Style & Shopping

Hello, Gorgeous

We unveil Baltimore’s best salons and spas.

Though it may seem simple, choosing the best salons is hardly a cut-and-dried job.

These days, Maryland has almost 4,000 full-service salons (and that
doesn’t even include the hundreds of barber shops and nail salons).
These salons come in all shapes and sizes—from super centers with the
square footage of several football fields (Robert Andrew in Gambrills at
22,000 square feet is the mid-Atlantic’s largest) to boutique shops
with only a handful of stylists. Some salons and spas specialize in hair
or men’s services while others focus on massage, facials, and
state-of-the-art beauty treatments.

Remember when your biggest decisions were bangs or no bangs, spray,
or mousse? Today, the choices are endless, from Brazilian hair
straightening to Brazilian waxing, from thermal reconditioning,
reflexology, Restalyn, and acupuncture to glycolic foot facials, green
coffee body wraps, and hypnosis. To help you navigate your way through
the salonscape, we’ve consulted with industry experts, beauty school
professionals, and stylish insiders. So who made the cut? Read on.

About Faces Day Spa & Salon, 1501 S. Clinton
St., 410-675-0099. About Faces has long been a staple in the suburbs
(Kelly Ripken, wife of Hall of Famer Cal, is a fan), so when a fifth
outlet opened recently in Canton, downtowners rejoiced. This flagship
salon—all beige Corian, ceramic tiles, and sweeping harbor views—is
10,000 square feet and is as full service as they come. Look for an
affiliated medi-spa (Botox, Restalyn, microdermabrasion, anyone?), tooth
whitening, Lomi Lomi Polynesian massage, hair extensions, hydrotherapy
bath treatments, and alphahydroxy exfoliation. There’s even a large,
attractive retail space with high-end skincare products and makeup
(Darphin, Dermalogica, Kerastase, Bumble and Bumble, Jane Iredale), plus
self-help books and aromatherapy candles. Want the mother of all
indulgence? Consider the seven-hour Grand Escape package for $525
(including a spa massage, a hydro-lifting facial, aromatic hydrotherapy
bath, box of Godiva chocolates, and a dozen roses). But you might try a
less expensive spa package first. After all, this kind of hard-core
pampering is not for amateurs.

All About Me, 27 W. Chesapeake Ave., Towson,
410-828-8929. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to don
diamonds and designer duds to get your split ends trimmed. With its
shabby chic vibe—softly colored walls in hues of khaki and sea green,
silk flowers, candles, roomy leather sofas—All About Me is a
full-service salon that is as unpretentious as it is professional. In
addition to its superior hair service and treatments—including Japanese
perm straightening, kids cuts, and spiral perms—All About Me offers an
enzymatic sea mud pack treatment, a multi-vitamin power treatment
facial, an express 15-minute manicure, even acupuncture. Need eyelash
extensions, a paraffin manicure, a cellophane wrap, and something
gift-wrapped? To add to the fun, there’s a mini-boutique with a great
selection of jewelry, hair bands, and baby gifts. This salon is also one
of the best places in town for that oft-dreaded Brazilian bikini wax.
After all, who better than esthetician Alison Krysiak, a former St.
Joe’s labor and delivery nurse, to ease your pain?

Alpha Studio, 817 S. Bond St., 410-327-1300. Young
edgy hipsters, such as the cast from The Food Network’s Ace of Cakes,
flock to Alpha Studio for innovative cuts in a down-to-earth,
eco-friendly atmosphere. Co-owners (and spouses) Reuben Kroiz and Jill
Sell keep current by gallivanting the globe to learn the latest
treatments, then bring them back to this intimate Fells Point shop, one
of the few Aveda salons in Baltimore. Alpha’s staff is happy to listen
closely as you kvetch about your hair issues and is quite adept at
solving them—applying age-defying highlights, color correction, or just
giving you that perfect, one-of-a-kind ‘do.

