Among great hair salons, a few select qualities define the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me. Lyndia R. Willis Hair Spa has them all.
One of those qualities is experience, and youâ€™ll certainly find it at 2850 Frankfort Ave. when you see whoâ€™s standing behind the salonâ€™s impeccable white chairs.
Itâ€™s a mother-son team. Lyndia Willis has been styling hair for decades, and Mike Willis has been involved in the beauty business as long as he can remember.
The salon is impressively clean, illuminated by sunlight through the front glass. With the finesse of an accomplished painter, Mike puts the finishing touches on a womanâ€™s celebrity-worthy style.
Born into a family of hairdressers, he grew up around a salon his mom used to run called Headlines.
â€œIt was one of those deals where I said I would never do it, as a kid,â€ Mike says with a chuckle.
Instead, he fell in love with the business. It was something about the opportunity to find unique solutions for people that got him hooked.
â€œAs cosmetologists, I think weâ€™re responsible for finding answers for our clientele,â€ he says.
Indeed, like youâ€™d expect from a world-class salon, Lyndia R. Willis Hair Spa provides solutions, for both women and men, that you canâ€™t get just anywhere.
Itâ€™s the only salon in this part of the country to provide Hairdreams, a hair thickening and lengthening system developed by a company in Austria.
It was also the second concept salon in the world for Philip Pelusi, a renowned line of hair care products developed in Pittsburgh.
A top-of-the-line salon must also hold its stylists to a high standard. Thatâ€™s certainly the case with the three cosmetologists who work for Mike and Lyndia.
â€œI do demand excellence,â€ Mike says, â€œand I think our clients demand excellence.â€
He holds himself to the same standard: â€œIf I need to go to the edge of the world to try to please a client, I will do that.â€
While Mike talks, his mom is blowing out a clientâ€™s hair. The warmth Lyndia shares with this woman is palpable, the mark of a well-earned trust.
Pausing to look up from her work, Lyndia sums up the salonâ€™s success in a word: â€œconsistency.â€
â€œSheâ€™s not going to keep coming to me if most of the time I donâ€™t do it like she likes,â€ Lyndia explains. â€œI have to be consistent.â€
Whatever the industry, thatâ€™s a standard of service that Mike calls â€œa dying breedâ€ â€“ you only find it on occasion. But his customers find it every visit.
â€œI think theyâ€™ve come to love the fact that when they come hereâ€¦they donâ€™t have to worry about their hair.â€
â€œI would put them at the elite of the elite within this city,â€ Mike says.
They include a host of prominent Louisvillians, including John and Elizabeth Oldham, Terri Bass, Marlene Weisberg and George Nichols.
The salon has also been the choice of 2015 Miss Kentucky Katie George and other beauty pageant standouts.
Clients flock from as far as Illinois, Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina.
â€œThey donâ€™t mind driving to us,â€ Lyndia says.
Says Mike: â€œThey get their hair done and then fly back or drive back.â€
But the most vital force behind the success of an elite salon is its ownersâ€™ passion to help people feel beautiful.
â€œYou can change somebodyâ€™s looks immediately,â€ Lyndia says, by giving them hair theyâ€™re proud to wear. â€œItâ€™s the cheapest, shortest route to a change.â€
And thatâ€™s why, sometimes, clients walk out of Lyndia R. Willis Hair Spa crying â€“ for joy. VT
For more information, call 502.893.4441 or visit lwillissalon.com.