1. Hair by Bennie and Friends
When Hair by Bennie and Friends owner Bennie Pollard opened his salon 16 years ago, he chose an area of the city close to the downtown business district because he likes "ambitious people" and tells his employees they could learn as much from clients as clients learn from them. He hires cosmetology school graduates with limited experience who are required to go through the salon's training program, which prepares them to be both stylists and colorists.
The 3,800-square-foot salon hosts several events throughout the year for clients, as well as for beauty professionals. The free Styling Lab workshops teach clients styling tips and techniques. "The Styling Lab events are a great way for current and potential clients to learn how to style their hair," Pollard says. "They also help our stylists gain new clients and become more confident in their styling abilities." The Living Lab classes are for beauty professionals to learn about the salon's branding philosophy and retail products.
In stock: BennieFactor, Gage for Men
2. Z Salon & Spa
With three locations in Louisville, Z Salon & Spa is widely known among the city's locals for its knowledgeable stylists and for its commitment to satisfying customers. "We offer complimentary scalp treatments, hand massages, styling lessons and makeup touch-ups with every haircut," says General Manager Denise Zeydel. "Educating and taking care of our clients is what we aim for."
The 21,000-square-foot Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa's Shelbyville Road location was the first to open in 1992 and is also the largest space. While all three salons have their own personality and unique decor, the Shelbyville Road salon's neutral color scheme gives it a serene atmosphere to encourage clients to relax.
In stock: Aveda
3. LeBliss Salon & Spa
"Everyone gets along really well here, which I believe contributes to our success," says LeBliss owner Keri Stengel. "It shows in our work, as well as in the atmosphere." The warm gold, red and tan colors and the artwork throughout the salon enhance the friendly vibe.
The 2,500-square-foot Redken Color Elite salon, which opened three and a half years ago, offers a wide range of hair, face and body services. Aside from highlights, bridal services are very popular at LeBliss, and the salon will even close to the public to cater to the bride and her bridal party. "The salon is big enough for clients to get the services they want, yet small enough so that guests get our personal attention and feel comfortable and welcome," Stengel says.
In stock: Redken, PureOlogy
4. Fritz's Salon & Spa for Men
Catering specifically to men, Fritz's Salon & Spa for Men takes pride in being one of the first male-specific salons and spas in the area. Celebrating its 10th year in business, Fritz's offers everything from haircuts, color and waxing to customized massage, facials and nail services.
The 2,750-square-foot salon and spa features masculine decor with wood and natural stone throughout. Clients range from doctors, lawyers and businessmen to fathers and their sons, looking for some bonding time. They all enjoy the salon's complimentary beverages and homemade cookies, as well as flat-screen televisions showing news or sports. While the salon does advertise gift certificates around the holidays to gain new clients, most new clients come through word-of-mouth. "It takes time to build up clientele," says owner Cindy Cameron. "We are at a great point now where our clients do the advertising for us."
In stock: American Crew, Nioxin, Redken For Men, Dermalogica