Parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, and genetically modified ingredients don't belong in any of the skincare products used by master aesthetician Shelley Birnbaum. Driven by a passion for eco-friendly practices, as well as a dedication to providing effective spa treatments, Shelley decided to only stock and employ balms and salves made from organically derived materials. But she wasn't content to merely vend these products—she began making them herself.
Along with her ReNew Botanicals Organic & Vegan line, Shelley draws on a handful of other trusted brands to naturally treat a wide range of skincare concerns. Her facials soothe complexions and address signs of aging with such earth-loving components as grape seed oil, olive leaf powder, and odes addressed "To That Really Nice Field." Many of her treatments are vegan, ensuring any client can stop by for a refreshing pick-me-up.
Brandi Nuttall, the owner of Dolce Salon & Spa, must believe that you can never have too much of a good thing. Expanding upon her first and second Dolce locations, which measure in at 12,000 and 13,000 square feet, respectively, she opened the third hub in 2007, and now there is a fourth. The 30,000-square-foot behemoth built in 2007 houses 62 styling stations, 21 spa rooms, 14 pedicure thrones, a makeup counter, a brow bar, and manicure stations. All four locations boast the same services—though at different scales—as well as men’s hair and spa treatments and bridal styling. Unlike hotels that charge extra for doorknobs and oxygen, the salons have a generous streak. They provide hairstyling services to those who donate to Locks of Love, spa services to local foster children, and hair clippings to areas affected by oil spills.
Zena's Spa and Salon is only a hop, skip, and a jump from the University of Baltimore, where it's been a fixture of historic Mount Vernon for more than two decades. Restoration initiatives have kept the neighborhood youthful, which is fitting, since Zena's is best known for its age-defying beauty treatments. In the elegant salon area, stylists transform tresses with cut and color services, while in the spa area, aestheticians deftly rehab skin with exfoliating facials and full-body scrubs. Guests may also retreat to a private treatment room for a relaxing Swedish massage or hot stone therapy, which improves circulation and provides ammo for throwing at glass houses.
Soothing aromas calm clients' senses as they enter the tranquil waiting room of Serenity Wellness Studio, which houses Msprity Spa Luxuries. Founded in 2006, Msprity Spa Luxuries is the brainchild of owner Msprity, whose background in health care and special knowledge of sensitive skin informs each of the spa's customized treatments. In addition to skincare and facial services, the spa further relaxes clients with beauty treatments, body wraps, and massages. A range of products is also available so customers can maintain glowing skin at home, saving them the trouble of always holding flashlights under their chins.
The owners of Zoom Hair Studio and Day Spa believe that the spa experience should be as rewarding as the end result. That’s why they’ve carved out a relaxing space with earth-toned walls, hardwood floors, and gentle lighting, where treatments such as black Baltic mud wraps and aromatherapy facials mirror the tranquil aura of the environs.
The docket of services covers all the bases, from haircuts and coloring to French manicures and massages. Natural and organic products add another dimension of comfort and wellness to the treatments, which help align the mind and body and recalibrate the soul's GPS system.
Usha Salon & Day Spa might best be known for meticulous threading services, which twice garnered a spot on Baltimore Magazine's annual "Best Of" list. But the skills of the house stylists and aestheticians don't stop there. They can also reshape coifs with stylish cuts and add face-framing dimension with highlights services. Nearby, Usha's henna artists use traditional Indian techniques to install intricate designs that are perfect for standing apart from the crowd or blending in with a pile of tea-stained lace. Clients can also take a break from humdrum chores with soothing facials and massages.