Charleston, SC, often referred to as The Holy City due to the prominence of churches in the city, is also home to an abundance of hotels, restaurants, shops and hair salons. Nicole Palmieri found four salons that keep locals and tourists looking their best.
1. Whispers on Wentworth
Open since 1979 at its current location, Whispers on Wentworth has a long-standing reputation in the city for its top-notch stylists and quality customer service. The 850-square-foot salon's clientele consists of locals, college students, tourists visiting the area and brides, many of whom come from out of town and have chosen Charleston as their wedding destination. To fully accommodate its ever-growing clientele, the salon is preparing for an expansion early this year. "We will be adding another 100 square feet of space and getting a new back bar," says owner Lynn Huneycott. "We will also freshen the decor a bit."
In Stock: TIGI, Redken, PureOlogy
2. Eleven/Eleven Salon and Boutique
When Terrence Michael Renk opened Eleven/Eleven, which he named after the month and day of his birthday, he decided to focus solely on hair services. "My idea was to set a standard but allow everyone to show their unique personalities in their services," Renk says. The 2,100-square-foot salon is best described as an artsy mix of San Francisco and New York City styles, with a chocolate-brown and sky-blue color palette and seven-foot-tall mirrors. The second-floor loft space is in a building that dates back to the 1800s in a historic part of the city. Its atmosphere appeals to a wide range of clients, predominantly artists, entrepreneurs and influential members of the community. "We attract many clients because of the high standard we set for hair," Renk says. "People leave our salon with higher expectations."
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3. A Stuart Laurence Salon
A Stuart Laurence Salon co-owner Michael Varnadore attributes the salon's success to exceptional customer service. "Customer service has nothing to do with cutting hair," Varnadore says. "It's what happens to and around the clients to help them have a great experience. Our clients come to us for the amazing experience, and while they are here they expect a great haircut." The 2,000-square-foot salon, which opened in 1997, features an upscale decor with a businesslike feel intended to promote a professional environment, according to Varnadore. Muted whites, grays and browns are soothing and comfortable for the clientele, which ranges from college students to professionals who appreciate the salon's pricing structure based on stylists' level of experience.
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4. Salon Couture
Salon Couture's hip yet comfortable environment attracts many different clients, especially local college students who are looking for fashion-forward stylists. The salon encourages students to visit the salon by offering them a discount every Monday through Wednesday. The salon, which offers cut, color and waxing services, features an industrial decor with sandy-colored walls, chocolate-colored concrete floors, and areas with new and distressed brick. Located in the historic Downtown area of the city, the salon also features work from local artists on the walls. "Even though the salon looks hip and edgy, we have a very welcoming environment here," says co-owner James Quinton. "We are friendly and try to make every client feel comfortable."
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