Gazing into one of the ornate mirrors at Hello Gorgeous The Salon, you might expect a disembodied face to insist you’re the fairest of them all. The waves of gold that wrap around each styling station’s mirror evoke a fairy-tale setting. In fact, the entire salon does: hardwood floors, an intricately embellished bureau, and fresh flowers are reminiscent of a surprisingly chic cottage. Drink in your surroundings as beauticians cut and style hair, paint nails, or perform another salon service.
A Visible Difference Beauty Concepts' skilled staff members pamper clients with a comprehensive slate of beautifying services. During the two-hour manicure and pedicure, an aesthetician trims overgrown nails and wrangles wily cuticles before showering finger- and toe-tips in polish and unlimited compliments. Alternatively, a thorough haircut ejects troublesome strands, making room for shampoo to swiftly cleanse freshly sliced coifs. A blow-dry unleashes the wind’s fury to vanquish water molecules, and a sleek style sculpts manes. Customers also receive an electrotherapy treatment, in which vibrating high-frequency electrical currents penetrate the scalp, working to stimulate circulation, promote relaxation, and jump-start hidden android circuitry.
The private rooms at Tan-Tastic Tanning yield many paths to acquiring richer pigmentation. Among the most popular of these are bronze-, silver-, and platinum-level tanning beds that imbue skin with varying degrees of UV light to ensure a smooth and even tone. Bronze beds illume bodies and faces with separate tanners, silver beds cradle client in an ergonomic acrylic base that includes a ventilation system and mp3 plug-in, and platinum beds boast high-pressure bulbs and shoulder tanners. Just off to the side of its more traditional siblings, a VersaSpa spray-tan booth burnishes skin with a UV-free mist until it achieves the rich, bronze hue of a deep-fried garden sculpture. At the salon’s front desk, lotions and elixirs from Swedish Beauty and Australian Gold mingle with blends from Devoted Creations, such as a skin-firming aromatherapy formula with anticellulite agents and white-birch extract.
Melissa Whiddon, owner of Bliss Salon, has such a wealth of experience that she trains other aestheticians and stylists as a certified Redken and TIGI educator, and works as a platform artist at hairstyling shows and competitions throughout the year. When not on the road, she heads to her salon daily to trim locks, wax away unwanted hair, and rejuvenate skin with the New Youth skin-treatment system.
The salon itself resides in a low, salmon-colored building nestled amid winding walkways and shrubbery. Lion statues flank the ornate front door, pawing jealously at the manes of clients on their way out. In spite of her salon's luxuriously appointed exterior, Melissa keeps the interior comfortable and homey, with warm area rugs and hardwood floors beneath plush armchairs and couches.
Stylist Emelia Johnson has a passion for hairstyling and aims to send each of her clients out the door with a new coiffure that imbues them with confidence. Armed with Joico products, she creates chic styles, vivid color treatments, and deftly waxed eyebrows, among other services.
The weeping willows hanging over Christopher George's Salon herald the serenity of the idyllic space they shade. The airy space sprawls across 1,000 square feet of leather chairs, black-lacquered wood decor, and high-end haircare products from the likes of Paul Mitchell. Talented stylists with 22 years of experience bustle about the salon, shearing strands into face-framing shapes during designer haircuts and refashioning follicles into a northern-lights-like display of color with partial highlights. Complimentary chalices of wine occasionally accompany treatments, providing a tasty alternative to the barbicide cocktails served at most traditional salons.