Get a heads-up with our ultimate 2013 beauty black book!
By Jane Marion with Hilary Geisbert
Edge Evolution Hair Studio & Spa –Cory Donovan
What is it about our relationship with our hair? Even when the sun isn’t shining (this is Baltimore, after all), if our hair looks good, all is right with the world. Since our very sense of well-being is so wrapped up in our hair, choosing the right salon and stylist is a must. That’s why we take our mission to point out Baltimore’s top salons so seriously. And with so many great salons in the Baltimore area—trust us when we say, several worthy salons didn’t make the cut—it’s a heady task indeed. There are the tried and trues (About Faces, still going strong after four decades), the specialty salons (Sprout is a naturalist’s nirvana), and new places on the hair horizon (you read it here first: Laboratorie is a rising star). One thing all these places have in common? They understand that a bad hair day is not a minor hiccup—it’s a full-blown life crisis.
About Faces Day Spa & Salon
1501 S. Clinton Street, 3rd Floor
Roots: Open 42 years—Richard Nixon was president when they started!—About Faces has built a salon empire (six locations, four counties). And though this salon has seen trends come and go, the expert staff evolves by learning the latest techniques from style gurus like Oribe and Ronnie Stam. Added bonus: They’re open every day of the week, so when you’re readying for a hot date but find yourself with an unwieldy brow situation, About Faces can handle your beauty emergencies. Services: An expansive menu goes from hair to eternity: multi-level highlights, gel manicures, and Botox in their Timonium medi-spa. Standout Staffer: Mona Lindbloom, one of the first aestheticians to be licensed in the state of Maryland 40 years ago, has experience to spare. Salon Buzz: “I’ve had skin treatments in London and France,” says Federal Hill resident Willi Bickford, “and About Faces has some of the best people in the world.” Crowning Glory: Named Top 200 Salon by Salon Today magazine; great retail space with Jane Iredale mineral makeup.
Alpha Studio: An Aveda Concept Salon
817 S. Bond Street
Roots: A green, full-service Aveda concept salon, Alpha Studio manages to have a cool, laidback feel while also being dead serious about promoting the values of damage-free hair through organic and eco-friendly concepts. Services: The studio offers both hair and skincare services, such as full color and virgin tint, hair-damage remedy treatments, makeup lessons, and irritation-free green science facials. Standout Staffer: Owner and New York Fashion Week veteran Reuben Kroiz is known for his crackerjack corrective color work. Salon Buzz: “Everyone at Alpha puts the client first,” says Hampden resident Eleanor Lewis. “They listen and work with you to make sure you are satisfied and are never defensive if there is something you would like to change. Their goal is to make sure you have a great experience.” Crowning Glory: All haircuts include a complimentary nirvana-inducing scalp, neck, and shoulder massage.
Balance the Salon
409 W. Cold Spring Lane
Roots: Long before it became a buzz word, this socially conscious salon has always been all about “community”—from the intimate space itself (which doubles as an art gallery for local artists) to the customer service (at the height of the recession in 2009, owner Matt Kone offered half-price hair cuts to existing clients). Add to that the fact that Kone and his staff use responsibly sourced products (from hair color to coffee), and a visit to Balance will make you feel beautiful inside and out. Services: It’s all about hair, from men’s and women’s cuts to two-process tints and hair repair. Standout Staffer: Ken Wong, who once doubled as a yoga teacher, is known for his wow-worthy cuts and calming presence. Salon Buzz: “I am comfortable here,” says customer Alexander Baer. “There is less noise and less show. It is not the Flavor-of-the-Month Club.” Crowning Glory: Kone gives more than wall space to area talent—for every piece of art sold, 80 percent of commissions go directly to the artists.
4321 Harford Road
Roots: Owner Lisa Hawks got her start doing hair in the dining room of her Hamilton home, seeing an average of 25 clients a weekend. About four years ago, she opened up her own storefront salon three doors down, maintaining that same neighborhood feel with lots of personal touches—serving Natty Boh, Bota Box wine, Zeke’s Coffee, and even homemade meals by Hawks herself. Services: With a staff of three hair stylists, the salon offers the usual hair services, but shies away from chemical alterations such as perms and relaxers and uses the lowest amount of ammonia possible for color. Standout Staffer: Former teacher Shannon Bailey-Puller took the lead from her husband (owner of Blue Spark Barbershop) and now specializes in precision hair cutting. Salon Buzz: “Lisa tames my mane and supports my right to let my gray come in,” says Hamilton resident Liz Smith. “Whenever I decide it has to be covered, she obliges with a fantastic color job.” Crowning Glory: The salon hosts special events such as bridal parties and classes on blow-drying and features a fully operating movie theater upstairs.
