It’s clear why Paul James Salon recently was ranked in American Salon Magazine as First Class. Guests enter to cherry-red walls and cozy leather sofas. Further in, stylists can be seen effortlessly crafting sleek layers and decorating strands with ammonia-free highlights. The salon also offers a wide array of beautifying treatments, ranging from private makeup consultations to waxing and restorative facials.
The highly trained stylists at Pretty Suite Inc. dress up glamour-hungry follicles with artfully executed cuts, deep-conditioning, and color treatments. Before each procedure, the staff ensures a style that complements each client using a combination of verbal consultations, photographs, magazines, and telepathy. In addition to brightening up the above-shoulder feng shui with careful cuts, a tress artist can carefully paint craniums with a single-process color, or dress locks in fashion show camouflage with a partial highlight. To calm hue-soaked hair, gentle conditioning infusions pave over rugged and wild keratin strands, leaving hair soft and supple to the caress.
Salon W and Spa burnishes bodies from bangs to toenail using brand-name products. Skin rules inside the spa's private treatment rooms, where aestheticians draw inner beauty outward with glycolic peels, skin-resurfacing facials, and Jan Marini skincare products. On the salon floor, stylists add dimension to locks with highlights backed by haircare products from Davines and Bumble and bumble. Massages come in seven editions, from an aromatherapy version that includes fragrant essential oils to a hot-stone variety that both melts the tension in clients' backs and warms the pies in their overalls.
Though every hairstylist has probably cut the hair of a client named Ashley in their career, only a handful of stylists can boast that they have styled the hair of Ashlee Simpson. A hairstylist and makeup artist for nearly three decades, Omar Becerra is one of those talented few. He has developed an impressive resumé over the years that includes accomplishments such as spots in publications, including Ego Magazine, and opportunities to style famous tresses. Today, Becerra works at Obsession Hair Studio, where he treats men and women to his expert hair and makeup services.
Appointments begin with a free consultation, allowing Becerra to design the most flattering style for the client’s face shape, skin tone, and lifestyle. He may simply snip off overgrown length and split ends, or he might take a more in-depth approach and completely revamp the hair's color and shine with luminous highlights. Becerra also offers keratin treatments that force strands to relinquish their curl and frizz for months, and basic deep-conditioning treatments repair locks damaged by blow dryers or trying to break into the Home Alone house. Clients can also visit Becerra prior to weddings and proms for a complete makeup application.
A nightmarish experience led Ellia to the world of extensions. Her hair had been double-processed with a perm and a relaxer, causing the strands to break off and leave behind frazzled, four-inch tufts. Ellia tried to hide the damage with glue-on hair extensions, but because of their heaviness, she had them removed shortly thereafter—a long, expensive process that left her with bald spots. Then she discovered microlinks. These tiny, lightweight copper tubes hold extensions in place without glue or heat, allowing existing hair to grow out naturally. It's been 11 years and Ellia's still wearing extensions—not for their masking properties, mind you, but for the extra volume they bring.
Now at the helm of Spoiled Hair Extensions, Ellia continues to fine-tune the art of lengthening hair—still using the microlinks method, but cutting down on application times with her own patented tool, the Spoiled Hair Belt. When she isn't training stylists and installing natural human hair, she's gathering it from donors who meet her exacting criteria. It's because of this eye for quality that Ellia's hair extensions come with a 10-year guarantee—the average prison sentence for a long-haired princess.
Barber tools are not toys. But even as a child, Dennis Marquez couldn’t resist playing with his father's set of barber tools in the attic, as he told Wellington the Magazine in 2008. This early admiration led Dennis to train at many prestigious hair schools including Vidal Sassoon in London. More than 35 years ago, Dennis and his wife, Kristina, opened the first Pizzazz Hair Design. The venture succeeded: their business has grown to include five separate salons, many of which have gained praise from NBC 5. Each salon’s stylists, armed with Redken and GKhair products, consult with men, women, teens, and children before revamping their manes with cuts, foil highlights, and hair-smoothing treatments. At the adjoining spas in three of the five salons, technicians paint nails with OPI polishes and cleanse skin with botanical-based Pevonia products.
To stay up to date on current hair trends, each salon's beauticians attend continuing-education courses and dissolve fashion magazines older than three months in jars of barbicide. The Pizzazz team also gives back to the community by donating a portion of salon proceeds to the Adopt-A-Family organization.
All five members of Shampoo Salon’s styling team share a passion for hair and makeup, but it’s each member's unique skill set that sets the studio apart. Head stylist Lisa Mackay Naylor-Boulette has more than 30 years of cosmetology experience, during which time she's picked up two People's Pick Awards for Favorite Hairdresser from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Salon coordinator Russell Boulette Jr. sets the tone for the entire styling crew, artistic director Maria Cordella applies a decade's worth of experience specializing in on-camera makeup, bridal hairstyling, and flyaway wrangling, and Lilly Proulx boasts expertise in color design while bringing a creative approach to every look.