At Texas Tan & Spa, tanning beds, standup booths, and airbrush stations offer every variation of skin-bronzing approaches. After indulging in a bed or booth tan, or putting epidermises into the trusted hands of fully trained airbrush artists, guests can amble to the unisex spa area, where SkinPhD products swathe faces and bodies in rich all-natural ingredients crafted in South Africa. The beauty specialists treat clients from head to toe, waxing unwanted hair, extracting blemishes, and whitening teeth until they blend in perfectly with snowman flesh.
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.
A quaint stone path leads guests into JeLa's Epiphany Salon & Spa, where modern styling equipment shares space with vintage touches including an antique, brown leather salon chair. JeLa’s takes its name from owners Jennifer Braziel and Ladonna Houston, who manage an all-female team of stylists with more than 80 years of combined experience, entitling them to a shared senior discount at movie theaters. They offer haircuts and styles for women and children as well as highlights, weaving, and—the salon’s most popular service—relaxers.
Adriana works with sugar every day, but she’s not a baker. She’s in the business of removing hair, using an all-natural paste created from sugar, water, and lemon juice. She plies her trade at the self-titled private studio, Adriana’s Professional Body Sugaring, where she treats clients to her sweet, simple services in both English and Spanish. She reports that, due to the simple ingredients and cool temperature of the mixture, most find sugaring less unpleasant than waxing. Her formula contains no allergens to irritate the skin, only adheres to dead skin cells and hair, and tastes pretty great on toast.
The Orchard Salon is all about renewal, from its old-is-new shabby chic décor to the bold new hairstyles clients walk out with. In that vein, the eclectic atmosphere—not to mention professional Pureology products—encourages clients to feel confident exploring new hairstyles, whether choosing to light up their locks with bold highlights or go for a completely new ‘do.
Ella, a stylist at the salon, prioritizes making clients feel comfortable above all else. Though everyone who comes into the salon is offered complimentary snacks, coffee, and tea in real china, the best accommodation a stylist like Ella offers clients is good conversation. "To make them feel important and really listen to them,” she says, “a sense of humor goes a long way."