1422 Clarkview Road
Roots: Ladies who lunch, power brokers, and some of Baltimore’s best-tressed all flock to one-name wonder Corbin (whose last name, for the record, is Grinage) and his cohorts for lavish layers, sexy blowouts, and only-your-stylist-knows-for-sure color. While it can be a tad pretentious and pricey (a cut with Corbin will set you back $100), there are those who consider him a local hair deity. The décor is as sleek as the services—with Cherner-style chairs, Le Corbusier-inspired sofas, and Eileen Gray chrome side tables. Services: Corbin is where you go for cut, color, and texture treatments (from Keratin to perms and conditioning). Manicure and threading services are also available. Standout Staffer: Veteran stylist Michelle Sartori is one of Baltimore’s most sought-after color artists. Salon Buzz: “Corbin’s has always had the reputation for being the best,” says Cockeysville resident Lois Weinberg. “The salon is quiet and understated and beautifully done. I love coming here.” Crowning Glory: Grinage studied under the late, great Vidal Sassoon in London.
Darrell Barrett Salon
69 W. Timonium Road, Timonium
Roots: Allow us to gush. For starters, we love that owner Darrell Barrett is a former University of Nevada, Las Vegas pitcher (who also played in a Major League-affiliate scout league).
As a stylist, Barrett is still hitting home runs with a hair resume that includes styling Las Vegas showgirls and a stint as director of education at About Faces in Timonium. What’s more, the salon is one of six flagship salons in the country carrying celebrity stylist Nick Arrojo’s (of What Not to Wear) products. Services: Creative color, human hair extensions, eyelash extensions, and basic cut and color are on the menu. Standout Staffer: Tony Cola, who has worked Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for designers such as Badgley Mischka, has major hair cred. Salon Buzz: “I came here because I had heard about Darrell’s reputation, and I wanted to try it,” says Bel Air resident Pam Selvy. “Now, my daughter comes, too.” Crowning Glory: Barrett was the lead stylist for the Ravens cheerleaders (2004-2007).
Edge Evolution Hair Studio & Spa
1300 Bank Street, Ste. 110
Roots: At Edge Evolution, you’ll not only love how you look, but you’ll feel enlightened from the profusion of pink lotuses and New Age aphorisms written on the walls: To wit: “In Buddhism, the lotus’s life is a symbolic representation of the evolution of the soul.” And that’s just the reception area. The rest of this hipster salon is just as Zen, with recycled bamboo flooring and a rotating collection of local art. Services:
A menu with lots of great options, including biweekly men’s cuts, nail repair, and hydrating/moisturizing hair treatments. Standout Staffer: Katie Yurow, who specializes in micro-bead extensions, is a great go-to stylist if you want to add instant length to your hair. Salon Buzz: “[Owner] Suzette Pretty is the best hair stylist and colorist I’ve encountered,” says Fells Point resident Cindy Plackmeyer. “Talented and caring—everyone at the salon possesses these two traits.” Crowning Glory: With an easy-to-navigate website, clients can book their own appointments.
Elizabeth Jacob Spa & Salon
18821 Frederick Road, Parkton
Roots: For more than eight years, Elizabeth Jacob Spa & Salon has served as a pampering retreat, nestled next to Gunpowder Falls. Services: Aside from the serene setting, the spa-salon offers deep moisturizing and well-water removal treatments, along with spa packages that include makeovers catering to mothers (and moms-to-be) and quality time for couples seeking massages, facials, and manicures. Standout Staffers: Kim McGowan and Patty Weston have been with owner Lisa Pucci from virtually the beginning (along with most of the staff) and, between the two of them, have over 50 years’ experience in the industry. Salon Buzz: “The reason I come back is not only because of its close location,” says Parkton resident Lisa Gebhardt, “but also because they take the time to learn about the clients and customize services to their needs.” Crowning Glory: It’s all in the family, with three generations (Pucci, her daughter, and mother) working side by side.
