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Carmen and Santos Salon: Personalized Pampering 

click to enlarge Edenia Villanueva and members of the Carmen and Santos Salon staff strive to create a tailor-made experience for each individual client.
  • Edenia Villanueva and members of the Carmen and Santos Salon staff strive to create a tailor-made experience for each individual client.

When I visited Carmen and Santos Salon (3409 Florida Ave., Kenner, 467-7356; www.carmenandsantos.com) to interview owner/hairstylist Edenia Villanueva, I immediately noticed her glowing skin and shiny hair, precisely the kind of advertising you want to see at a salon that offers hair and skin services that range from the basic to the reparative.

An Aveda Concept Salon, which means that it sells Aveda products exclusively, Carmen and Santos has 13 staff members ready to help clients relax, beautify and renew with an extensive menu of options. Hair services include everything from cut and color to straightening and intensive restructuring treatments. For hair removal, there's threading and waxing. The salon also offers regular and permanent makeup applications, special bridal packages (including trial appointments for brides trying out looks), massage and a lengthy list of skin-care treatments offered by licensed esthetician Cathy Ringer.

Whether clients want to restore their skin or maintain a youthful, healthy look, they will find something that's designed to help — facials, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, back facials, seaweed wraps and sugar scrubs — with little or no downtime required.

When Villanueva began styling hair 18 years ago, she had two styling stations and only a handful of clients. But her business steadily grew and the salon — a spacious facility built to her specifications in 2005 — has a reputation for versatility and expertise.

"We know how to handle all kinds of hair," Villanueva says. "If somebody comes in with very curly hair and they want it nice and straight, we do it." Likewise, Ringer takes time with customers to make sure they are satisfied. "I try to build a rapport with the person so that they experience what they came in for," she says.

If Tabitha of Tabitha's Salon Takeover dropped in for a surprise visit, she'd be pleased to find that customers are offered fresh coffee, sodas and Aveda tea. She also would find an open, well-lit area with plenty of styling stations, private rooms for skin care and massage, a separate room for brides, shelves stocked with Aveda products, and a bar where clients can have an aromatherapy shampoo blended for their individual hair color.

"Doing hair is my passion," says Villanueva, who named the salon for her husband's grandparents. "I don't think I'll ever stop learning."

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