Coiffure and Tea

The Parlor salon delivers a dash of big-city style to Wellesley.

Photograph by Jessica Scranton

Photograph by Jessica Scranton

Chic salons in the ‘burbs: At first they were the natural result of sprawl — a taste of city style seeping outward to satisfy former urbanites. But lately these outlying fields, once the land of mom jeans and functional ponytails, have begun to boast trendsetting grooming outposts that rival their Newbury Street counterparts. The newest among them, Wellesley’s Parlor Salon and Apothecary, is taking the concept a step further, injecting elements of education into the pampering.

The cozy salon is the brainchild of stylists and co-owners Nikki An-Levi and Shirley Ching-Meltzer, who relocated to the area after spending more than a decade with the styling team at Bumble and Bumble Salon in New York. (Both were founding members of that company’s hair-design university, which opened in 2003.) “We wanted to bring that [background] out, make it our own, and give it back,” says An-Levi.

The result is a program that instructs clients about proper hair care and also serves as an industry nexus. “We get professionals together who are passionate about learning and forming a community of hairdressers,” says Ching-Meltzer. The duo launched the curriculum this spring, covering traditional cutting methods as well as updated techniques.

But don’t get the wrong idea about this place. Though you’ll certainly learn something during a visit, it’s still all about the swish salon experience. High-back settees, button-tufted leather ottomans, and opulent red Lucite chandeliers (a nod to the owners’ love of the iconic Armani #8 lipstick) all create a detail-rich, vintage-style sitting room that perfectly suits the salon’s name. The place has been pulling customers not just from Boston and neighboring towns, but also from the pair’s client base in Manhattan. Remarks An-Levi: “Shirley and I always say we’re bringin’ NYC to Wellesley.”

398–400 Washington St., Wellesley Hills, 781-237-2121,