Houstonians take good care of their looks and an expat will find that the city offers a wide variety of hair salons, nail salons, spas (massage/facial/nail), and licensed massage therapists in virtually every price range. They are located throughout Houston and within most shopping centers and malls.There are different types of hair salons. They range from the single-owner haircuttery with prices around $5 for a haircut to hair salons with staff offering a different expertise (coloring, styling, and cutting) and level of experience (i.e. Master I to III) with prices ranging from $50 to $200 and more. You have to state that you would like a wash, cut and style to get the full hair do. Otherwise, you may just end up with a dry hair cut or a wash and cut but no style and leave the salon with towel-dried hair. If you just want your ends trimmed, you would ask for a trim. For a completely new style, it is advised to bring a printout or magazine picture to give the stylist some idea of what you are looking for. There will also be magazines available to look at within the salon. Hair salons may also be geared towards men or African Americans with their specific hair needs, such as straightening or braiding. Walk-ins are allowed at some places; otherwise, it is preferred to call and make an appointment and state what services you would like to have performed.

A nail salon offers manicure, pedicure, solar nails, glue-in nails, eyebrow waxing and often eyebrow tinting and also leg and bikini area waxing as well. You have to state if you just want a manicure or artificial nails and then explain what type of filing you prefer (square, round). White tips are called “French” or you can choose a color. Solar nails, a type of acrylic artificial nail, are either a full set or just pink refills. Walk-ins are acceptable but you may have to wait for a long time to get service. Appointments are definitely the preferred method; especially, if you want to guarantee getting your favorite nail stylist.

A full service nail salon and spa, beauty salon or hair salon and spa offers additional beauty services such as facial, massage and other special services such as sauna, permanent make-up (tattooing) and access to beauty machines.

Licensed Massage Therapists may work individually or under contract with a salon. You will have to state what type of massage you want as there are many different options the therapists provide. The most popular are Swedish, deep tissue, relaxing, hot stone and sports massages. You should also indicate what body parts you would liked massaged and ask how much you need to undress. Houstonians are very respectful of your privacy and therapists will leave the room allowing you to change in a robe or cover yourself with a towel.

Tipping is highly expected unless prohibited by the facility. The amount of tip for hair stylists and cosmetologists providing manicure, pedicure, waxing, facials and massages depends on the type of service provided, expertise, job well done and relationship established. You may add the tip on top of the credit card charge or a check but it is preferred that you hand the person the tip in cash instead. Especially, if you had different people treat you that day, hand each person their tip. Some establishments allow you to place the cash in envelopes to hand to the personnel later, which is fine if is standard for that salon. Generally tip 10 – 20 % of the final bill. The minimum for just an eyebrow wax should be $ 2.

Some hair salons to consider include:

  • Toni and Guy – http://www.toniguy.com
    Modern styling for the whole family, with different levels of master stylists from which to choose. Appointments are strongly recommended. Located outside the Loop, inside Galleria, Willowbrook and Memorial City Mall.
  • Sports Clips – http://www.sportsclips.com
    Tailored to men and boys, this salon features sports themes and live sports broadcasting. Located throughout Houston.
  • Super Cuts – http://www.supercuts.com
    Discounted haircuts for men, women and children. Located throughout Houston.

Some beauty salons or spas to consider include:

    • D’Elegance Salon & Day Spa – 713-784-0050, http://www.delegance.com
      This Spa offers nail, hair and massage services and a full day spa program. Located outside the Loop in west Houston.
    • Beautique Day Spa & Salon – 713-526-1126, http://www.beautique.cc
      This Spa offers nail, hair and massage services and a full day spa program. Located inside the Loop in the West University area.
    • Planet Beach – a contempo spa – phone depending on location, http://www.planetbeach.com
      This spa offers a membership to the usage of machines such as teeth whitening, hydro-derma fusion, tan spray, oxygen therapy, etc.
    • Sousan Med Spa & Skin Care – 721-527-9878, http://www.sousanmedspa.com
      Offering body wraps, facials, etc.