Xiao Faria daCunha is a practicing visual artist and independent journalist covering what's happening in the Midwest belt. Her visual art practice includes mixed-media illustration on paper, printmaking and mixed-media collage. Xiao has written for Chicago ReaderBRIDGE Chicago, Urban MatterSixty Inches from CenterThe Pitch KC and also runs an independent Medium column. She considers all her practices essential for speaking on behalf of those who haven't been heard, and she sheds light on what hasn't been seen, whether it's emotional, cultural or societal.

Xiao Faria daCunha

Xiao Faria daCunha

Articles (6)

The best hair salons in Chicago

The best hair salons in Chicago

There is no better place to pamper yourself and get all dolled up than at a hair salon. While there are hundreds of options throughout Chicago, we know the best ones for head-turning haircuts, color and blowouts. Whether you're looking for a quick trim or a complete makeover, our top picks for the best hair salons in Chicago are here to please with affordable prices and a range of dedicated services. And you can make it a full day of self-care by adding a spa session or a nail salon to your itinerary. After all, looking good makes you feel good, too.

The best theaters in Chicago

The best theaters in Chicago

Chicago loves to take the spotlight. Live performances of plays, music and other fantastic artforms are a backbone of what makes the Windy City a beacon of culture in the Midwest. While the officially designated Theater District sits in the Loop, there are plenty of independent theaters with equally thought-provoking programming in neighborhoods across the city. From concerts by world-renowned artists to touring productions of Broadway hits, the best theaters in Chicago offer an seemingly endless amount of entertainment. So browse through our guide and reserve a ticket to see a show today. RECOMMENDED: Discover the best comedy clubs in Chicago

The best gaming lounges, cafes and shops in Chicago

The best gaming lounges, cafes and shops in Chicago

If you're a proud gamer, you know Chicago has no shortage of geeky spots and arcade bars. However, you also know the importance of finding the right community and having the best gathering spot. In recent years, many neighborhood game shops and lounges have slowly gone out of business. But don’t worry—a gamer’s passion can never die! Whether you're a new gamer who's unfamiliar with the local scene or a veteran looking for a new challenge, connect, battle and make friends at these 14 essential gaming lounges, cafes and shops. RECOMMNDED: Discover more things to do indoors in Chicago

The best nail salons in Chicago

The best nail salons in Chicago

If you get it, you get it: Nails are a big deal. Fortunately, Chicago has plenty of options for a manicure, pedicure or stunning new set of nails. And the nail experience doesn’t just stop at the basics—plenty of salons are also luxurious spas and some even offer complimentary wine. But we know that when there are too many choices, making a decision can be challenging. That's why we’ve picked out the 16 best nail salons in Chicago. Whether you're planning a staycation or are looking for a glow-up, these spots will give your hands and feet the pampering they deserve.  

The 20 best buildings to see during Open House Chicago 2023

The 20 best buildings to see during Open House Chicago 2023

There's no bigger celebration of Chicago’s architectural diversity than the annual Open House Chicago. Happening on October 14 and 15, Open House Chicago 2023 grants locals and visitors inside access to more than 170 sites in over 20 neighborhoods. Whether you’re a fan of minimalist commercial architecture or in love with historic homes, the event always provides a captivating look at some of the city's most beautiful buildings. With over 40 new sites, this year’s program also includes many unique businesses (like one of Chicago's best breweries) and community organizations dedicated to elevating Chicago’s urban living experience. To explore all participating spots, download OHC’s mobile app. However, if 170+ sounds too intimidating, we’ve chosen 20 must-see places to give you a headstart.

The best art galleries in Chicago

The best art galleries in Chicago

Chicago is known for its art scene, and while you can of course visit the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art and more of the best museums in Chicago, you're only getting part of the picture if you stop there. Chicago is also home to an exorbitant amount of galleries filled with everything an art-lover or an art first-timer could want to see. The majority of the city's 77 neighborhoods contain at least one exciting gallery exposing some of the city's finest works in all genres of art. From perspective-shifting performance art to beautifully-crafted oil paintings, Chicago's galleries cover it all. Here’s where to find some of the most innovative and unique art galleries in Chicago to broaden your creative perspective.  

Listings and reviews (16)

Good Beauty

Good Beauty

Just like the name suggests, Good Beauty is chill, friendly and simply has good vibes all over the place. This is the perfect salon for all your essential hair needs without breaking the bank. Blowout starts at $62 and single process color starts at $77. Plus, this is one of the few hair salons in Chicago with quick maintenance services (bang cuts and clean ups from $20, conditioning services from $25).

