Baltimore, nicknamed Charm City, is known for its Inner Harbor, Johns Hopkins Hospital and historic attractions. It's also home to many hip salons. Nicole Palmieri found four that turn on the charm to attract clients and keep them coming back for more.
1. Scene 217
Located in the Little Italy neighborhood of Baltimore, Scene 217 offers clients a relaxing atmosphere to get their hair cut and colored. "We get young, hip and artsy clients as well as more mature clients who like to come here because we make them feel young and hip," says owner Debbie Ingrao. The salon features a warm decor with textured walls, petite stations that look like end tables and a large picture window in front. Aside from providing guests with an opportunity to look outside while they get their hair done, the window also serves as a place for advertising upcoming events at the salon, such as Mom's Night Out and Book Club parties. "We welcome everyone at our free events," Ingrao says. "Clients always have a fun time here in our small, cozy environment."
In Stock: Aveda, J Beverly Hills
2. M Salon
Since it opened nearly three years ago, M Salon has gained a reputation for its attentive and educated staff and for its large retail store, called M Vanity, which can be accessed through the salon or through a separate entrance outside. "We like to consider the retail store sort of like a mini Sephora," says Marion Lambropoulos, owner of M Salon. "We offer a variety of hair, skincare and makeup products."
The 3,000-square-foot space features copper and pale yellow walls and high ceilings, and an open color bar creates a warm, modern atmosphere, perfect for the salon's mostly professional clients who come in looking for high fashion but not overly trendy styles. "We have a great space and excellent stylists," Lambropoulos says. "We know that without these two things clients wouldn't come to us."
In Stock: Schwarzkopf, J Beverly Hills, Alterna, Pureology
3. Salon Laurie
Salon Laurie owner Laurie Schroeder cites teamwork as the reason for her salon's success. "We have the right group of people in here," Schroeder says. "They all work together to help every department in the salon thrive." The 2,600-square-foot salon features a warm and comfortable decor, which makes all clients feel welcome, including men, who account for 35 percent of the salon's clientele. Salon Laurie even created a special menu page on its Web site for men's services, such as massage and facials, to better target their needs. In addition, the salon is actively involved in the community, often hosting fundraisers. "It is so rewarding to do these events," Schroeder says. "It makes us all feel good that we are not only supporting our local community but also helping others."
In Stock: Goldwell, Alterna, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics
4. Alpha Studio
Alpha Studio, an Aveda Concept Salon, is located in a historic three-story building in the Fells Point section of Baltimore. Co-owner Jill Sell credits the upscale salon's success to its friendly environment, talented stylists who are committed to education and the Aveda mission. The salon attracts a large range of clients, from students and musicians to professionals and those who travel from Washington D.C., Pennsylvania and Virginia to enjoy the hair, skin and body services available. Although abstract paintings from Sell and other local artists adorn the walls of Alpha Studio, the real art lies in the hairstyles created at the salon. "We are all really committed to what we do and to the art form of hairstyling," Sell says. "To us, it's all about having a good time, enjoying what we do and making living art."
In Stock: Aveda