Urban Retreat Spa Blogs

Look out, New York! James Fojt is bringing a little Houston your way!

Posted By Urban Retreat / August, 29, 2012 / Comments comments

Urban Retreat Artistic Director James Fojt will represent Houston next month at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC!

Urban Retreat is proud to announce our Artistic Director James Fojt as a Houston representative for the L’Oréal Professionnel team at Mereceds-Benz Fashion Week!

Also commonly known as ‘New York Fashion Week,’ this eight-day event is known to be the Mecca for fashion and hair stylists alike. Fojt has been selected by L’Oréal to style for runway shows featuring designers Monique Lhullier, SUNO and Thakoon.

James is set to leave Houston for the bright lights of New York City on Sept. 6 and will participate in one show a day during his “whirlwind” long weekend in NYC! While we will miss him here at Urban Retreat, we couldn’t be prouder to lend him out for such a hugely rewarding experience!

This is James’ second trip to New York Fashion Week. He also participated in the Fall 2012 shows last Feb.

Follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on James’ adventures and be the first to get the scoop on WHAT’S HOT for next season!. And, of course,  don’t forget to visit our world-class Salon for a styling experience unlike any other!

The pictures are in!

Posted By Urban Retreat / July, 30, 2012 / Comments comments

Our July 19th Media Event was a rousing success! From local television and radio personalities to industry bloggers, party-goers of all sorts came out to tour our River Oaks location. In addition to mingling with Urban Retreat’s gracious staff and owners,  guests were  able to sample some our our treatments and products, browse our retail selection and enter to win an assortment of goodies from Urban Retreat and other local businesses.

Want to stay up to date on all of Urban Retreat’s events? Like us on Facebook, and stay clued in!

Check out the photos below:

Artistic Director James Fojt with new Owners Saira Ali and Mike Butte.

Shern-Min Chow was just one of the local media elites we were honored enough to have attend the party.

Stylists (from left) Sarah Mitchell and Christophe Marais.

KHOU Channel 11's Shern-Min Chow poses for a photo with party guests.

KHOU Channel 11's Shern-Min Chow poses for a photo with party guests.

Sarah Gish (far left), founder of Gish Creative, tries out a new look.

Make-up artists, making their magic.

Stylist Kevin Battiste, with his hair model.


Location Director Gillian Freede (left) and Boutique Manager Fran Spector.

Service Coordinator Alejandro Balvantin flashes a smile.

Owner Saira Ali with her winning team.

Treats and giveaways, courtesy of Strip House.

Grand entry to the event.

Apprentice Jessica Ramirez looks on as Stylist Jesse Cougot sets his model's blue-tipped locks.

Stylists (from left) Sarah Mitchell and Kelly Kana, with Apprentice Lorraine Rodriguez.

Location Director Gillian Freede, with Stylist Jesse Cougot and Keratese Account Exec Johnny Cowart.

Loopy samples, courtesy of Three Olives Vodka.

Giveaways, courtesy of Three Olives Vodka.

Another of Three Olives' yummy flavors, S'mores.

Stylists (from left) Sarah Mitchell, Karen Beccera, Lindsey White and Kelly Kana.

Fresh flowers, not just for the party, help set the ambiance in Urban Retreat every day.

View of the downtown skyline, from our private patio.

Stylist Bryan Nguyen, with his hair model.

Check out Owner Saira Ali's fabulous neon-accented pumps!

Staff photo-op, with Owner Mike Butte.

Our Urban Retreat "Passport."

Location Director Gillian Freede, with Stylist Jesse Cougot and Keratese Account Exec Johnny Cowart.

Service Coordinator Brittany Austin strikes a pose.

Big thank you to all our sponsors!

Stylists Christophe Marais (left) and Bryan Ngyuen, prepping their respective models.


One of the many drawings guests could enter to win goodies from our sponsors and participating vendors.

Just a few of the custom-designed jewelry pieces in our retail section.

Our gorgeous patio.

Another look at that amazing view!

The DJ set-up.

Entryway to our beautiful atrium.

Quickie sample-massages were offered to guests, courtesy of our wonderful therapists.

Quickie sample-massages were offered to guests, courtesy of our wonderful therapy staff.

The Hair Salon.

The Skin Center.

The Nail Salon





From Dud to Stud

Posted By Urban Retreat / June, 13, 2012 / Comments comments

KHOU-TV’s Great Day Houston selected the Urban Retreat team to work their salon magic on a deserving dad who was in desperate need of a man-makeover.

The Before.

Todd Parker is a proud dad, husband, and accomplished photographer. The one thing he lacked was an updated look that reflected his creative, modern, and hip personality.  Stylist Todd Ramos took on the challenge of revamping Parker’s outdated look with a vision that was refreshed and refined.

Once a new wardrobe had been selected, Ramos led Parker to the trusted and gifted hands of the Urban Retreat team. With an open-minded attitude, Parker allowed Hair Stylist Bryan Nguyen to chop off his long locks, a cut that was far past due.

Urban Retreat Hair Stylist Bryan Nguyen trimmed and styled Todd Parker's long locks.

The transformation did not stop there. Edward Sanchez was ready to take Parker to the next level, threading. Threading is an ancient method of hair removal.  From ear hair to eyebrows, or what Sanchez refers to as “my-bros,” no unwanted hair was left lingering.

Edward Sanchez "manscapes" using a threading technique.

After a day of fittings, trimmings, and “manscaping,” the transformation was finally complete. Parker’s look went from an untailored, lackluster hippie to a sophisticated, clean-cut, handsome professional. It goes to show what a difference tailored clothes, a quality haircut, and a little threading can make. Parker is a magnificent dad and husband and now he has a magnificent new look to match.

The After. Todd Parker with Urban Retreat President Saira Ali and Edward Sanchez