11270 Pepper Road, Hunt Valley
Roots: Plenty of places give good haircuts, but atmosphere is equally important, too. At FX, it’s all about the “experience,” from the feature films in constant rotation (When Harry Met Sally, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) and gratis wine, beer, and Cold Stone Creamery ice cream to the comfy waiting area with lots to entertain us (no shortage of our favorite glossies). We especially love the in-house beauty blog devoted to helping us tackle topics such as “What massage is for me?” and “Why hydrate?” Services: FX caters to men (hot shave, man’s mani), but the salon-spa is good at girly stuff, too (organic facials, Keratin smoothing). Standout Staffer: Stylist Grace Hagert books two-to-three months in advance and is known for giving some of the most sought-after cuts in town. Salon Buzz: “The scalp massage is the highlight of my month,” says White Hall resident Peter Innis. Crowning Glory: Under Armour’s Kevin Plank and Raven’s center Matt Birk do their guy grooming here.
KCo Design Salon & Day Spa
6080 Falls Road
Roots: While some salons specialize in color or have one particular star on staff who keeps the whole place going, KCo can take care of all your beauty needs (high-wattage cuts and color to Reiki) and boasts a seasoned staff seemingly comprised of every great stylist who bolted from another area salon. Services: KCo has it all, from hair services to airbrush tanning and luscious body treatments. Standout Staffers: Bet we can’t name just one: there’s Quentin Harris, a former set stylist for Sex and the City; makeup artist Jessica Lucente, who worked on the set of Real Housewives of D.C.; and receptionist Kristine Brewer who recently auditioned for The Voice and whose friendly attitude makes our day. Salon Buzz: “For my hair, nails, and skin, I want the very best,” says Baltimore resident Pamela Grant. “I have found that degree of excellence at KCo.” Crowning Glory: Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage) is a client and CNN’s Carol Costello gets camera-ready here; senior stylists Jimie Machiniak and Kenneth Saenz (who also shows Westminster-winning Chihuahuas) worked Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week 2012.
735 Deepdene Road
Roots: This relative newcomer to the Baltimore salon scene is off to a great start, even getting global recognition as one of six finalists worldwide in an eco-sustainable salon competition. (Judges were, no doubt, impressed by the salon’s commitment to wind energy, acacia flooring, and company-issued iPads for paperless scheduling.) But beyond the loving approach to Mother Earth, this modern, minimalist space lives up to its name. Explains owner Bethany Magliacane, “Laboratories are places of progress, creativity, experimentation, and invention.” One visit for cut and color, and you’ll know what she means. Services: Salon basics—and then some, including special-occasion styling and amino-fusion smoothing treatments. Standout Staffer: Stylist Rebecca Dorsey, a former photography student, deftly applies color theory to your hair. Salon Buzz: “They know what they are doing,” says Baltimore resident Lindsay Hite. “They get it. They are up on trends, and I don’t feel like I am going to my mom’s salon.” Crowning Glory: Named one of the top 100 salons in the United States by Elle (2011, 2012).
15 W. Allegheny Avenue, Towson
Roots: With its white orchids and wenge woods, Lluminaire is like a New York salon minus the total ’tude. Owners Dean Krapf and Mario Rentuma are legends in Baltimore among visiting celebs (recent glitterati include Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Game Change’s Ed Harris) and well-heeled types. But rather than rest on their laurels, these über-talented stylists have continued to grow (nearly quadrupling their staff in eight years), hiring a stable of protégés who also contribute impeccable cuts, sleek blowouts, and multicultural hair. Services: Hair services fill most of the “book” here, but makeup lessons and applications are unparalleled. Standout Staffer: Bethany Odahara’s creative color technique is to dye for. Buzz: “They’re the most professional salon I’ve ever dealt with,” says Baltimore resident Ray Mitchener. “It’s so silly for anyone to consider going to New York when you have this talent here.” Crowning Glory: Krapf styled the model for a fashion shoot that took home the gold award at the 2011 Addy’s.