Bella of Canton, 2809 Boston St., 410-327-7872. At
Bella of Canton, patrons have been known to linger with a glass of wine
long after their cut and color is done. Glazed cement floors, a plush
red suede sofa, and oversized black and gold mirrors lend to the
intimate atmosphere, and clients run the gamut from Hopkins students to
more mature ladies and gents. Hair is the “mane” event here (their scalp
massages are among Baltimore’s best) with a wide range of services
including oil treatments for the scalp and hair, gentleman’s glazes,
relaxer treatments, and classic up-do styling. Reflexology, waxing, and
mani-pedis are also available. And while “bella” is the Italian word for
beautiful, Bella of Canton will make you feel beautiful in any

Balance the Salon, 409 W. Cold Spring Lane,
410-366-6169. Salons can be a bit like one of those medical offices
where you spend more time with the support staff than the actual doctor:
The shampooer washes your hair, the stylist swoops in with scissors,
and some newly graduated beauty school student appears with a round
brush and a can of spray to style and blow your hair dry. Not so at
Balance the Salon, where owner Matt Kohn books appointments a minimum of
45 minutes apart and gives each client the personal TLC they deserve.
Kohn, who has been cutting hair for 22 years, is also known for
interpreting your half-formed vision into a great and consistent cut
every time. That, in combination with the salon’s calm, cool
aesthetic—pale blue walls, galvanized pipes, brushed industrial steel
cutting stations, and a rotating art exhibition—is what makes Balance a
favorite of Roland Park residents as well as top tastemakers such as
designers Alexander Baer and Jay Jenkins.

Brian Bunce Barbers, 8911 Belair Rd., Perry Hall,
410-248-0370. Want barbershop prices in a retro-style, family-friendly
atmosphere? Visit Brian Bunce Barbers, where Bunce, a dead ringer for
skateboarder Tony Hawk, designed his 1,000-square-foot space with
authenticity in mind. There are barber chairs from the 40’s, scalp
massagers from the 50’s, two kids’ stations with a 50’s-era fire engine
seat (plus a chipmunk seat from an amusement park), a waiting area with
vintage opera house seats, and even a snappy silver tin ceiling. Such
attention to detail also makes Bunce great at cutting hair for the whole
family. Don’t expect anything froufrou here, the services are basic,
but Bunce aims to please with his straight razor shaves ($19) and cuts
at unbeatable prices ($14 for men’s cut, $12 kids, $20 for women). As
Bunce puts it, “There’s just no need to pay salon prices to get a
quality cut.”

Carl’s Intercoiffure, 5100 Falls Rd., Suite 168,
410-435-9400. To say that Carl’s Intercoiffure has staying power is an
understatement. They’ve been in business for more than 83 years (no
one’s exactly sure on the dates). What’s more, two of the salon’s
stylists, Howard Phong and Willmar Sick (hired in 1954 and 1956
respectively), are still cutting and coloring and have retained many of
their original clients. Yes, the shag, the bob, and bangs have come and
gone (and come back again), prices have changed (when Phong and Sick
started in the 50’s, cuts were $7), and the salon has aquired some new
partners (original owner Carl Griesser passed away in 1997), but Carl’s
keeps ‘em coming because what never changes are the first-rate cuts and
color. Nothing lasts forever, but we have a feeling this Baltimore-area
institution is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Elizabeth Jacob Spa & Salon, 18821 Frederick
Rd., Parkton, 410-357-0833. There’s nothing like big city sophistication
smack dab in the middle of the rolling countryside. Elizabeth Jacob Spa
& Salon, a stone’s throw from Little Gunpowder Falls, is an
escapist idyll that combines the best of both worlds. Situated in a
historic cedar Masonic meetinghouse from the 1700’s, this full-service
salon—with soothing private treatment rooms designed to restore mind,
body, and soul—is a destination unto itself. In addition to cut and
color, we particularly love the Mommy Makeover package (including a
massage, a Vitamin C facial, pedicure, and spa lunch), the Renew for Two
Package (includes manicure, massage, facial, and reflexology with the
companion of your choice), and seasonal specialties such as the
chocolate raspberry mani-pedi with chocolate raspberry scrubs, paraffin
dips, and a cup of raspberry hot chocolate.

