envy Salon and Day Spa
Our picks for Baltimore's top 25 salons.
Edited by Lauren Bell and Jane Marion
Written by Sydney Adamson, Lauren Bell, Rachel DeSantis, Rebecca Kirkman, and Jane Marion.
Photography by Justin Tsucalas, Illustrations by Emily Hunter.
In 2001, Hillary Rodham Clinton shared a bit of wisdom with Yale University grads: “Pay attention to your hair, ” she told the crowd of coeds, “because everyone else will.” While hairstyling is a nonpartisan issue, clearly the Democratic presidential candidate was onto something. Whether worn loose and long (you’re likely a romantic), pixie or punk (you exude self-confidence), or braided or in a bun (you prefer control over chaos), how we mind our mane says a lot about us. To guide you in caring for your hair, the salons on these pages are a cut above the rest–from boutique shops to full-service salons and spas, plus places to pluck your brows and balance your chakras. Transformation isn’t as hard as it may seem (just take a look at our Fabulous Four models made over by Studio 921 Salon & Day Spa). So sit back, relax (perhaps with a deep-tissue massage!), brush up with our tips and trends, and get ready to be the center of attention.
Secrets to achieving that perfect blowout.
Cecelia Davis, salon manager of Haute Blow Dry Bar in Harbor East, has all the tips and tricks you need to tame your hair into a smooth and voluminous look.
THE PROCESS Thoroughly dry your hair to remove 50 to 75 percent of the water before touching any tools. Then, “work in small sections that you can control so that you don’t get overwhelmed, ” says Davis. Armed with your round brush, take your time and work your way around your entire head, taking a good 20 to 30 minutes. For salon quality, you must be patient. “You can’t expect to get it in just two to three minutes, ” says Davis.
PRODUCT PLACEMENT Heat protectant sprays are a must. As for other products, be choosy about what you put in your hair. “Do your research on what’s going to work best for your hair type, ” Davis says.
ROLL WITH IT To get the most wear out of your blowout, acquaint yourself with Velcro rollers. “If you did a blowout and you want to get it into the second day, it’s a great way to boost the volume and refresh your style, ” Davis says. Rollers bring back the bounce with a fraction of the effort. The best part? No one will be the wiser that you’re rocking day-old hair. —SA
ABOUT FACES DAY SPA AND SALON
Color Commentary: It’s been a busy week at work and by Sunday morning, you’re finally able to take a cold, hard look in the mirror. Your skin is sloughing, your roots are showing, and that peeling gel polish on your index finger is nothing next to the fact that Frida Kahlo is calling and wants her unibrow back. Whether on a Sunday, or any day of the week, this mega-beauty business, with a string of successful salons in three counties (including the gorgeous, recently reno-ed Pikesville outpost), is your 911 beauty cure-all. You don’t stay in the beauty business for 45 years if you’re not doing something—make that everything—right. Vibe: Zen modern. Highlight: Through the years, we’ve had it all, from cuts to hot stone massages, but as we mature , our hearts grow fonder for anti-aging services such as the all-natural Caudalie facial, with grapes as its primary ingredient. (We swear it works wonders!) Tip: Don’t worry about zeroing in on any single salon staffer. About Faces puts all employees through a rigorous beauty boot camp, which ensures consistency every time. Several locations, including 1809 Reisterstown Rd., 410-602-0888
Color Commentary: At Alpha, it’s all about the details—from the welcoming cup of herbal tea when you walk through the door to the oh-so-divine head, neck, and shoulder massage with every shampoo. (Ask for Heather.) This Aveda concept salon shares the company’s commitment to the environment, and founder Reuben Kroiz, whose work has appeared on the runway at New York Fashion Week, keeps up with what’s current. Vibe: Tucked away in a Fells Point rowhouse, the space is modern and bright. Highlight: With stylists who are as skilled with a makeup brush as they are with scissors, this salon offers makeup lessons and special-occasion styling, and will even touch up your makeup after a cut or color. Tip: Alpha is open seven days a week, so even guests with tricky schedules can get glam. 817 S. Bond St., 410-327-1300
Color Commentary: Don’t let the cutesy name fool you. This hip Lauraville salon is definitely for adults. But that’s the charm of Chop Shop—it’s down to earth and unpretentious without slacking when it comes to style. You’ll get an awesome cut or color, plus you can skip your morning coffee, since the salon is stocked with plenty of caffeine, not to mention beer and wine for you non-coffee drinkers. Vibe: Chop Shop feels like the funky spot your artsy friend might run if she had a salon of her own. Highlight: If you’re thinking of making the leap from long hair to short, Chop Shop, as the name implies, is definitely the place. Owner Lisa Hawks and stylist Laney Turner-Miller are old pros and absolute masters of the pixie and bob cuts. Tip: Play up your new haircut with one of the eclectic jewelry pieces and accessories for sale at the front of the store. 4321 Harford Rd., 410-426-2300
Color Commentary: So you’re new in town and you want to get your tresses tamed at the pate palace where all the in-the-knows go. We can save you the burden of trial by error. (Who among us hasn’t had a serious mane malfunction?) Set your GPS to Corbin Salon, where the eponymous one-name wonder—with major coif cred from the famed Vidal Sassoon Academy in London—supervises the strands of those who would otherwise commute to sister cities for services. Yes, this place trends toward pretentious, but who can argue with a ’do that’s never a don’t. Vibe: Beverly Hills meets Bare Hills. Highlight: Michelle Sartori is one of the top color artists in town. She’s especially great with blondes. Tip: Corbin tends to run late as the day wears on. If you go, take the earliest possible slot on his schedule. If not, settle in and read a magazine. We’ll gladly suffer for beauty. 1422 Clarkview Rd., 410-494-8888
CRAFTED HAIR STUDIO
Color Commentary: Opened in October by Rachael Epstein (previously of Sprout), Crafted is an excellent addition to Hampden’s rapidly growing Chestnut Avenue scene. Like Sprout, the salon is devoted to all things green (i.e., zero paper trail, wind-power) and furnished with entirely upcycled and refurbished furniture, including an antique cash register. Offering haircuts and color for men, women, and children, Crafted also highlights waxing and manicures with all-natural products. Also consider treating your tresses to a Keratin blowout or deep-conditioning treatment to bring your strands back to life. Vibe: Clean but edgy. Highlight: Crafted specializes in avant-garde styles, so if you want something a little more inventive and creative, head here. Tip: The salon features custom henna tattoos on Mondays. Call to schedule an appointment with Dawn. 3526 Chestnut Ave., 443-885-9073
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