1131 S. Charles Street
Roots: From the beginning, the oh-so-chic M Salon has focused on one thing—great hair. Catering to a diverse crowd—from corporate executives to young, trendier city types—the staff, including owner Marion Lambropoulos, has just as much personal style as the décor (which includes Philippe Starck Ghost chairs and fashion shows in rotation on several plasma-screen TVs). Services: They offer a complete list of hair happenings, from the latest coloring techniques to hair exfoliation and extensions, perms, and straightening. Standout Staffer: Stylist Christopher McKean has a reputation for continuing education—his hair C.V. includes training in New York by Milbon-Liscio for Japanese straightening techniques and Feng Shui cutting classes at the Goldwell Academy. Salon Buzz: “I really like the modern and urban feel,” says Laura Shucosky, a Federal Hill resident. “They are really accommodating, and the salon has a great vibe.” Crowing Glory: The salon’s roster includes Schwarzkopf-certified International Master Colorists, a Toni & Guy educator, and Surface Hair Natural Straightening system and So.Cap. Hair-extension certified specialists, just to name a few.
Mt. Washington Spa
1600 Kelly Avenue
Roots: For anyone who still insists on hightailing it New York for a haircut, we can save you the train fare. NYC stylist Hubert Cartier and his traveling team (even the shampooer is a Big Apple import!) from the famed Frédéric Fekkai make a monthly pilgrimage to Mt. Washington to tend to your tendrils. One word of warning: what you save on Amtrak, you will pay for their services—a heady $500-plus for a color and cut. (If blowing your annual beauty budget on a single service isn’t your thing, the spa has two other great Baltimore-based stylists.) The other big draw here is the spa services, from super-firming facials to waxing for nearly every part of the body. Services: One word: spa-tacular (think Swedish massage and apple-wine peels). Standout Staffer: Former nurse Natasha Stojanovic has made a name for herself with her medical approach to skin care. Salon Buzz: “My entire family loves [owner] Vesna Stojanovic’s waxing,” says Roland Park resident Pam Loeb. “Her wax doesn’t hurt.” Crowning Glory: Vesna’s five-minute Brazilian wax job has been clocked as the fastest in Baltimore.
Privé Salon & Spa
1200 Steuart Street
Roots: Johnna Magliano and Jennifer Klein combined their many years of experience at notable Baltimore salons before opening this shop in trendy Silo Point that is as fun, fresh, and fabulous as they are. Services: The main floor offers hair services such as scalp treatments, all-over color and highlighting, as well as defrizzing, straightening, and hair-extensions. The second-floor spa area focuses on facials, waxing, and spray tanning. Standout Staffer: Seasoned stylist Chas Kuhn recently left his Ritz-Carlton Residence salon and joined Privé’s talented team of stylists. Salon Buzz: “This place is aesthetically pleasing and has a fun vibe with upbeat music,” says Federal Hill resident Mike Lopez. “I’ve been going to [stylist] Nicole Burke for years. She is personable and always finds time to fit me in.” Crowning Glory: With about 90 percent of their clientele getting color-treatments (particularly blonde), all stylists are trained in the Schwarzkopf Blondme technique, which produces a purer platinum tone with less damage to follicles.
5910 Falls Road
Roots: Salon Laurie takes a refreshing team approach to styling—which means you can comfortably book an appointment with anyone to suit your schedule without suffering the sharp-as-shears glare of the stylist standing by the neighboring chair. The pampering and friendly atmosphere, in combination with face-flattering cuts and color (ombré anyone?) and over-the-top spa services have Greenspring Valley girls, corporate types, and stay-at-home moms alike hotfooting it to Laurie. Added bonus: The salon offers great retail—from jewelry to leather handbags to hair accessories. Services: Hair essentials plus an alluring assortment of treatments, including Shellatsu massage, aromatherapy, men’s hand detailing, and a pumpkin-peel facial. Standout Staffer: Ashlee Schmidt specializes in red-carpet-ready, bombshell blonde highlights. Salon Buzz: “There isn’t a service that they provide that I don’t love,” says Ruxton resident Judy Wright. Crowning Glory: Honored for “Best Business Practices” by Salon Today magazine (2010, 2011, 2012); named one of the fastest-growing salons in North America by Salon Today (2008, 2009).
7705 Bellona Avenue, Ruxton
Roots: Open since March 2012 in the heart of Ruxton, Salon Method is a freshman on the Baltimore County salon scene, but by no means new at what they do. Owners Joanne Mandato and Dorie Delgado Polakoff have been having their way with hair since they first met at Studio 1612 in 1998 and then worked together at Kobi. The stylists now have opened this intimate boutique salon (with a total staff of five) that’s all about hair and cool, clean, modern décor (black leather, red pillows, hardwood floors). Services: Method has every hair service under the sun, including hair-smoothing treatments, dimensional color, corrective color, and glaze. Standout Staffer: Mandato worked for Milanese color company Framesi for 15 years and can color you beautiful. Salon Buzz: “Joanne is great,” says WJZ-TV reporter Mike Schuh. “Before coming to Jo, I had a series of horrible haircuts. I looked completely different from week to week. Jo manages to keep me looking as good as possible.” Crowning Glory: The salon keeps it current with a Facebook page featuring hair tips and trends and a great line of products.