Grapevine Hair Studio, 601 S. Montford Ave.,
410-522-2400. Even the bright purple formstone exterior of Grapevine
Hair Studio distinguishes this year’s City Search Winner for “Best Hair
Salon.” Though it’s been known to draw clients from outside Canton, this
is a neighborhood salon, with three stylists that specializes in hip,
multi-dimensional color, styling, and design. Owner Jennifer Chodnicki
and her team of stylists are expert at making great recommendations
based on the shape of your face and lifestyle. Chodnicki also believes
in giving back to the community and offers discount cuts on “Student

Jordan Thomas Salon & Spa, 111 Fulford Ave., Bel
Air, 410-879-6600. This is where hometown girl Kimmie Meissner gets
rink-ready, and it’s easy to see why. As Jordan Thomas owner Terry
McGill says, “Everything we do is exceptional. There are so many
cookie-cutter salons out there—this is just a different experience. We
customize our services to every individual.” Jordan Thomas offers all
the services of larger upscale full-service salons, but still manages to
have a cozy feel in busy Bel Air. Plus, it offers some rarefied spa
services, including photo rejuvenation therapy, a LightPlex pigment
balance treatment for evening out skin tones, arctic algae body
treatments, pumice peels, and a state-of-the-art “wet treatment” room
for Vichy showers. The salon specializes in spa packages and wedding
services (as a bonus, stylist Marianne Markopoulous can also work your
wedding as a photographer). It’s no surprise that Jordan Thomas gets
voted Best Salon in Harford County year after year.

K Co. Design Salon and Day Spa, 6080 Falls Rd.,
410-377-7727. As often happens in the salon world, salons come and go
and stylists jump ship to start their own businesses. Case in point: K
Co. Design Salon and Day Spa, which opened in January in the former DK
Salon (soon to open with its own fabulous new digs down the street) and
has retained many of DK’s former stylists and clients (including
A-listers like Molly Shattuck). New owners (and sisters-in-law) Katie
and Melissa Russell totally renovated the space, which includes a
celadon green relaxation room with dim lighting and velvet couches. “We
want you to forget about the rest of the world when you’re here,” says
salon manager Christine Gardner. “We want you to enjoy the pampering,
and we don’t want to rush you through it.” The full-service K Co. boasts
one of Baltimore’s best colorists, Michelle Johnson (who professionally
airbrushes motorcycles for Mythical Customs in her spare time) as well
as Gardner, once a SAG card-carrying stylist and makeup artist, whose
background includes work on television and film sets.

La Clinica Salon & Day Spa, 1624 York Rd.,
Timonium, 410-828-7464. In the fickle world of beauty, salons can last
as long as a French manicure, so the fact that La Clinica Salon &
Day Spa has continued to shine (and peel and perm and massage and
exfoliate) along a busy stretch of York Road for more than 30 years is a
real accomplishment. The salon has never been afraid to change with the
times—note the recent hiring of Johns Hopkins plastic surgeon Patrick
Byrne, who does Restalyn and Botox treatments. La Clinica’s array of
services run the gamut: reflexology, electrolysis, marine salt
exfoliations, thermal straightening, sauna body treatments, peppermint
body wraps, and manicures (that are among the best in the ‘burbs). And
while change may be good, so is consistency: Mother-daughter owners Joan
Zulanch and Jayne Gary have had many of the same stylists and
estheticians working for them for three decades. “Our staff calls every
five minutes when they are on vacation,” laughs Gray. “We have all
gotten so close, we’re like family.” The clients, we’re told, feel the
same way.

Le Salon De Beauté, 105 Old Court Rd., Pikesville,
410-484-2890. Located in a no-frills 1930’s red brick house, Le Salon De
Beauté is as unsuspecting as salons come. (To give you an idea, the
parking lot is on the site of a former graveyard). But owner Yolanda
Carr, who came from R. Salconi after 15 years, is the secret style
weapon behind some of Greenspring Valley’s most fashionable femmes, many
of whom aren’t talking (you see, if word got out, Carr would no longer
be the best-kept secret in town). Carr also wins points for being a good
listener—she gives the haircut you want as opposed to arbitrarily
morphing you into the latest trend. Given her talent, Carr’s prices are
ridiculously reasonable ($40 and up), but like any artist, she considers
this her calling first and her business second. “What can I say?” muses
Carr. “I have a passion for hair.”

