Our Town

Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, is home to some of the most important buildings and influential leaders in the country. It's also home to some of the best salons. Nicole Palmieri found four that are true leaders in the beauty industry.

1. Aveda Georgetown Lifestyle Salon and Spa

Using pure and eco-friendly products and combining beauty with health and wellness is what Aveda is known for. The Aveda Georgetown Lifestyle Salon and Spa follows this philosophy as well, offering a wide variety of high-quality salon and spa services, including haircuts, massages, eyebrow threading, waxing and nail services. "We have stylists, estheticians and massage therapists from all over the world who are highly experienced," says owner Jean Claery. The salon, which opened in 2000, features an earthy, natural decor with greens and wood colors seen throughout. Clients consist mostly of locals, but the close proximity to Georgetown University also attracts students and out-of-towners. "Everything is very customized here," says Galina Kalvatchev, front desk manager. "From haircuts to facials and massages, every service is tailored to meet individual's needs."


In stock: Aveda

2. Bang Salon Spa

Based on the concept of offering top-notch services in a high-end atmosphere within a competitive price range, Bang Salon Spa is the ideal spot for clients who don't have a lot of time or a big budget to spend at a salon. "We train all of our stylists to do a quality haircut in half an hour," says co-owner Nikki Esoldo. "This attracts clients and keeps us busy." The salon and spa has two locations in D.C. The U Street location, which opened in 2001, offers an urban rock 'n' roll atmosphere, with eclectic stylists and punk, '80s and hip-hop music playing throughout, attracting a young and funky clientele. The location at the Verizon Center, which opened in 2006, is more toned down and conservative to satisfy corporate and Capitol Hill clients. A third location is expected to open this summer.


In stock: Redken, Sexy Hair, American Crew

3. Roche Salon

Roche Salon stands apart from its competition by keeping an open mind and constantly looking for new and inventive ideas and techniques, according to co-owner Dennis Roche. The salon, which has two locations in D.C., was a 2007 North American Hairstyling Awards Salon of the Year finalist and is known around the city for its highly skilled and educated stylists. The salon's upscale decor was designed to look more like a lounge bar in Paris than a traditional hair salon. The wide-open space, embellished with white and orange accents and photography studio lighting, provides a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere for all who visit.


In stock: Shu Uemura, Kérastase, Yon-Ka Paris

4. Okyo Salon

When Okyo Salon owner Bernard Portetelli opened his salon in 1985, he found it hard to find good colorists to hire, so he used his extensive color experience and the education he received in France to personally train colorists. Today, the salon is well-known for its color services, attracting a wide range of clients from different areas of the state and country, including college students, politicians and celebrities. "We offer all hair services, but color is our thing," Portetelli says. "The salon is not big, but we see about 600 to 800 clients a week and 80 percent of them get color done."


Okyo, pronounced like Tokyo without the T, features an elegant yet comfortable atmosphere with a crystal chandelier and light peach-colored walls that complement all skin tones. Says Portetelli, "The idea behind the salon's decor was to make it look like a place where people could feel at home." — NICOLE PALMIERI

In stock: Okyo, Goldwell