217 Albemarle Street
Roots: At 217, owner Debbie Ingrao and team really know how to make clients feel at home away from home. The intimate atmosphere, along with discount incentives when you bring in a friend, Little Italy restaurant recommendations, girls’ nights out, and fun yearly events like “Beach Day” (a cookout to kick off summer), make this a salon standout. Services: For such a small salon, they offer a bit of everything, from hair work and facial waxing to bridal up-dos and makeup (in-house and off-site). Standout Staffers: Katya Marina is known to have “magic hands” at the shampoo sink; stylist Ceriffa Monn is the only certified J Beverly Hills educator in Baltimore. Salon Buzz: “I feel like I’m going in to talk to a group of girlfriends,” says Fallston resident, Ginny Milanicz. “It’s fun and festive. Debbie knows my hair, and we just click.” Crowning Glory: Every year, to celebrate its anniversary, the salon hosts a customer-appreciation happy hour and also participates in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure as a team.
Spa in the Valley
118 Shawan Road, Cockeysville
Roots: One step through the double glass doors, and the world outside seems to fade away. (What kids? What job? What “To-Do” list? ) Our only complaint is that the selection of superior services (we can’t even count that high) makes it difficult to pick just one treatment. Are we in the mood to slough away dry skin with a lavender sugar scrub, enjoy a hot-stone face massage, or get purple extensions for Ravens game day? Whatever we decide, we’ve never gone wrong here—or at owner Debbie Nazelrod’s other location in White Marsh. Services: Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chakra balancing round out a voluminous menu. Standout Staffer: Stylist Lisa Sautter (who manages the hair department) is known for mentoring up-and-coming stylists. Salon Buzz: “Everyone is so attentive to what you need from the minute you walk in the door,” says Baldwin resident Susan Wiley. “I wouldn’t go anywhere else.” Crowning Glory: Voted one of America’s 200 fastest-growing companies by Smart CEO (2007-2009); Baltimore’s largest women-owned business by the Baltimore Business Journal (2009); and one of Modern Salon’s America’s Fastest-Growing Salons (2008, 2009).
Sprout: An Organic Salon
925 W. 36th Street
Roots: When Sprout first opened in 2006, they were way ahead of the green game—as one of the first organic salons in the Baltimore area. Six years later, the salon is as green as ever—using wind power to generate electricity, natural cleaning products, earth-friendly products, and LED lighting—but a few other salons have caught up. Still, as owner Alan Kolb points out, “going green is not a trade-off for giving great haircuts.” In the heart of Hampden, the salon tends to attract musician/artist types craving pink Mohawks, but it also draws a corps of T. Rowe Price employees who opt for more boardroom-friendly looks. Services: Cuts as well as organic, chemical-free color, hair extensions, and shine treatments. Standout Staffer: Cliff Butler gives trendsetting cuts and color. Salon Buzz: “People ask me why I drive down here all the way from Pennsylvania,” says Chambersburg, PA, resident Stephanie Frey. “I’ll go anywhere for a great haircut.” Crowning Glory: Named one of the top salons in the U.S. by Elle in 2009 and 2010.
Studio 921 Salon & Day Spa
921 E. Fort Avenue, Ste. 108
Roots: Owners Judy Kelly and Colleen Smith founded Studio 921 Salon & Day Spa almost a decade ago in the historic Foundry building of Locust Point. At the time, neither had any experience in the hair or beauty industry and opened up with a small staff that has now ballooned to more than 40 (including hair stylists, manicurists, and physicians). They’ve learned on the job and learned well. Services: An extensive menu including Thermafuse hair-smoothing treatments, tag-teaming massage therapy, and chemical peels. Standout Staffer: Angel Ratliff, hair stylist and certified Keune color regional artisan trainer, also has a special knack for bridal and wedding up-dos. Salon Buzz: “We’ve seen just about everyone here,” says Baltimore resident April Austin. “We love it; my husband and daughter come here, too. We make it a family affair.” Crowning Glory: Never worry about running late for an appointment, as this is one city salon in which parking abounds. The salon also offers an Elite Gift Card Program, where VIPs pay $1,200 for $1,500 worth of (selected) services.