Lluminaire Salon, 15 W. Allegheny Ave., Towson,
410-583-1500. Who cares about a hair cut? We just want to soak up the
modern glamour of the newly renovated Lluminaire Salon. The wenge-wood
cutting stations with stainless accents, the platinum painted walls, the
soothing “lather lounge,” and the soundproof waxing room (scream your
hearts out, ladies!) all reflect owners Dean Krapf and Mario Rentuma and
their impeccable aesthetic. (And we haven’t even mentioned the lower
level lounge with its calming fountains, plum ultra suede seating, and
gorgeous artful flower arrangements by Wicked Willow.) Though Lluminaire
has recently added a nail area, a makeup station, and chichi treatment
rooms, the highly amiable Krapf and Rentuma’s forté continues to be
fabulous hair. As SAG-card-carrying stylists, they’ve primped some of
the most famous follicles on Earth from Portia de Rossi to Daniel Craig.
Krapf pruned and preened over Nicole Kidman last year when she was in
town to film The Awakening, while Rentuma recently wrapped his hair work
for the cast of HBO’s The Wire and on the set of National Treasure 2.

M Salon, 1131 S. Charles St., 410-685-0089. Marion
Lambropoulos, owner of M Salon delivered her first child in late March,
but it was two years ago that she gave birth to this chichi Federal Hill
salon. Lambropoulos drew inspiration from the hip vibe of W Hotels
(think Phillipe Starck Ghost chairs, gold walls, exposed brick, and an
open color lab) and also used a feng shui book to help create balance
and harmony (she says that the large, light-filled windows help the chi
enter the space). The adjacent retail space, M Vanity, is like an adult
candy shop, laden with every conceivable beauty product by Paul
Mitchell, Obagi, and Sebastian, plus fancy nail kits and hair
accessories. Unlike many area salons and spas, M has purposely avoided
expanding beyond hair care to remain fully focused on doing one thing
really well, and the majority of the salon’s nine stylists have
certification as international master color artists.

Morgan Gerard, 101 Annapolis St., Annapolis,
410-263-1812. If you want to walk down the aisle in style, might we
suggest Morgan Gerard? Owners Todd Morgan August and Michael Curry
specialize in bridal hair, makeup application, and spa treatments—from a
refresher facial to body bronzing—designed to calm those wedding day
jitters. (It’s no wonder they were recently featured on Lifetime TV’s
Weddings of a Lifetime.) But the services don’t end there. Morgan Gerard
is 3,500 square feet (with a sizeable expansion on the way) of pure
luxury and indulgence. The folks at Morgan Gerard, also responsible for
turning ducklings into swans on ABC’s Extreme Makeover, are known for
authentic-looking extensions made of human hair, a long list of massages
and body treatments, and services for men including sports manicures
and pedicures, color (“I always keep a little gray in to help it look
real,” reveals Curry), and executive men’s facials. When beauty
treatments beckon, consider listing Morgan Gerard under “Favorites” in
your car’s GPS system.

Mt. Washington Spa, 1600 Kelly Ave., 410-664-3400.
Looking to be queen for a day? Mt. Washington Spa offers one of the only
24-karat gold facials in town (though at $275 for 90 minutes, you might
need some royal roots to afford it). Dating to Cleopatra, whom
historians believe slept in a gold mask every night, pure gold is
thought to slow down collagen depletion and stimulate cellular growth
for softer, suppler skin. Mt. Washington’s focus is on deluxe spa
services in a calm, discreet, Tuscan-inspired setting and is a favorite
stop for Ravens’ and Orioles’ wives. The Spa also offers a caviar wrap
to help tone and tighten, a European treatment for reducing cellulite, a
“Mother 2 Be” facial, and an apple wine peel. Owner Vesna Stojanovic’s
waxing is legendary around town. (She averages about 250 Brazilians a
month.) Stylists are equally impressive: Melanie Fahey-Nielsen is Joico
International’s director of education, Quentin Harris is a former set
stylist for Sex & the City. And for all those ladies who think New
York is the only place where you can get a good haircut, once a month,
several Manhattan stylists, including Hubert Cartier from the famed
Frederic Fekkai & Company, set up shop at the Mt. Washington Spa.
(Alas, they still charge New York prices—cuts are $150.)

