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The stylists at Fantastic Sams keep things simple?but that doesn't mean plain. At salons scattered across the United States, the mane-makers fill a head of hair's everyday needs with services such as adult cuts, bang trims, and facial styling. They also go beyond basic services with texturing treatments, foil highlights, and hair relaxers more effective than simply slipping some gin into the shampoo. All services are complemented with their trademark FantasticStyle shampoo therapy, a treatment that includes a three-minute scalp massage and a nourishing argan-oil serum.

1545 N Parham Rd
Richmond,
VA
US

Deep-Tissue Massage: Like Untying Knots Buried in the Sand

Not simply focused on relaxation, deep-tissue massage seeks to relieve muscle pain through intense, deliberate strokes. Check out our guide to know what to expect.

Some entanglements have simple solutions: a wrinkled tablecloth can be smoothed out in minutes with an iron, and an unruly mess of hair needs only a tube of superglue to be set straight forever. But when the fascia?the layer of connective tissue that covers and interpenetrates the body?s muscles and bones?gets tied up in knots, it?s time to call in an expert.

?What deep-tissue massage purports to do a lot of the time is mild fascial release, which is kind of warming up the fascia and releasing lactic acid and any other toxins that have built up there,? says Katie O?Reilly, associate editor for DaySpa magazine. To achieve this, the therapist?s fingers, thumbs, and elbows move along the body in slow, deliberate strokes, applying pressure to penetrate beyond superficial muscle layers and relieve pain and tension. More intense than Swedish massage, deep-tissue sessions can last up to 90 minutes, ensuring the therapist has enough time to devote to particularly troublesome trigger points.

Conventional wisdom states that a proper deep-tissue massage should be at least a little painful. This ?no pain, no gain? mentality, however, doesn't totally apply?a massage, no matter how intense, should still be relaxing, and O'Reilly notes, "If you?re getting beat up during the massage, you should probably tell the therapist to rein it in a little bit." Maintaining an open line of communication with your therapist is important for other reasons as well. He or she needs to know about your health history before administering the treatment, as the intensity of deep-tissue strokes may exacerbate certain medical conditions.

601 E. Southside Plaza
Richmond,
VA
US

The skincare professionals at Belissa Salon and Spa specialize in smoothing out the body?s rougher edges. Though they draw upon years of experience in aesthetics, they don?t rely solely on their own wits?professional Dermalogica products crafted from natural ingredients aid them as they resurface skin.

For a service that exemplifies all the others, look no further than the Dermalogica thermal body treatment, which exfoliates with a natural blend of sea salt, dried seaweed, and fruit enzymes. Other, equally effective remedies may detoxify skin with mineral mud or wraps soaked in soothing plant extracts. Belissa Salon and Spa also offers tanning services: stylists use a bronzing mist to create natural-looking tans for their clients. Skin isn?t all the staff pays attention to. They also cut and color hair, groom nails, and relax muscles with six different massages, including hot-stone therapy and a prenatal style that incorporates heated alphabet blocks.

2010-C E Main St.
Richmond,
VA
US

At Hush Hush Salon, wisps of clipped hair fall quietly to the floor as skilled stylists reshape manes into face-flattering shapes. In addition to stylish cuts, the Shockoe Bottom salon offers myriad color services, including sun-kissed highlights, single-process color in vibrant hues, and color refreshers, which revive strands' vivid shades from tips to roots. Brazilian blowouts are also available to smooth tresses.

12 North 25th Street
Richmond,
VA
US

The licensed specialists at Evolutions Salon preen pincers amid contemporary interior designs. During the 75-minute basic mani-pedi combo, an experienced aesthetician files nails, doctors cuticles, and tops newly trimmed talons with a lustrous layer of polish and appendage-size nightcaps. The Shellac manicure supplements the basic service by blanketing each fingernail with a glistening coat of Shellac, a durable gel polish, which adds an extra 15 minutes to the overall mani-pedi treatment. Surrounded by ocean-blue walls and floors made of ocean water, owners of pampered extremities relax in the padded chairs of a salon decked out in artistic wall hangings and rectangular furniture.

13277 Rittenhouse Drive
Midlothian,
VA
US

Whether they're men, women, or children, the duo of expert stylists behind Capelli Cuts has clients covered. Danielle Quackenbush has plenty of experience cutting women's hair into stylish bobs or layered and flowing curls. She has certifications from Redken, Farouk, Schwarzkopf, Framesi, and Paul Mitchell. Paula Fazio draws on more than a decade of experience when precisely cutting men's locks. Both Danielle and Paula also consider multidimensional color their speciality and take pride in transforming blonds into redheads and adding sun-kissed highlights to brunettes.

12882 Patrick Henry Highway
Amelia Court House,
VA
US