Dritan Azemi’s parents wanted him to become a doctor or an engineer. But he had his own ideas about how he could best help people. Feeling a calling in the world of aesthetics, Azemi dropped out of college and moved with his family from his native Albania to southern California. One day while out walking, he happened by a beauty school and stopped in to speak with the director about enrolling. Though Azemi had planned to heal people as a massage therapist, the more he worked on the school's styling floor, the more inspired he was by the happiness his clients felt after a great haircut. On his 20th birthday, Azemi celebrated by speeding down Interstate 15—an act that got him pulled over, right at the exit leading to the Ontario Mills mall. There, he discovered what was then Allen Edwards salon, where he quickly worked up to senior stylist and educator. When industry legend and ceramic-tools innovator Adam Shuman took over, Azemi learned many of his signature styling techniques and eventually became the company's junior art director.
Azemi's parents soon announced that they were moving to Pittsburgh, and he had to give up his glamorous fashion shows and photo shoots. He retained his sunny California mentality, however, and felt he could use this to enhance salon-goers' experience in the Pittsburgh area. The accomplished stylist opened Azemi Salons in 2008, naming the business not only after himself, but after a root word in several Eastern languages that means “power” and “moving forward.” To continue forward in its client-empowering mission, his team now offers spa treatments alongside hair services, performing skin-specific facials, relaxing mani-pedis, and massages to leave muscles as relaxed as the dress code at a Halloween parade.
Stylists at Dolce' Vita Salon & Spa know that living the sweet life isn't just about being rich; it's about feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin. So they try to help their clients retain sharper images with professional haircuts, color, and keratin hair-smoothing treatments that make hair sleeker and enable it to fit back into its prom hat. Their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed—clients voted Dolce' Vita the best salon in Wexford in Trib Total Media’s 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards. To keep the good vibes flowing below the shoulders, the spa also offers spa services that include Swedish or deep-tissue massage, custom facials, and Minx Nails mani-pedis.
The stresses of everyday life dissipate at the hands of Tranquillité Massage Therapy’s licensed staff members, who ply muscles within the softly lit confines of its private treatment rooms. The therapists target chronic aches and pains across the body, digging into or gliding across soft tissue with massage modalities including Swedish, deep-tissue, and soothing hot-stone. Specialty massages administered by highly trained therapists target overworked muscles that impair the body’s performance, and paraffin wax treatments enhance any massage with skin-softening warmth.
A visit to Tranquillité Massage Therapy shows that it takes the implications of its name seriously. Nearly every facet of the center contributes to an optimally relaxing experience, from plush massage beds to a policy that allows clients to prepare for massages at their own pace—time spent undressing, relaxing, and rehearsing groans of relief never counts toward massages.
Even before warming up in one of Solarium Tanning's UV beds, you can get cozy in the waiting area, where prints of a sunset hang above plush armchairs. You can also take some time to browse a selection of Australian Gold and Designer Skin tanning lotions to use in your session. Once you're inside the tanning bed, you'll have access to a bedside iPod dock for listening to music or the soothing sounds of your voicemail. Those looking for extra relaxation can also book a session with Solarium's massage therapist.
For Body Beautiful's team of cosmetic experts, it?s not enough to simply treat patients? skin, veins, or cellulite. The med-spa?s staff is also focused on helping patients understand the issues they?re facing and how they can be treated most effectively, which is why all patients begin their relationship with the spa with a personal consultation. Only then does Body Beautiful draw on its arsenal of high-tech services, including treatments that include diode-laser hair removal, tattoo removal, and fractional skin resurfacing and rejuvenation designed to minimize skin irritation. The team also uses lasers?along with peels, ultrasound facials, microdermabrasion, and other approaches?to combat acne and spider veins, and its laser toenail fungus removal helps prepare feet for warm-weather footwear. To complement its other technological techniques, Body Beautiful also offers body-contouring wraps, which rely on a mixture of radio frequency, infrared light, fillers and Botox, and teeth whitening.
Retta Flagg was introduced to the reparative benefits of massage while recovering from a back injury. Once she was back in tip-top shape, Retta decided to pursue a career in massage therapy, focusing her initial training on styles designed to treat injuries and chronic pain. Only a few years after completing massage school in 1986, she started a 10-year career teaching neuromuscular technique at the very same institution she attended—the Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy.
Retta now owns and operates The Healing Touch, a place that clients frequent for stress-relieving treatments ranging from Swedish and pregnancy massages to paraffin therapy baths and onsite corporate chair massages. All the wellness center's therapists are graduates of accredited schools, boast more than 600 hours of training, and actively improve their skills through continuing education and thumb-wrestling tournaments.