Lavender Park Salon

Lavender Park Salon

This quaint little hair salon has two locations: one in Lincoln Park and another in Lakeview. Both locations have friendly, professional stylists and extremely affordable prices. Haircuts with blowouts range from $55 to $100 and coloring starts at $140. Lavender Park also has a sweet wedding party deal at $100 per person and $200 for the bride.

Epoch Studio Salon

Epoch Studio Salon

Epoch Studio Salon has been around for ten years and is still going strong. The interior features a bright, minimal design with a Polaroid photo wall showcasing happy customers. The salon offers a wide range of hair services, from basic cuts and stylings to pampering treatments. Epoch is also known for its hair extension services, which use Bellami extensions. Customers can get 15 percent off products (shampoo, conditioner, treatments, styling products) with any color service. 

Nomobo

Nomobo

Nomobo is heaven for those with sensitive scalp and high-demand hair thanks to its dedication to using healthy products. Stop by for a wash and blowdry for $60 or a dry haircut for $70. Standard haircuts are $85, with wash and blowdry included. And Nomobo is best known for its personalized color services—customized corrective and creative colors are $110/hour and the stylists will work with you for your dream results. So bring your screenshots, clips and Pinterest vision boards because everything is possible at Nomobo.

Paul Chambers Salon

Paul Chambers Salon

Paul Chambers is the place for those who enjoy learning about their hair. The stylists here are knowledgeable and patient, and the salon offers hair courses for customers interested in going deeper into the matter. The prices are more than fair: $75+ for a cut and style, $60+ for a shampoo and style, and colors start at $80. On top of regular hair services, Paul Chambers is one of the few salons in Chicago that specializes in Afro cuts, texturizing and hair relaxers. You can also get semi-permanent and permanent colors here.

Salon Glow Chicago

Salon Glow Chicago

This woman-owned salon is here to make everyone feel beautiful and powerful. The salon uses a flat rate system and is gratuity free. All the services are charged by sessions, starting at $80 for a simple cut or a blowout styling. Since Glow also offers makeup applications and instructions, this is the perfect spot for someone who needs to doll up for a special occasion.

Lira Guzi Salon

Lira Guzi Salon

Lira Guzi specializes in balayages, extensions and AirTouchs, but also offers all the standard hair services. You’ll find plenty of hair lovers online raving about how the stylists here can handle all challenges. Blowouts start at $55, full balayages start at $225 and AirTouchs start at $325, but are well worth it if you’re working with creative colors and want that seamless, perfect look. Lira Guzi also does men’s hair: cut-and-style from $65 and colors from $60.

Top Coat Nail Spa

Top Coat Nail Spa

Located in the heart of River North, many consider Top Coat one of the best nail salons in Chicago’s downtown area. Their technicians have outstanding skills and create some of the best-looking powder-coating nails in town. In the mood for something different? Top Coat always has new and seasonal designs you can choose from.

LO Spa & Nails

LO Spa & Nails

LO Spa and Nails provides a truly luxurious experience that will leave you pampered, restored and polished. With two locations in town, LO Spa features quality, non-toxic products, disposable tools and hospital-grade sanitation. Both outposts have a sweet Signature Mani/Pedi package deal for only $57. You can also customize your nails with one-of-a-kind art ($4 per nail) to showcase your personality. Bonus: LO Spa is BYOB.

Miniluv Nail Salon

Miniluv Nail Salon

You know a nail salon knows its trade when it’s been in business for over ten years. Vibrant colors, high-quality products, plus every kind of design you can ask for, from elegant to cutesy—that is Miniluv. If you want to get your nails done for a special occasion, come here. Miniluv is also one of the few spots in Chicago that can do 3D nails.

Revive Nails & Co.

Revive Nails & Co.

With a focus on eco-friendliness, Revive Nails & Co. uses organic products and creates a healthy alternative to traditional full-service nail treatments. They will also teach you everything you need to know about nail wellness. Revive also carries vegan polishes, available in 40 different Zoya colors and expanding. You also can’t beat the pricing: $44 for a 45-minute manicure session and $62 for a 60-minute pedicure session.

Reverie Nails

Reverie Nails

Although Reverie Nails might be relatively new, its outstanding services, amazing prices and friendly staff have already won over many hearts. Reverie carries a wide range of colors available in regular, gel and powders. It's also one of the only places in Chicago that offers CBD manicure and pedicure ($80 mani/pedi package).