Our Town - Memphis, TN

Memphis, TN launched the careers of legendary musicians, ranging from Elvis Presley to Aretha Franklin. It’s also home to these three rocking salons.  —Nicole Altavilla


Empire Hair Studio


Enjoying this story? Subscribe to the American Salon Newsletter

Get inspirational trends, techniques, tips, education and the latest beauty news delivered right to your inbox! To read on the go, sign up today to get weekly beauty news and updates.

Empire Hair Studio, opened in October 2010, is a 4,200-square-foot full-service salon that specializes in cuts, color and keratin treatments. Located in the city’s historic arts district, the salon fits right in with its neighborhood; its industrial-style decor combines with the creativity of a painter’s workshop. “It’s a mix of urban hipster and beauty with lots of natural light,” says Becky Johnson, owner and artistic director. According to Johnson, Empire Hair Studio, which is the training space for all regional Davines education events, has been so successful because of its dedicated team of stylists, and because it provides them the education and support to allow them to grow and succeed. Johnson says, “A relationship that supports each other’s dreams, encourages perseverance and celebrates their accomplishments can build an empire.”

In stock: Davines, Joico, Kevin.Murphy


Pavo Salon.Spa

Featuring simple and modern decor and soothing colors throughout, Pavo Salon.Spa is a 4,100-square-foot Aveda Lifestyle Salon that opened in November 2000. Pavo Salon.Spa’s president, Scot Robinson, who co-owns the salon with Shawn McGhee, says he believes its success is a result of its slow, steady and strategic approach to growth; its top-notch, educated team of employees; and its wide range of services. Clients visit the salon and spa for the quality services but also for its events, including Taste of Spa, where guests enjoy abbreviated samplings of spa services. Pavo Salon.Spa also participates annually in Aveda’s Global Cut-a-Thon; during Aveda’s 2014 Earth Month campaign, clients helped raise more than $16,000 for the Tennessee Clean Water Network. “We tend to attract people who care about making Memphis a better place to live and work, and who want to look great while doing it,” says Robinson.

In stock: Aveda, Clarisonic, Morgan Taylor Lacquer


Vanity Salon

With a menu offering haircuts, color, keratin treatments, formal styling and facial waxing, 1,500-square-foot Vanity Salon, which opened in November 2012, is a hot spot for locals of all ages. Featuring a modern ambience with a Tiffany blue reception area and pale green and brown walls throughout, the salon offers a fun, classy and pampering experience, which has drawn in loyal staff and clientele. “We’ve kept all stylists that we started with,” says owner and stylist McKenzie Holt. To attract new and current clients to the salon, Holt uses social media to post specials, which she believes keep the salon busy. According to Holt, plans for the future of Vanity Salon include, “to stay full and busy, continuously learn and stay educated about the latest hair trends, and keep the salon modernly decorated.”

In stock: It’s a 10, Joico, Keratin Complex, Keune, Moroccanoil, U-Smooth