Vincent Wright snipped his first bang in his uncle’s barbershop in 1963, and that bit of creativity went on to became his lifelong passion. He later went on to study at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London, perfecting his styling techniques so much that he was invited to join the faculty. Eventually, he returned to Maryland, where he opened Ascension Salon and Spa in 1988.
And his shears haven’t slowed down since. He and his team of stylists trim, style, and color hair, while their aesthetician allies cleanse skin with facials or paint nails in lacquer, Shellac, or tiny oil portraits of Renaissance beauties. On the spa side, massages knead away tension in 30- to 90-minute sessions and aromatherapy treatments extend calm feelings into the air you breathe.
Inside an unassuming brick building, Ridgely Retreat takes its name seriously. The multifaceted spa, wellness center, and yoga studio offers mental escapes in the form of hot-stone massages and meditation classes as well as physical relief in the form of acupuncture and chiropractic services. The eclectic yoga offerings range from gentle and Vinyasa classes to yoga dance, wine-and-cheese yoga, children’s yoga, and the newly added aerial yoga. On the spa side, services such as glycolic peels and Fraxel laser resurfacing flaunt a modern edge, though the cherry-blossom facial, detox body wrap, and warm bamboo treatment let clients experience the kind of classic relaxation enjoyed by hedonistic pandas the world over.
At Back to Nature Health and Wellness Center, leading practitioner Argo Duenas's deep belief in the benefits of holistic healing took her off the path of traditional medical nursing two decades ago and redirected her journey toward certification in colonic hygiene, reflexology, and energy adjustment. Inside her clean, homey, brick-fronted clinic, Duenas relies on drug-free methods such as reiki, colon hydrotherapy, and ear candling to purge the body of toxins and attempt to alleviate ailments ranging from digestive disorgers to chronic fatigue. Argo also teaches body awareness, and preventative wellness through lectures and seminars.
Retha is a licensed massage therapist with a background in anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. To ensure clients get the most of their time with her, Retha specifies an end goal for each of her treatment packages?her relaxing Swedish massage is designed to let clients get a feel for her skills, her moderate deep-tissue "problem-solving" massage incorporates ample communication to determine the source of aches and pains, and her deluxe two-hour "deserving" massage uses hot stones, hot towels, and aromatherapy to grant thorough relaxation. To give back to the community, Retha picks a charity each year that she grants with free chair massages.
After more than 25 years spent promoting and practicing wellness, Jandel Benjamin can untie nearly any knot a muscle can get itself into. The nutritionist and massage therapist draws on a wealth of knowledge to relieve pain and improve circulation during Swedish and deep-tissue massages. Benjamin’s talents stretch far beyond these traditional modalities, encompassing specialty techniques such as lymphatic drainage, reflexology, and hot-stone therapy. There’s even a modality tailored specifically to expectant mothers. This pregnancy massage combines strokes and kneads to relieve back pain and tap out lullabies in Morse code.
At ASF Therapeutic Sports and Spa Massage, licensed massage therapist Monica Weedon zeroes in on chronic pain. Although she offers relaxing spa massages, Monica’s specialty lies in sports recovery. Her deep-tissue handiwork helps clients heal from current injuries, avoid future ones, and optimize their performances on their fields of play, at least until robotic limbs become legal sports equipment. Aside from massages, Monica also conducts rounds of sports stretching, which aims to improve muscle imbalances and postural distortions.