Quinntessential Gentleman, 31 S. Calvert St.,
410-685-SHAVE. Let’s face it, most men are not comfortable going to a
salon and barbershops can be chop shops where hair is shortened more
than styled. Quinntessential Gentleman has filled a niche in the heart
of downtown Baltimore as a throwback to 18th-century England, when
genteel barbershops, otherwise known as “tonsorial parlors,” elevated
shaving and shearing to an art form. (Think Sweeney Todd minus the meat
pies.) Frequented by T. Rowe Price and Legg Mason types, Quinntessential
Gentleman is the kind of gentlemen’s club where men can get a straight
razor shave, a hot towel barber facial, an old-fashioned shoe shine, or
play a round of pool or chess. This shop also carries an outstanding
line of imported shaving accessories such as Truefitt & Hill, silver
tip badger brushes, and stainless steel wallets. Swedish and deep
tissue massages and business manicures are also available, and it’s a
popular place for upscale bachelor parties.

The Red Door Spa, Village of Cross Keys, 42 Village
Square, 410-323-3636. We’ve long known Baltimore is a town on the move,
but the opening of The Red Door Spa three years ago helped seal the
deal. The Zen getaway (also in such world-class cities as San Francisco,
London, and Chicago) continues to set the gold standard, with watery
blue glass mosaic tiles, brushed stainless steel, orchids set in river
rocks, red velvet furniture, and every spa service you can think of.
There are 10 types of massage (including a hot stone massage or a
calming abhyanga massage), three kinds of body masks and wraps (warm
shea butter body melt, purifying seaweed wrap), and six types of
pedicures (olive oil pedicure, “heeling” pedicure). This Elizabeth Arden
salon also specializes in makeup application and consultation and
offers a state-of-the-art custom color computerized skin scanner to help
you select the proper foundation, eye, and lip color to match your skin
tone. And just in case you wake up in the middle of the night with a
spa craving, Red Door offers an easy-to-use online appointment service
to book your next date with beauty.

ReNew Organic Day Spa, 843 W. 36th St.,
410-400-2745. At ReNew Organic Day Spa green is the new black. And who
better to bring us Baltimore’s first holistic, organic day spa than
former Hopkins scientist and licensed massage therapist Sherrie
Tennessee and her partner, lifelong environmentalist, alternative
medicine specialist, and certified esthetician Shelley Birnbaum? As the
name implies, this intimate, tranquil day spa will leave you relaxed,
refreshed, and begging for another Bali Beach salt glow body treatment
or ReNew signature massage. With eco-friendly paint, cork flooring, the
complete line of Earth Mama Angel Baby products (organic body care for
new moms and moms to be), plus exclusive Lotus Moon natural skin
therapies, this is one spa that practices what it preaches. In addition
to top-notch treatments, what sets this spa apart is Tennessee and
Birnbaum’s eagerness to educate. Every client receives printed
information about the benefits of their calming service. Frankly, it
calms us just to know that it’s possible to care for body, mind, and
Mother Earth all at the same time.

Robert Andrew: The Salon & Spa, 1328 Main Chapel
Way, Gambrills, 301-261-3844. If you’re looking for a spa and salon
that has just about every conceivable amenity, and you don’t mind taking
a short road trip to the Annapolis area, Robert Andrew: The Salon &
Spa should beckon. At 22,000 square feet, this Tuscan-themed spot is
the mother of all salon/spas in the Mid-Atlantic, with services to
spare, from multicultural hair services (styling, braiding, relaxing,
and texturizing) to pumpkin enzyme facials, to special suites for
couples with soaking tubs and full body massage. There’s also a medical
spa with dermal fillers, laser hair reduction, sclerotherapy (spider
vein treatment), and foot Botox. We’re not the only ones who think this
place is paradise. Robert Andrew has won countless awards—both locally
and from national industry publications—since it opened in 2002.

