1. Salon High Gloss
A cross between "Hollywood regency and schizophrenic glamour" is how Salon High Gloss owner Robert Ross describes his salon. Black and white are the dominant colors in the salon, with flashes of bright Kelly green and yellow seen throughout. "I didn't want it to look like your standard salon," he says. "It's a very eccentric design because we have a very eccentric crew of stylists. We've created an environment that is unique yet comfortable for guests."
The 1,600-square-foot salon focuses only on hair services, but has partnered with nearby The Spa to cross-promote clients. "Because of the economy these days, our new marketing campaign is all about affordable luxury and priceless beauty," Ross says. "We reach out to everyone and match a stylist to a client based on how much the client wants to pay."
In stock: Redken, PureOlogy
2. Salon Elysée
Salon Elysée owner and founder Kenny Mak, who was born in Asia and raised in France, says he decided to open his salon because he wanted to introduce the people of Orlando, FL, to European style. He says it also seemed like a town with a lot of opportunity. "I opened the hair salon without a single client," Mak says. "It's the work we do here that has attracted clients, as well as word-of-mouth advertising."
The 1,400-square-foot space features a contemporary decor with an abstract picture of a woman's head covering the floor, in addition to industrialized silver chairs and mirror frames. Mak often serves as a hair adviser for magazine photo shoots and events, which he says gives the salon a more professional image. "It's more about the image these events create, not so much about bringing in new clients," he says.
In stock: Alfaparf, AG, Fudge
3. J. Bauman Salon
Jes Bauman opened his eponymous salon in 2006 after working for 10 years at a salon he purchased from his father. The full-service salon and spa, which was recently renovated, is just under 3,000 square feet in size and features a comfortable and contemporary decor with high ceilings, sleek lighting fixtures, wood floors and 17 styling stations.
Situated between the Winter Park and Downtown Orlando areas, the salon's location is the reason for its success, according to Bauman, in addition to its talented stylists and friendly atmosphere. "People really enjoy coming here," Bauman says. "Our stylists get along great and always work as a team." It's this teamwork—as well as in-salon and outside education—that keeps stylists current and up-to-date on trends and keeps clients coming back.
In stock: Bumble and bumble, PureOlogy, Redken, Nioxin
One look at Alchemy's interactive Web site and it is obvious clients are in for a unique experience when they enter the salon. "Our styling team is creative, honest and hard-working," says owner Corinne Gammichia. "We want the salon to be a place where people are turned on to new ideas, from design to music, and especially to hair."
The 1,600-square-foot salon displays an eclectic collection of artwork and designs from local artists, yet Gammichia claims that the real art in the salon is the hairstyles the stylists create. "Our work really stands out in Orlando," Gammichia says. "We offer creative suggestions to all clients and expect them to be open to change." In order to keep the city fashion-forward, the salon supports local boutiques and events. "Alchemy is a place that people get excited about, and they want to know what we'll do next."
In stock: Bumble and bumble, Phyto