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.
Salon Concepts connects talented stylists with private suites where they can tend to tresses and soothe skin in a peaceful environment. Services and pricing vary by location, with an array of beautifying treatments abounding across the network like bunnies on a verdant spring catwalk. Seventeen participating aestheticians are armed with a pack of prettification options such as cut-and-color combos from experienced colorist Brent Bauer at Salon Concepts Oakley ($60–$175) or body waxing ($10+) under the gentle hands of Randy Jackson at Salon Concepts Florence. Check in for a noninvasive frown-removal procedure with a facial expert ($35+) or a stress-melting massage ($35+) from Erlinda Griffin at Salon Concepts Montgomery.
A diverse staff of hair specialists and an aesthetician helps About U Salon beautify bodies with meticulous attention. Many staff members have decades of experience in the industry, which they use to clear skin with specialized facials and waxing sessions, as well as add depth to hair with highlights that mimic thin rivulets of rain on the solitary window of life. All services are performed with high-end products from brands such as Paul Mitchell, Mantra, and Joico.
Cosmetologist Cynthia Norman offers a variety of beautifying treatments for women, men, and children at Lashawns Phase 2 Salon. She deftly trims bangs, braids hair, or spruces up heads with new haircuts. She also offers conditioning treatments, manicures, waxing, and natural haircare.
When owner Giovanni Finocchiaro picked up the phone at Face It Spa, he heard one of his clients sobbing. She had been preparing for a presentation at work, and in the process, her skin had broken out so badly that Finocchiaro recalls her lamenting, "I just can't do it. I have to see you." Finocchiaro, who once dreamed of being a counselor, told her to come in immediately. "When you help people look better on the outside, it really does make them feel better inward, too," he says. When his distraught client arrived, he tailored a peel for her sensitive skin that helped kill bacteria and calm inflammation. Within a few days, he says, "she couldn't believe … how [her complexion] was already turning around."
Inside his recently remodeled boutique, Finocchiaro caters to each of his clients in the same way. He offers them complimentary water or tea before leading them across dark hardwood floors to a candlelit treatment room. After cleansing their face, he uses a lighted magnifier to analyze their skin type, then employs PCA products and a wide arsenal of customizable facial treatments to help them reach specific beauty goals or the center of the Earth.
Though they can both claim illustrious careers in the hairstyling industry, Joey and Nikki followed very different paths to get to where they are today. Joey trained with Aveda in 1989 and then took his scissors on the road, snipping strands in salons from Nashville to LA. Nikki, on the other hand, has spent most of her 35-year career honing her management skills as the owner of a successful Cincinnati salon. In 2007, they joined forces to create Joey & Roman Salon—Roman is Nikki’s last name—a Kérastase Paris salon specializing in cuts, color, and keratin hair-smoothing treatments.
The salon is also home to stylists Chris and Jon, each of whom has spent at least one year training under Joey, learning to execute the latest styles and refining scissor-hand agility by clipping a blizzard of paper snowflakes. Industrial touches permeate the ultramodern space: stylists store their haircare products and equipment in heavy-duty Craftsman tool cabinets and sheets of corrugated tin line the slate-gray walls.