Within the tranquil, century-old walls of the Belvedere house, the staff of The Secret Spa & Salon beautify bodies from the toes up. Hair stylists transform coifs with Aveda, Bumble and bumble, and Schwarzkopf products, as owner Richelle enhances natural nails with OPI, CND, and Gelish polish or extensions made from acrylic, silk, or fiberglass. A massage therapist eases tension with hot stones, aromatic oils, and custom pressure, and Dermalogica skincare experts clear complexions with relaxing facials that combat fine lines, acne, and premature aging. The spa also uses Jane Iredale makeup products.
Built in 1905 by the same architect behind the historic Biltmore house, Belvedere—which is part of the historic society—now has a slightly more modern feel thanks to the spa's staff, who accented its wood floors and abundant natural light with green plants and paintings by local artists. The multigabled house also boasts a projecting bay window, which makes an ideal spot for drying nail polish or testing the reflective properties of freshly waxed skin.
White Sage's Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist Jessica Hedrick, tailors massages with various techniques to restore frazzled bodies to a calm respite. During each 60- or 75-minute session, a therapist lithely dances all ten fingers across backs, deploying the long strokes of a Swedish massage and the diving plunges of a deep-tissue rubdown. An arsenal of myofascial methods soothes injured soft tissue, and cranial-sacral therapy indulges necks. After the tissue tenderizing treatment, patients can revel in a relaxed state, free from the effects of physical and emotional stresses such as hectic work schedules or piggyback carpools.
Owner Marcy Lanier and her crew of stylists take pride in creating the right cut and color for each of their clients at Willows Dream. During appointments, they apply their collective creative energy to help each person look and feel their best with a hairdo that flatters both their face shape and personality. Meanwhile, the team's aesthetician, Ginger, tends to the rest of the body's beauty needs, performing quick waxing treatments, vegan mani-pedis, and Xtreme Lashes eyelash applications. Her caring, professional touch has resulted in regular clients, and even earned her a spot on Mountain Xpress' Best of WNC 2012 list.
After treatments, guests can peruse the inviting gift boutique, a destination in itself, which is stocked with whimsical accessories, jewelry, local art, and high-quality hair products.
Ananda and her team of highly trained stylists know that hair is the easy part of their job—and that it's easy to miss the true nature and beauty of each person who sits in their chairs. So the stylists at Ananda West work with care, using products from Bumble and bumble, Wella, and other leading brands. To stay on top of new trends and techniques, stylists participate in monthly education classes.
As scissors and combs fly, clients can indulge in complimentary coffee, beer, wine, or loose-leaf teas as they slip into temporary scalp-massage-induced bliss. Shampoo, conditioner, and styling are included with each cut.
As visitors to Spa Theology slip into plush robes and slippers and nibble organic treats in the relaxation lounge, stress falls away—so does the rest of the outside world. Evoking a secluded country farmhouse perpetually filled with warm, late-afternoon light and truckloads of all-organic crops, the spa spirits guests away to a realm of rough brick walls, creamy curtains, and recessed nooks glowing with tea lights. Once pamperees have reached at least a level eight on the ahhmeter, they're ushered into a treatment room to be plied with only botanically-based, paraben-free salves. Treatments can also be tweaked to include soul-relaxing Polynesian rituals or Reiki energy healing.
The licensed massage therapists at Asheville Massage and Natural Therapeutics promote full-body well-being with proficiencies in numerous types of bodywork and energy-healing methods. Their treatments, like putting jeans in the dryer while still wearing them, can help stimulate circulation and make the stresses of the outside world seem all the more distant. They excel in multiple modalities, from deep-tissue and hot-stone treatments to holistic reflexology sessions. On top of offering therapeutic massages, the center, which is located in a historic flatiron building, helps promote healing with craniosacral, polarity, and chakra therapies.
Plant- and mineral-based products—never tested on animals—pamper faces and bodies during sensitively rendered services at Glow Skin. All-natural sugaring hair removal gently wipes away unwanted fuzz without hot wax or chemical additives. Therapy treatments using LED light and oxygen work to fade blemishes and scars with non-invasive bursts of light and air. Even high-tech microcurrent "face-lifts" stimulate facial muscles with both small jolts of electricity and inspirational readings on the Golden Rule.