers that are lighter and more elegant than a performance of Swan Lake on the international space station.
At Makana Esthetics Wellness Academy, founder and education director Malia Sanchez equips students with 600 hours of aesthetics experience "so that the gift can be shared with others." For those who know Hawaiian, this is implicit: The word "makana" translates to "gift." Students work side by side under the careful watch of professionals and unblinking gaze of light bulbs, performing facials, body treatments, and waxes. With freshly trained fingers, the budding aestheticians infuse skin with curative botanical ingredients or operate multipurpose beauty device that can perform manual lymphatic drainage, microdermabrasion, and light therapy.