During more than a quarter century at the helm of LookAfter Hair Company, Peter Hall has seen the styling industry gradually split in two directions—toward the high-end salon and toward the in-and-out fast cut place. With LookAfter, Peter decided to close that gap. There, guests can get premium salon services on a walk-in basis and haircuts from stylists who will gladly slow down for careful consultations instead of racing through trims with stopwatches in their hands. The name LookAfter is meant to reflect this blend and to demonstrate his vision for a place where the staff stands ready to serve all clients, whether they need keratin treatments, eyebrow waxes, or beard trims. This approach has helped LookAfter grow to more than 40 locations across St. Louis, Kansas City, and central Illinois, and the idea has also led to ongoing community outreach. Stylists have helped raise money for disaster relief, support breast-cancer awareness, and generate funds for veterans’ programs by carrying haircare products from American Warrior.
Shannon O'Rourke has been cutting hair for more than a decade. In that time, she has seen styles come and go, but she's never lost sight of what every client wants: a stylist who listens and takes their concerns into account. Shannon is all ears at Sei Bella Salon and Boutique, where she takes the time to figure out her clients' styling goals and then brings them to life with cuts, coloring treatments, and vivid highlights.
A good spa will transport its guests to a time and place where everyday stresses are forgotten. American Image Salon & Spa can take you to a rainforest waterfall, for example—its monsoon massage sends the gentle mist of a Vichy shower cascading onto backs and shoulders. If you'd prefer a steamier setting, opt for the hot-stone massage, during which a therapist banishes tension with kneads and strategically placed lava rocks. There are also packages that provide even longer, more luxurious escapes, such as the 6.5-hour Day of Beauty: a Clarisonic facial, massage, mani-pedi, shampoo, makeup application, and lunch.
Sometimes, however, a visit to the spa or salon is a quick reward in the middle of the day. That's why the staff here administers most of the standard treatments for the hair, nails, and body. Stylists trim new 'dos and flatten frizz with Chi Enviro smoothing formulas, or nourish the skin with specialized facials. Manicures might feature add-ons from a seaweed mask to a layer of eco-paraffin, a more environmentally friendly way to soften the hands than by wrapping them in live ferrets. Gentlemen are hardly neglected, either. Their services include haircuts as well as mustache- and beard-tinting.
A Redken Premier school, The Salon Professional Academy staffs an elite team of certified teachers, each of whom boasts more than 10 years of industry experience and a passion for education. Director of Education Chris Gould garnered 16 years of experience training with well-known brands such as Vidal Sassoon, Jacques Dessange, and Yosh Toya, before opening the academy to share her savvy with top local talent. Up-and-coming hair stylists, cosmetologists, and aestheticians meet for full-time, hands-on classes that dispense wisdom on products, body treatments, and the most effective way to relax tense mannequins. Armed with scissors, enthusiasm, and on-trend taste, advanced students head onto the floor to perform salon services on real clients under the watchful eyes of their teachers.
Part of the Bumble and bumble salon network, Ta-Da? Salon has been styling visitors and teaching professional stylists for more than 30 years. Owner Kurt Busch designed his beauty oasis to evoke the feel of a salon in downtown New York City, and his team of stylists boasts a wealth of specialties, such as cutting curly hair. Haircare isn?t the only item on the treatment menu, however; aestheticians administer facials and waxing, and nail technicians tend to hands and feet in a private pedicure room.
Upon entering Salon Escape, visitors instantly feel as if their stress has melted away onto the floor. Soothing beige colors and fresh flowers at each styling station help clients feel comfortable, as does knowing that the friendly staffers at Salon Escape have more than a century of combined experience in the industry. Five stylists cut and color locks or weave bridal locks into the traditional wedding cake–shaped hairdo. Nail technicians, massage therapists, and skincare experts also offer a selection of relaxing spa treatments.