Wichita, KS, known as the "Air Capital of the World" because of the number of aircraft corporations founded there, boasts more than 200 sunny days per year. Nicole Palmieri found four salons that bring sunshine into the lives of clients every day.
1. Planet Hair
Planet Hair, which opened 17 years ago, is known for its top-notch services and unique atmosphere. The 3,200-square-foot salon, located in a historic building that was built in 1902, features floors made out of brick from a nearby street; deep red, cream and gold shades seen throughout; and styling stations that were custom-designed by a local artist. While Planet Hair sees a wide range of clients, many of the city's artists and creative types are attracted to the salon because of the artistic atmosphere and its annual event called ArtAID, a silent and live art auction that raises money for a local Aids organization called Positive Directions. "We have had this event every year since we opened," says Linda Ernst, business manager. "So far we've raised more than $1 million for the organization."
In stock: Aveda, Bumble and bumble
2. Eric Fisher Salon
With three hair salons and one academy (pictured) located in the Wichita, KS, area, Eric Fisher Salon is known among locals for its top-notch services and educated staff. "We are an education-driven learning organization—our stylists attend mandatory weekly look and learn classes," Eric Fisher says of his eponymous salon, which he co-owns with his wife, Mary. Each salon differentiates itself by its decor. The new Derby location features an all-white atmosphere with orange accents, the Westside location features dark oak throughout, and the Eastside location is modern and clean. The Eastside location, which opened in 1988 and is the oldest Eric Fisher Salon, also features the Cosmetic Café, offering clients the chance to shop a wide range of skincare, haircare and home products. "Our clients here know what they want when they come to us," Fisher says. "They want good hair and a modern haircut. They come to us for leadership."
In stock: Aquage, SkinCeuticals
3. Elements Salon
Elements Salon takes pride in its talented and educated stylists, many of whom completed the salon's New Talent training program. "We provide our knowledgeable staff not just with the latest trends and techniques, but with complete knowledge of the products we offer for at-home hair and body care," says Joni Green, salon director and owner of Elements. The 2,800-square-foot bilevel salon, which opened in January 2001, is located in the Old Town area of the city in a space that was previously a lighting warehouse, with the original rustic wood-beamed ceilings, metal trusses and concrete floors still in place. The Aveda Concept Salon is serious about doing its part to save the planet by recycling all shipping boxes, paper, aluminum, plastic and glass. Adds Green, "We are also donating all of our hair clippings to be recycled into nets for cleaning oil spills around the world."
In stock: Aveda
4. Salon Bella
Salon Bella owner Larissa Freeman credits her salon's success to the education stylists receive from Redken, which keeps them on the cutting-edge of trends and techniques. In addition, the friendly, approachable staff and warm atmosphere help clients feel comfortable during their visit. The 1,400-square-foot salon, which opened in April 2005, features a modern, simple decor with a poinsettia-red color on the walls and industrial cement floors. Clients of all ages, especially women and college students, visit the salon for its wide range of hair and skincare services, including cuts, color, style, hair extensions and chemical peels. Many also participate in the events held at the salon, such as the annual breast cancer awareness event, when clients receive pink hair extensions to raise money for the cause, and a cut-a-thon that raises funds for a local children's shelter.
In stock: Redken, Pureology, Glōminerals, Dermalogica