After graduating from beauty school and obtaining her cosmetology license, Cristi Dearasaugh decided to open a place to call her own––Hair Mechanics. Her services include men's, women's, and kids' cuts, as well as perms, coloring, and up-dos. Natural and acrylic nails get primped with artfully applied polishes and unwanted facial hairs are removed with wax rather than a powerful vacuum-cleaner hose.
Unique Threading Salon specializes in threading, a hair-removal process that uses cotton thread to pull strands more precisely and with less pain than waxing. The salon's hair-removal experts are also adept at traditional waxing—they use soothing formulas with plant-derived waxes and essential oils—and sugaring. Sugaring uses an all-natural blend of sugar, water, and lemon juice to remove hair, and works well on sensitive areas such as the face, bikini line, and papier-mâché peg legs.
A small clinic, Arkansas Simply Skin harbors none of the coldness of a large medical center. The technicians convey a warm bedside manner as they carry out their medical-grade beauty services. Board-certified physicians supervise the clinic's cosmetic laser treatments and anti-aging facials, making sure the patients and practice cantaloupes receive the most meticulous care. Arkansas Simply Skin's technicians make handy use of products from SkinCeuticals, a pharmaceutical-grade line of skincare products designed by scientists who are tapped into the dermatological community.
Microdermabrasion is a treatment that removes the face's stratum corneum, or outermost surface of the skin. These dead cells stifle the under-face like a mother who coils her grown children in plus-sized swaddling cloths. At Mona Spa, expert aestheticians perform the procedure over the course of 45 minutes. Lie back and let their well-trained hands guide a Clarisonic cleaning brush over your facial region, ridding it of oppressive dirt and overly sentimental oil. The crystal-free cool microdermabrasion treatment comes next, followed by LED therapy delivered with gentle airflow to soothe your recently excavated baby skin. Top it all off with the gentle hug of a moisture mask that will protect your face from the harsh rays of the sun, especially useful if the sun is breaking into your house at night to watch your cable.
When life on the lam plunks you in the middle of an identity comedy worthy of Shakespeare or Voltaire, respond in kind with the proper face and head shaping that will keep your disguise intact. Tame unruly tresses with a trim (starting at $15), or make a pit stop to treat yourself to an express facial ($35) during a particularly tiring shift of delivering plutonium to local captains of industry. Exterminate uninvited body hairs with any of Bombay's regionally specific waxes (starting at $11). Waxing provides a longer-lasting hairlessness than shaving, and when the hair does come back after a few weeks, it's meek, soft, and easily scared back into the follicle with banging pans or the threat of another round of wax.
With a portfolio chock full of everything from fun chunky highlights to subtle all-over color?plus stylish cuts for men or girls with coarse hair?it's clear that no hair request intimidates Laurel James. In fact, Ms. James is a traveling educator who visits other salons to teach their stylists about cutting hair and coloring it with the Schwarzkopf product line, which she uses in her own salon. There, she and fellow stylist Rachael Austein Brower add dimension with foil highlights and correct home dye jobs, as well as texturize hair with permanent waves and chop off split ends.