A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the hydro-derma fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Mocha walls drench Amour Nails & Day Spa in a warm and welcoming tone that, perhaps not by coincidence, correlates with a few of the spa’s mani-pedis. For example, both men and women can sink into a cushy pedicure throne and enjoy the Ooh-la-Latte treatment, which hydrates skin with a chocolate-latte bath and a sugar scrub. Nail technicians also indulge hands and feet with a range of other tasty-sounding products, such as milk and honey to moisturize skin and green tea to protect it from free radicals.
While the main floor—dedicated to nailcare—bustles with the sounds of whirling footbaths and chitchatting manicurists, private spa rooms whisk clients into a relaxation oasis where they can obtain a facial, massage, or one of four salt and sugar scrubs and body wraps. The beauty team also conducts waxing treatments in the private rooms to remove hair from bodies.
Sunkissed Tan Spa’s arsenal of equipment and tanning services may seem daunting at first. But visitors need only look to the closest staff member for advice, since each one is certified by the National Tanning Training Institute, to know how each technique will affect the skin and which exposure times are right for each client. The UV lamps that line each Ergoline, Soltron, and Sunstar bed imbue natural, long-lasting color, while UV-free hues from Norvell and Mystic Tan booths keep skin safe from the sun’s rays and infectious John Denver tunes. And though the company specializes in tanning, its teeth-whitening services are hardly an afterthought—the swift smile-boosting power of the spa’s Zoom! and BlueMagic whitening systems made them the official teeth-whitening company of Miss Dallas 2009 and Miss Teen Dallas 2009.
Veteran stylist William Edge wields 20 years of experience as a platform artist and world traveler to lead the staff at his eponymous family of salons, spread across Texas and Tennessee. At each location, teams brandish an arsenal of all-natural Aveda products forged from plants and environmentally friendly ingredients found across the globe. Equipped with such powerful conditioning and coloring supplies, they curtail unruly locks with shaping, shading, and retexturing services, and enhance radiant tresses with spa services, such as massages, facials, and makeup applications. Additionally, the salons' seasoned crew helps hone future stylists' skills at Prodedgy, its own training salon for emerging talent.
Knockouts Haircuts for Men amps up the classic barbershop experience with a lavish, sports-themed approach to men's styling that has been featured on Today and CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. At a still-growing number of locations throughout the country, the company's all-female staff of stylists quarterbacks a full playbook of services ranging from bare-essential to spa-worthy. First and foremost, they clip shaggy locks, but they also administer facials, manicures, massages, and waxes. Complimentary beverages are included with every visit, giving patrons something to sip on while watching a sports game on TV or contemplating how they would fend off a lion using just a comb.
Artistic by nature, Ujamaa Shelton initially pursued a career in photography. Then, economic forces nudged him toward a change. As he pondered his future, Shelton realized that his passion for creativity and his desire to help others was perfectly suited to massage therapy. Shelton earned his massage license and promptly opened Myokneads with his wife, Kim Higgs. Today, the duo kneads sinews using Swedish, deep-tissue, and trigger-point massage techniques at their private studio, in their clients' homes, and at the top of human pyramids. In addition to tailoring his sessions with stretching, Shelton creates his own music to encourage clients' relaxation.