It’s hard to tell if you’re walking into a pedicure studio or a Victorian sitting room. A client relaxes in a throne-like leather chair while a nail technician tends to her feet, and yet it feels as though a butler could walk in at any moment with high tea. Perhaps it’s the nail technicians, who seem to be fawning over royalty, or perhaps it’s the room’s ornate mouldings, matching the patterned wallpaper and rug, and polished hardwood floors. That distinct sense of place elevates both of Parlour on the Avenue’s locations, both housed in buildings constructed in the 1800s—one receiving a preservation award from Indiana Landmarks—and both with two floors bedecked in Victorian decor.
On the ground floors, the staff dotes over visitors with hair, nail, skin, and spa services. The second floors house Victorian wet spas—spaces where clients enjoy privacy and indulgent services such as whey baths, hot-stone massages, and stories read by Charles Dickens. To enhance the results of each service, Parlour’s team recommends aftercare products from its stock, such as lotions from Hempz Body Care and Pino and face-care formulas from Control Corrective.
After her first beauty-school client beamed at her new haircut, Brittany Harvey was hooked on seeing customers' smiles. She has since spent hours in professional classrooms—listening to lectures from companies such as Goldwell and Paul Mitchell—and at her salon station, deftly pursuing the reward of a grin. Often, that expression accompanies a walk down the aisle, as Brittany specializes in formal bridal-party services administered both on- and off site, or even on the bride as she's walking down the aisle.
When she's not working on weddings, Brittany might render extensions that lengthen strands into natural-looking cascades or trims that shorten coifs into flattering layers. Goldwell and Rusk products, meanwhile, aid her in applying highlights, corrective color, and all-over color. She rounds out her treatment menu with simple shampoo-and-style packages, as well as waxing for brows, chins, and lips.
Nail technicians unleash their inner artists with imaginative designs that complete manicures. They paint everything from cartoon characters to football players onto digits. The nail art isn’t the only service at Montage Hair and Nail Studio that steps outside the box. Stylists use a kaleidoscope of hues to color hair, including highlights in cobalt blue or hot pink. They also offer dramatic and classic cuts for men, women, and children. In addition, the stylists coat hair in speciality treatments, which condition and moisturize strands or remove chlorine, minerals, and last New Year's confetti from locks.
The stylists at Mitchell's Salon & Day Spa have beautified Cincinnati-area clients for the past 30 years. During that time, the staff has grown to more than 400 employees across five locations. They've also garnered several press mentions, including their most recent victory in The Knot's Best of Weddings 2013. These accolades are all possible because of the meticulous care that the salon pours into both its posh ambiance and soothing treatments. Stylists perfect 'dos with haircuts and smoothing keratin treatments, and aestheticians perform antioxidant facials, which make the skin more resilient against hazards such as environmental damage and cheek-pinching aunts.
When she entered the beauty industry 30 years ago, Shari Renfro dreamed of channeling her creative energy into her own salon, where she could help clients to create new looks and rebuild their damaged strands. After a decade of hard work and dedication, she actualized her aspirations and opened Giggles on Main, where today she leads a staff of Aveda– and Framesi–trained stylists. The team softens and enriches strands by introducing rich botanicals and vibrant coloring formulas rather than marshmallow fluff. When they aren't arranging manes, staff members happily perform facials, Aveda mani-pedis, and Opi polishes.
Amid calming environs swathed in rich earth tones, Elon Salon's seasoned stylists cultivate flattering, contemporary coiffures. Brands such as Kenra, Aquage, and Tigi headline their well-stocked arsenal of products, which they brandish while sculpting, coloring, conditioning, and whispering encouraging sonnets to manes. They flaunt their skills alongside resident aestheticians, who further enhance physiques with waxing, makeup applications, airbrush tanning, and mani-pedis that utilize OPI and Creative Nail Design polishes.