Salon 36, 6 Park Center Ct., Owings Mills,
410-363-6900. Want an insider’s tip? Salon 36 is the salon most
recommended by our hair professionals. Certainly, the salon itself—with
its warm woods, pumpkin-hued walls, and gold mirrors—is part of the
allure. But the real secret is owner Eddie Seidel, who defected from the
nearby Zibazz five years ago. Seidel is known for shaping hair in such a
way that you can also imitate it at home without wrestling with gels,
pomades, or special brushes. “I don’t even call it a hair cut,” Seidel
says. “I cut dry hair and build shapes and cut hair from the inside out.
I want it to look good the next day when you do it yourself.” Fiercely
fashion-forward clients from Delaware, D.C., Pennsylvania, and even
California cross borders to let Seidel work his magic.

Scene 217, 217 Albemarle St., 410-244-0647. At Scene
217, owner Debbie Ingrao immediately greets her customers with, “Are
you hungry, hon? We’d be happy to order you lunch.” Of course,
Ingrao—who left Studio 1612 to open her own salon last year—works in the
heart of Little Italy, where food is always a topic of conversation. Of
all the salons we visited, we’d be hard pressed to find a friendlier,
more customer-oriented salon. Need a recommendation on where to get a
great dress or handbag in Charm City? Need a reservation at
Chiapparelli’s? Ingrao and her staff will happily help. The salon’s
customers include most of Little Italy’s restaurateurs and, with its big
storefront window, it’s the kind of place where passersby sometimes
just stop in for a cup of coffee or to chat with “the girls.” In
addition to great, often edgy, cuts and color, this boutique salon
sponsors events such as “Mom’s Night Out,” with free makeup and hair
tips, and free consultations by beauty bigwigs such as Alison Raffaele, a
former Bobbi Brown makeup artist who has worked with Gwyneth Paltrow,
Jennifer Lopez, and Alicia Keys.

Spa in the Valley, 118 Shawan Rd., Hunt Valley,
410-771-0200. One of our favorite spa spaces in town is the Tuscan Room
at Spa in the Valley. This dimly lit area—with a warm jetted pool, plush
lounge chairs, a eucalyptus steam room (great for alleviating sinus
issues), a sauna, and an invigorating Swiss shower (with 12 separate
jets)—is complimentary and can be used for a full hour before any spa
service. In addition to a full range of to-die-for spa services, such as
a cinnamon and paprika cellulite treatment, a sugar plum and spice
facial, and a cucumber body butter masque, this spa offers themed
seasonal and holiday specials (a chocolate and roses facial for
Valentine’s Day, for instance) that make a great gift for the one you
love. It’s no wonder that Spa in the Valley was just voted one of the
Top 200 spas in the country by Salon Today trade magazine.

Spa Santé, 1429 Aliceanna St., 410-534-0009. We
always dug Spa Santé for its uber-chic industrial décor,
state-of-the-art medi-spa, and super-convenient address in the trendy
Harbor East neighborhood. But lately things have been really hoppin’ on
the hair end, too, and there’s one reason why: Chas. Yup, the longtime
Baltimore hairstylist and bon vivant has moved his entire operation to
Spa Santé’s ground floor (all of the mani-pedi stations have joined the
spa services upstairs). So what’s hot on the spa end? A medi-spa for
Botox and Restylane injections and an array of spa packages that include
Baby and Me (prenatal massage, organic mani-pedi, and a European
facial) and the unisex Boardroom (executive facial, mani-pedi, haircut,
and scalp treatment).