1501-A Sulgrave Avenue
Roots: Salon 1612 owner Judy Weidel got her start cutting her friends’ hair in the middle-school bathroom at Immaculate Heart of Mary. Several decades later, she and co-owner Karen Bialozynski have maintained that air of friendliness toward their customers, doling out kindness with every cut—whether it’s giving free wig services to cancer survivors who aren’t even clients or making pro-bono house calls to their more senior customers. And with 28 stylists on staff—including young hipsters, twentysomethings, and hair careerists—there’s always someone who can do any type of ’do, from blunt cuts to up-to-the-minute lobs with a slick of orange or a slash of blue. Services: Hair takes center stage with Brazilian straightening, cellophanes, and color refreshers. Standout Staffer: Head to veteran Rhonda Murtaugh for face-framing cuts. Salon Buzz: “This place has a nice atmosphere,” says Baltimore resident Rowena Mejia. “Everyone is extremely friendly. I love coming here.” Crowning Glory: Stylists have all gone through 1612’s demanding hair apprenticeship, so all-important cut and color consistency is guaranteed.
Thomas’ Hair Salon
4832 Butler Road, Glyndon
Roots: This full-service salon in historic Glyndon is one of Baltimore’s best-kept secrets. Founded 27 years ago, the low-key salon delivers high-wattage cuts and color, though we also love that Thomas’ is all about keeping it fresh. Owner Sharon Gardner and her crew of 13 stylists stay current by taking classes at J Beverly Hills Advanced Academy in L.A. Services: For a small salon, Thomas’ offers an impressive array of services, including formaldehyde-free straightening, chemo wigs, and event makeup. Standout Staffer: After 22 years, Margie Devan can do long layers, sexy shags, or close crops. Salon Buzz: “Sharon cuts my hair so well,” says Owings Mills resident Barb Rebele. “It has become a joke that wherever I go people say, ‘Where do you get your hair cut?’ Standing on the side of a pool in Virginia once, a woman asked me for Sharon’s number.” Crowning Glory: Thanks to continuing ed with hair tamer Juan Juan (celebrity clients include Scarlett Johansson and Miley Cyrus), stylists can make you feel like a star.
Uno, the Salon
10751 Falls Road, Ste. 106, Lutherville-Timonium
Roots: While some salons have everything from Botox to Reiki on the menu, hair care is the mane event at Uno. Owner Uno Tuluoglu and his experienced staff keep it simple by delivering the most fashion-forward, up-to-the-minute ’dos and color work. And if anyone thinks we Baltimoreans only know about “Hon hair,” guess again. Uno has been garnering major national press attention (see “Crowning Glory” below) for his bold work, putting Baltimore on the hair map alongside other major cities. Services: Hair is the focus, though Uno’s longtime nail techs Nida Mindel and Luba Sokolov give some of the most silken and longest-lasting mani-pedis around. Standout Staffer: New staffer Eunhee Kim is a fantastic addition and is known for her serious scissor skills. Salon Buzz: “Uno is brilliant,” says Pikesville resident Kathy Shapiro. “He is in a class by himself. He is an artist, through and through, and I never have to tell him what to do.” Crowning Glory: Elle’s “Top 100 Salons” (2011 and 2012).
Visual Changes Salon & Spa
8529 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, 410-461-2421
Roots: Ed McGee opened Visual Changes 28 years ago on Baltimore National Pike in Howard County. Now co-owned by Ed’s daughter Sarah, the salon has moved across the street, tripled in size, and is one of the area’s few full-service green salons and spas. Services: Visual Changes is an Aveda concept salon (translation: it smells like a spring day instead of a chemistry lab), using all Aveda hair products along with the line’s Pure Pigment Color. The spa offers 60-minute pedicures, customized scalp massages, and natural vegetable spray tanning. Standout Staffer: Starting with the company as a shampoo tech when she was 17, stylist Lisa Weems has 22 years under her apron. Salon Buzz: “I came to them post-chemo,” says Columbia resident Joan Clark. “The color and texture [of my hair] were just not the same. They went out of their way to help me feel beautiful again.” Crowning Glory: Known for being highly involved in the community by raising money for breast-cancer awareness as well as MatterOfTrust.org.