Our Town

Columbus, Ohio, known as The Discovery City, is home to several large colleges and universities, popular retail stores and restaurants and hip salons. Nicole Palmieri found four that help clients discover their most flattering 'dos.

Columbus, Ohio


1. Jacob Neal Salon


Jacob Neal moved his eponymous salon from New York City to Columbus, Ohio, in 1991 because he was ready to leave the fast-paced Manhattan lifestyle behind. The salon, which recently moved to a smaller location in the trendy Short North area, is housed in a turn-of-the-century building with a simple yet industrial feel: 14-foot ceilings, exposed duct work and a large crystal chandelier hanging in the middle of the salon. "In our new location there are many art galleries and restaurants around us," Neal says. "The amount of pedestrian traffic is much greater than in our old Downtown location." The 1,100-square-foot salon hosts a range of events throughout the year, including educational seminars on hair treatments and classes that teach clients how to style and take care of their hair. The salon also participates in local charity events and considers giving back to the community an important aspect of the business.

Jacob Neal Salon in Columbus, OH

In stock: Kérastase


2. Stile Salon & Spa


Stile Salon & Spa founder Damon Givens decided on the name for his salon because it was simple and represents exactly what the salon does. He changed the spelling of the word to include an "I" instead of a "Y" to remind clients that it's all about them when they enter the salon. Located in the high-end Easton Town Center shopping center, the 3,400-square-foot, boutique-style salon boasts large windows that create a bright, comfortable atmosphere. "The salon features brick and natural colors, giving it a very European feel," says Givens, who co-owns the salon with Kelley Douglas. While most clients consist of loyal locals, the salon also sees a large number of out-of-towners due to its close proximity to the Hilton and Marriott hotels. According to Givens, the recession has not affected the salon in ways it has affected other businesses. In fact, the salon plans to add a new 1,800-square-foot location Downtown within the year.

Stile Salon & Spa in Columbus, OH

In stock: Kérastase, Dermalogica


3. Akada Hair Salon


Teamwork and education are crucial to a successful salon business, according to Akada Hair Salon owner Anjel McLaughlin. For every retail product a stylist sells, 10 percent of the cost of the product goes into an education fund for that stylist to attend a hands-on class. "This is a constantly changing industry, so it is very important that stylists are kept up-to-date with trends and techniques," McLaughlin says. The salon, which focuses solely on hair services, is moving to a location across the street from its current space at the end of the month. The new salon will feature a bright, colorful and comfortable decor, architectural accents and extra space between stations to offer clients more privacy. Says McLaughlin, "The Midwest is often lacking sunshine, especially in winter, so we've created a bright, welcoming place for clients to come to and be pampered."

Akada Hair Salon in Columbus, OH

In stock: Akada, Eufora, Davines


4. Ha!r A Tony Anders Concept


Tony Anders credits the success of his eponymous salon to his staff's talent and their dedication. "Our success is based upon talent, as well as the heart of the people in the salon collectively," Anders says. "I consider us artisans of the human spirit as opposed to simply hairdressers." The 1,500-square-foot salon, which opened in August 2007, has a modern, urban, boutique feeling with shades of blue featured on the floor and walls and chocolate brown mirrors. While the salon only offers hair services, it does have a partnership with a local spa that caters to its clients' makeup and skincare needs. "I think partnerships like these are the way of the future for small businesses to leverage growth," Anders says. In addition to helping to generate business for the local spa, the salon also gives back to the community through charity events.

Ha!r A Tony Anders Concept in Columbus, OH

In stock: Solutions for Ha!r by Tony Anders, Kenra, Nioxin