Sprout, 925 W. 36th St., 410-235-2269. The first
thing you notice on a visit to Sprout is that it doesn’t smell like your
high school chemistry lab—none of the formaldehyde, sodium lauryl
sulfates, methyl paraben, ammonia, and other toxins used in most salons.
And though it has never been scientifically proven that getting a
haircut is good for your health, our bet is that the Surgeon General
would happily endorse Sprout, which uses only good-for-the-planet
products. Sprout is Charm City’s first eco-friendly salon, and the
“green theme” is carried out everywhere—from the bamboo flooring to the
energy efficient fluorescent lights, to the soy-based business cards,
vinegar cleaning products, and organic Aubrey hair-care products. They
even recycle the hair they cut (it’s turned into sponges that help clean
oil spills)! Sprout’s clientele runs the gamut from Hampden hipsters to
local trendsetters to pregnant women who can even get color, usually a
prenatal no-no.

Studio 921 Salon & Medi Day Spa, 921 E. Fort
Ave., 410-783-7727. At Studio 921 Salon & Medi Day Spa it’s hard to
go more than a few feet without encountering Buddha—be it a bust, a
hand-painted mural, or reclining statuary. That’s because the salon’s
motto: “Where style and wellness meet,” reflects business partners Judy
Sulisufaj Kelly and Colleen Smith and their focus on both the physical
and spiritual side of beauty. “How you feel on the inside very much
reflects how you feel on the outside,” says Smith. In addition to the
usual hair straightening, cutting, and styling services, there are
seasonal body scrubs and wraps and reflexology treatments. The spa also
offers a unique dual-practioner rehabilitation massage in which two
massage therapists work on one client at a time. Now, that’s the kind of
pampering we could get used to!

Studio 1612, 1501 Sulgrave Ave., 410-664-3010.
What’s in a number? A lot, apparently. Before Scene 217, Bliss 7, Salon
36, and Studio One Eleven, there was Studio 1612. And though this
fixture in the village of Mt. Washington has changed locations (the 1612
part used to reference an old address), the 16-year-old salon still
remains the place to go if you want fashion-forward cuts in a friendly
and relaxed neighborhood setting. Owners Karen Bialozynski and Judy
Weidel have more than 50 years of cutting experience between them and
are two of the most talented and down-to-earth women in the biz. Not
only does 1612 routinely send its stylists to New York for hair
seminars, they have a wildly successful apprentice program (sometimes it
seems like half the stylists in town were trained at 1612). A bonus
from that apprentice program? The salon’s menu of services—from haircuts
and cellophanes to nails and facials—ranges in price according to the
experience level of the stylist or esthetician. But be assured, they
won’t let you out of the salon if you don’t look—and feel—great.

Uno, The Salon, 10751 Falls Rd., Suite 106,
Brooklandville, 410-821-9080. There are few stylists in town who have
earned the right to be known on a first name only basis, but Uno of Uno,
The Salon, is one of them. Simply put, Uno (whose last name, for the
record, is Tuluoglu and whose real first name is Unal, Turkish for
famous) has a ken for cutting hair. He is known for the quality of his
contemporary and classic cuts and color, which keeps celebrity clients,
such as WJZ-TV anchor Sally Thorner, and WBAL’s Lisa Robinson, coming
through his Green Spring Station glass doors (makeup artist Trish McEvoy
even stops by whenever she’s in town promoting her cosmetic’s line at
Nordstrom). The native Turk, whose client list in Istanbul included
former First Lady of Turkey, Senra Ozal, is so popular, some Uno fans
come to him up to four times a week for washing, drying, and “tzujing.”

You, Salon Inc., 4785 Dorsey Hall Dr., Ellicott
City, 443-367-0200. Unlike some salons where you might be tempted to
switch stylists but fear embarrassment, at You, Salon Inc. clients are
encouraged to try each of the six stylists. “We are working for the
client,” says owner Robin Gribbin. “From the beginning, we tell our
clients, they should try all of our stylists. They can go to one person
for color and another for cut. And if you move to someone else’s chair,
we’ll still come over and say hello.” Of course, clients can comfortably
make a switch because consistency is a point of pride for You, Salon,
the sole salon chosen to do hair and makeup for Fox 45’s Make Me Over
Show. The salon has a strong apprenticeship program, which means that
every stylist receives additional training from Gribbin, a former Redken
educator and her son, Jason, a Redken educator, on the latest trends,
tips, and techniques.