The styling crew at Eleven West Salon & Spa—winner of two Best Hair Color awards from Click On Detroit—beautifies clients with advanced haircare skills kept sharp by ongoing education. Tucked away in the historic downtown Ainsworth Flour Mill building, the beauty haven couples homey accents, such as 200-year-old wooden beams, with modern amenities including a complimentary WiFi bar and free locally roasted coffee. Tan armrests sprout like wooden beanstalks from black haircutting chairs in the salon area, where three levels of stylists refresh manes with cuts and colors founded on haircare products such as Biolage. Clients indulging in spa treatments can peruse the generous list of massages, facials, and waxing services, or sidle up to a contemporary nail station where techs wait to outfit fingers and toes with OPI polish and miniature laser pointers during classic manis and Shellac pedis.
Creation Station Hair Salon doesn’t resemble your typical salon. For one, the cozy space houses just two styling stations. Bigger isn't always better, though, and the salon’s intimate size allows its stylists to lavish their clients with personal attention. They specialize in haircuts and color services for men and women, but they can also give young children a sharp look to impress their next playdate.
Sunlight pours through the large windows of Aarie Styles. Inside, the stylists are busy at their stations, beautifying men, women, and kids' locks with haircuts. They also upgrade hair with color, perms, and feather extensions—or go the opposite route and just get rid of it with waxing services.
When the Douglas J Aveda Institute opened in Knoxville in 2011, it joined a family of institutes and salons that Douglas Weaver started in the 1960s. Here, Aveda students pursue certification in cosmetology and esthiology while practicing their craft on real clients under the supervision of licensed educators. And because students perform the services, the rates are lower than at traditional salons. The Knoxville treatment menu includes hair design—cuts, color, retexturizing—as well as Aveda’s Elemental Nature facials, pedicures, and manicures.
The Institute is inside the historic S&W Grand building, a handsome art-deco landmark that, like a compassionate fairy-tale prince, is equally handsome on the inside. The spa rooms have a rustic balance of exposed brick and wood paneling, and the salon’s geometric light fixtures gleam upon checkerboard tile floors and industrial shelving lined with Aveda’s signature products.
Beneath a lofted zenith of upward-sloping walls that converge overhead to give the space a quaint yet roomy feel, stylists work diligently at their chairs, expertly snipping locks and coloring coifs. A lineup of waxing services—or a magnet for clients whose hair is literally cobalt—de-fuzzes physiques from eyebrows to bikini line to legs. Cream-colored walls, punctuated by light that drifts in from a trio of windows, lend an air of serenity to the full-service salon and spa. Aestheticians tucked away in private rooms cleanse and exfoliate complexions with six different types of customized facials. Massage services focus on hands, feet, and backs during reflexology treatments and dorsal kneading sessions that, like explaining to a child how one knows what one knows, lasts up to 90 minutes.
Staffers at Pura Vida Color Studio strive to live up to their name—which means "pure life"—by using sustainable, earth-friendly Davines products. The Davines concept salon also specializes in flamboyage highlights, a technique that uses adhesive strips, rather than foil or court orders, to separate small sections of hair. The careful process results in natural-looking wisps and currents of color.
The salon's subdued decor turns eyes' focus toward vibrant tresses. Stylists can judge and calibrate colors in the abundant natural light from wide windows, or glance in black-bordered mirrors as they style hair with Paul Mitchell products. The salon's neutral-colored walls echo the burble of the storefront fountain and the footfalls of the well-coiffed elves who live inside the potted plants.