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Our Town - Des Moines, IA

In 2013, Des Moines, IA topped Forbes’ list of best places for businesses. It’s no wonder these three salons thrive in this Midwestern city with a revived downtown. —Corie Russell

Salon Spa W

Upscale Salon Spa W, opened in 2005, offers big-city treatments from team members trained in popular metropolises such as New York, Chicago and Miami. “We strive to offer the same level of customer service and technical hairdressing that a client would receive in a top salon in a major city,” says owner China Wong. “We model our customer service experience after premier hotels and clothiers.” Salon Spa W’s services range from hair treatments to bridal party makeup to post-natal stomach treatments. The 2,700-square-foot salon also features a spa lounge for guests to relax and enjoy a glass of wine before services. The salon is located downtown in the East Village, an area filled with boutiques, restaurants and galleries. It’s also near the Iowa State Capitol, and keeps many politicians, business people and community advocates well-coiffed.

In stock: Aveda

Atelier Hairspace

Atelier Hairspace may be small with only four styling chairs, but its online presence is substantial. The salon opened in 2007 and receives most of its foot traffic from word of mouth and its Yelp page. The salon manager, Ansley Campbell-Porter, is in charge of social media and marketing, and strives to post daily updates on outlets including Facebook. Inside the salon, guests are treated to services including haircuts, styling, waxing and color. The salon—which Campbell-Porter describes as having a clean, studio feel—is owned by James Peterson, who took over the space a year ago. Atelier Hairspace keeps clients coming back by offering a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere. “Keeping it intimate helps us give that quality service we’re known for,” Peterson says. “We also don’t double book. It’s very catered to the clients, and quality comes before quantity.”

In stock: Bumble and bumble, L’Oréal Professionnel, Zoya

Salon Utopia

Salon Utopia, which opened its doors in 2006, is all about pampering the client. “We’re always on a quest to make each client’s visit an experience rather than just about a service,” says owner Jennifer Pierick. Guests can choose from a full menu of complimentary teas from a local teahouse and are shown appreciation with a chocolate treat when they leave. Customers also enjoy the ease of online booking with text message and email reminders, Pierick says. The staff includes five stylists—who provide services like haircuts, smoothing treatments, waxing and hair extensions—as well as a salon coordinator and receptionist. “We enjoy learning new techniques and keeping up with current trends, giving our clients the best experience possible,” Pierick says. In 2015, she plans to double the 980-square-foot space.

In stock: Eufora, Hempz, Schwarzkopf Professional

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About the Author

Corie Russell

Corie Russell is a New York-based associate editor at American Salon with several years of experience in print and online media. Always active in her passion, she has tackled writing projects over the years ranging from business books to greeting cards. Before joining American Salon, she was editor at a finance magazine. In her current role, she reports on a variety of topics in the professional beauty industry including salon services and hair and nail trends.