Our Town

1. Bo Salon

"I believe that what I've captured with Bo Salon that resonates with locals is the fusion of big city chic with good old Texas charm," says Ron King, owner of Bo Salon. The 2,400-square-foot L'Oréal Professionnel full-service salon, which opened in 2005, got its name from the French word beau, which means beautiful. Clients, who include U.S. congressmen, local news personalities and celebrities, appreciate the salon's modern-chic decor, which includes artwork, fresh flower arrangements, and beautiful grounds landscaped with cacti and other seasonal plants and flowers. Says King, "We are small enough to be considered a boutique facility, but the simple, modern atmosphere and exemplary customer service is what you'd expect to find in New York City or London."

In stock: L'Oréal Professionnel, éminence Organic Skin Care, Rhonda Allison

2. Orbit Salon

"We are a laid-back, fun neighborhood salon that is hip but not at all pretentious," says Christian Kyle, stylist and CEO of Orbit Salon. "We strive to create a fun yet professional place for our clients to come and hang out." The 2,000-square-foot salon, which opened in November 2000, will soon call a house built in 1925 home. The house, also located in the city of Austin, is currently being gutted and remodeled to fit the salon's Jetsons-inspired theme, with vibrant blues and greens throughout. Even though the salon sees a wide range of clients, it caters mostly to the creative set, including writers, artists and musicians. "Our clients are typically smart, funny, college-educated and hip, but not snotty," Kyle says, noting that this demographic is attracted to the salon because many of the employees are also artists and musicians.

In stock: AG, Sebastian Professional

3. Ann Kelso Salon and CitySpa

Open for nearly 20 years, the Ann Kelso Salon and CitySpa has made a name for itself as a premier salon in Austin. Located in the South Congress SoCo section of the city, the full-service salon and spa offers a wide range of services performed by a highly educated staff. From cuts and color to facials, massage and nail services, there isn't much that Ann Kelso does not offer. Often referred to as having a modern, urban atmosphere, the salon features brightly colored accents that contrast nicely with the white walls and white-stained concrete floors. In addition, artwork from local artists adorns the walls for clients to admire and purchase. Clients can browse the retail area and check into their appointments at the reception area located on the main level, while all salon and spa services take place on the second floor. Says Salon Manager Janice McCord, "All the action happens upstairs."

In stock: American Crew, Nioxin, Sebastian Professional

4. Jackson Ruiz Salon Spa

According to Allen Ruiz, owner of Jackson Ruiz Salon Spa, the salon has been so successful because of its intense focus on both the guests' and the employees' experiences, in accordance with its vision statement, "Every touch embodies wisdom." The 3,600-square-foot salon and spa, which opened in 1998, is best described as having an "urban Zen" decor, with a minimal design that focuses on human interaction. "Our space boasts a harmonic blend of hard, industrial finishes and soft, earthy elements, culminating in a warm, elegant, unobtrusive environment," Ruiz says. The salon hosts two annual beauty-related events within Austin: the Holiday Hair Jam, a holiday party that brings salon professionals together to celebrate the art of styling hair, and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a citywide event that raises money to help children in need by organizing corporate sponsors, grassroots donations and cut-a-thons.

In stock: Aveda