Richard grew up in Boston, launching his styling career in the city's salons as a precision haircutter and a Ouidad-certified stylist. His career took him all over as he worked for fashion shows, news stations, extreme-makeover shows, and movies. Eventually, though, he opened Jon Richard Salon and launched a line of styling products.
Today, inside his airy, white-walled salon, which has been written up in So Rhode Island magazine, he rallies his team with a call to defend clients from anything that hinders confidence and beauty. Stylists welcome guests to leather styling chairs for cuts, color services, and Yuko straightening treatments. They also stock Ouidad products enriched with proteins and vitamins and designed especially for curly hair and shag rugs with ringlets. Spa technicians reveal glowing skin with facials and microdermabrasion treatments and transform nails with pink-and-white polish or Shellac mani-pedis. Clients can also stop in to get their bodies beach ready with spray tans, body waxing, or Cry Baby semipermanent mascara, which stays put no matter how many hours they've been manning the dunk tank.
From the outside it looks like a single-family home, complete with a brick chimney jutting from the roof and a garage in back. But since 1979, the only occupants of the house have been the barbers, stylists, and aestheticians of Shear Dimensions. The staff is populated by such veterans as Pat Petronio, a barber who's been cutting hair for more than 40 years. Elsewhere on staff you'll find licensed massage therapist Donna Celona, who is well-versed not only in massage techniques, but in linguistics as well; the Brazilian native speaks five languages fluently, and can perform four distinct types of massages.
Peer into the window of Thomas Michaels Salon, and you might see Erika, an experienced stylist who can transform dull, shapeless locks into chic and modern styles. Armed with a battery of TiGi, Paul Mitchell, and Redken products, the skilled artist moves around a black styling chair, lopping off split ends, reinventing color, and even smoothing curls with the Keratin Complex smoothing therapy and a bullwhip. Across from her station, Erika’s colleagues lead beauty initiatives of their own, providing OPI mani-pedis and facial and waxing treatments for both men and women.
At Air Salon & Spa, the stylists are big believers in beauty: both the beauty of chic, polished hair and the beauty of nature. The two aren't at odds, either, thanks to the salon's eco-friendly business practices. For starters, the team tends to tresses with products from Italy's Davines, Alterna Hemp, and Bamboo Organics?brands that eschew harsh chemicals for natural alternatives while still producing rich color and intensive hydration.
In a similar vein, the salon has built all its workstations with reclaimed materials and furnished the space with vintage furniture from local shops. Even if you get a paper printout of the menu, which encompasses services from custom cuts to eyebrow waxes and pedicures, you can rest easy. Air Salon & Spa prints all its paper products on recycled paper with soy-based ink?a strategy as environmentally friendly as the typical bicycle-powered printer.
At Unlimited Styles Barbershop & Salon, creative director Kim Evans captains a team of skilled stylists, beauty specialists, and expert barbers. Amid green and grey walls and trendy decor, the staffers perform an array of hair, nail, and skincare services. Master stylist Aiesha Grant snips up new looks and twists hair into intricate braids and dreadlocks, while barbers trim facial hair with luxurious hot-lather shaves. Skincare specialist Jasmin Santana sculpts brows with waxing services and rejuvenates skin with facials, as cosmetologist Jaricia DePina, who has a specialty in braids, styles hair and accentuates eyes and lips with makeup.
Nestled along boutique- and coffee shop-lined Hope Street, Red Water Designs' storefront stops even the most caffeinated of passersby in their tracks with a selection of eye-catching accessories. Jewelers constantly update their array of glittering semi-precious stones and hand-blown glass beads fixed in sterling silver or gold-plated metal. Style experts seek out baubles created by local designers, selling only a limited number of pieces at a time from lines such as "Inspirations" by Rhode Island designer Chrisha.