Winter Self Care: Six Women-Owned Salons and Spas

Posted on January 31, 2020, 10:38 am
12 mins


There are so many great salons and spas in Seattle, many of which are women-owned businesses. It can be overwhelming to find a reliable place when you want specialized treatments. And don’t we need a little something extra this time of year?

With the start of a new year underway, it can be hard feel your best under the PNW winter gloom. Take it from me: I’ve just had the flu…twice. It may be time to retreat to your sofa, plan a beach-side vacation, or just have a spa-day staycation. In a single phrase: It’s time for self-care.

And we aren’t short of inspiration for looking and feeling good in the media right now. In the last few weeks we have seen glittering and daring looks on red carpets, and all the artistry of Paris Haute Couture Week. A new month, the Oscars, and Valentine’s Day are fast approaching. You have all the excuses you need to get dolled up.

In advance of all this, VS Editor Sarah Caples and I took a little self-care journey in downtown and the nearby neighborhoods of Seattle. Here are six women-owned and operated spas and salons we think you’ll love. They cover a range of services, from hair cuts and color, to perfect manis, to customized facials and gorgeous lash extensions.

My Blow Out, Cut and Color at & blonde, Queen Anne


& blonde owner Caryn Gresli. Image courtesy of & blonde


You know when you notice that cool girl that always has the best ever hair? It makes you want to stalk them and find out how they got their look. For me, that was Caryn Gresli, the owner and operator of & blonde on Queen Anne. She has always had a cutting edge look, and she is a rock star when it comes to making her clients look their best selves.

We can’t all be Caryn, but she makes me feel so beautiful when I leave the the salon. I call it ‘Hair Therapy.” & blonde use the latest in hair techniques, luxurious hair extensions and beautiful color, and the top-notch Oribe product line. I love Oribe, because it is entirely cruelty-free, gluten-free and color and keratin treatment safe. It also has fantastic UV protection, which is important if you also plan to beat the grey with a trip to some place more equatorial.

This past week Caryn gave me a blow out, followed by some beachy waves to show off my blonde streaks, which are also courtesy of her. Everyone at & blonde has informed approached to trend-setting hair care and beauty reinvention. Check them out at

612 West McGraw, Seattle, 98119


Image courtesy of The Style Witch


Sarah’s Cut and Color at The Style Witch, Fremont

Sarah was ready to switch her style up for the new year and came armed with style inspiration she got from an Instagram search. She headed to The Style Witch, an all organic salon in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. The salon uses Oway products, which have all natural ingredients that are derived in a responsible way and PETA-approved cruelty free. The Style Witch also has their own line of vegan lip balms.

Sarah’s cut and color by owner Cara Weber enhanced her thick hair and the subtle layers gave her just past shoulder length hair depth and body. The Style Witch is also perfect for getting a gorgeous special occasion look.

3418 B Fremont Avenue, Seattle 98103



Custom Manis at Apollo Nails and Spa, Queen Anne

Getting creative with your manicure is an easy and fun way to look both polished and party ready. From understated glam to all out sparkle, a cool manicure can speak volumes. We were inspired by the ombre manicures that have dominated the last year, but wanted to add some sparkle.

Apollo Nails and Spa has four locations, and we headed to the one on Queen Anne. Sarah chose a shellac manicure with a fresh white base and added a chic solid gold thin line to the tip. What appears to be an understated look is made so glamorous on closer examination with that simple touch. I chose a deep ebony color and added gold and silver mixed flakes as an overlay for a rock and roll vibe. A stand-out manicure is all in the details, so don’t be afraid to experiment with multiple colors, ombre nails and a bit of sparkle.

2128 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle 98109


Customized Facials at Frenchy’s Day Spa, Downtown

Everything beauty begins with good skin, and it is especially important to take good care of it in the harsh winter months. Frenchy’s Day Spa is a Seattle institution that recently purchased by a new group of partners with luxury spas both here in Seattle and New York City. The transformation took Frenchy’s from what it was famous for—i.e. top-notch manicures and pedicures—to a destination, luxury spa salon with an additional focus on skin care.

They have an amazing team of professional aestheticians, massage therapists, nail technicians and makeup artists, and their array of products (all from Europe) is equally amazing. One of their lines, the luxurious French cosmetics and skin care line Chantecaille, is cruelty-free, vegan and and family-owned, giving back a percentage of sales to charities to protect wild species and their habitats. Frenchy’s has a lot to offer, but we love the classic customized European facial for any skin type, and the MBR liquid surgery facial is a speedy way to get incredible glow and lift.

3131 E Madison St. Suite 103, Seattle, 98112


Image courtesy of Rainglow.


Skin-Friendly Tanning at Rainglow Seattle, Wedgwood

This time of year I am so pale that it feels like my skin is almost blue. Rainglow Seattle is the place to get glowing again, with airbrush tanning. The tanning solution at Rainglow uses the DHA made with organic ingredients that are also paraben-free, gluten-friendly, with zero animal testing. Owner Jamie Lampitt and her staff have made this studio in the Wedgwood neighborhood a chic little gem that also offers a selection of accessories, sun care products and lash extension services.

Each client receives a skin preparation plan, customized color matching and a post-tan skin care plan to maximize the benefits of the tan, which lasts from 5-7 days. The results? I am hooked on its natural-looking, guilt-free glow that makes me feel like a million bucks. Don’t forget, you still need to wear daily sunscreen, even in winter!

7506 35th Ave NE, Seattle, 98115



Lash Extensions at Beauty Theory Salon, Downtown

Owner Tamara Tremain transformed her Beauty Theory Salon space into a modern salon that has it all. The main floor holds hair stations where everything from edgy hair color to extensions keep this salon buzzing. And don’t miss the fabulous selection of gift items and accessories the are hand selected by Tamara. And in the upstairs loft you’ll find the best brow and lash extensions services in Seattle.

Full disclosure, Tamara has been doing my lash extensions for many years, and it is one of the one beauty items I cannot live without. Why? I can skip the daily mascara makeup routine altogether. I love the natural enhancement that I have 24/7 and the fact that my lashes are customized to me. As a lash technician, Tamara and her team take your face shape, bone structure, and natural lashes into consideration when helping you decide on a lash look. It’s an addictive and easy way to enhance your own features.

2014 East Union Street #B, Seattle 98122


Lisa Cole is the fashion and style writer for Vanguard Seattle, and her work includes covering fashion news and events, runway shows and boutiques. She has her own fashion and lifestyle blog,, and is a member of Independent Fashion Bloggers and Fashion Group International.