For more than 18 years, the technicians of Elegant Nails Hair and Skincare have invited customers to relax and become guests within a tranquil, soothing environment. Customers can bask in silence, peaceful music, or an orchestra of cicadas, as technicians use hot oil, paraffin wax, or gel polishes to pamper hands, toes, and nails. Facial treatments refresh faces with deep cleanses and mineral masks, and waxing and threading services remove unwanted hair. Other services available include henna art, body wraps, and ionic footbaths.
After earning the 2008 S. Roger Horchow Jefferson Award for public service, Edward Jagen opened Michaela's Grotto to provide holistic interventions that help visitors take responsibility for their health and emotional well-being. Jagen's resume reads like the definition of "Renaissance man": holder of a PhD in theology, a master magician, and a former Major Crimes Special Investigator for the Washington D.C. Police. While combating organized crime against mailboxes on the force, Jagen honed his abilities to read people, a skill he combines with a mode of communication called neuro-linguistic reasoning to help his patients recognize patterns in their thoughts and actions. The center is co-owned by massage therapist and medical intuitive Sophia West, who prefers to work in conjunction with her clients' physicians to pick up where Western medicine has proved ineffective. A nutritionist and a hypnotherapist round out the staff and reinforce the center's emphasis on the interconnectedness of mental and physical health.
The heart of the center is an outdoor labyrinth built to channel a positive energy through passageways that burst forth with flowering plants and choruses of Muppets in the summer. Meditation gardens stretch out beyond the labyrinth in a loose network of tranquil pools, sunlit walks, and a gazebo overlooking the center's medieval-castle-style architecture. Inside, a 375-foot sweat lodge and a warm mineral pool soothe visitors with heat, and a shop filled with aromatherapy products and crystals enables them to take home healing tokens of their journey.
For Dalissa Sanchez, creating beauty is a team effort. She asks her patrons for input during services, using their guidance and her expertise as a former hair-color educator and industry speaker to create styles that naturally flatter each client's best features. As a stylist and aesthetician, she relies on vitamin-infused treatments that strengthen hair and skin; as a nail technician she hydrates limbs with paraffin and arctic algae so that clients don't have to plunge their arms in bubbling geothermal springs. During makeup applications, for which Sanchez's portfolio covers everything from formal occasions to special effects, she perfects faces with airbrush foundation and long-lasting eyelash extensions.
Style-seeking clients have relied on Salon Celine for more than 20 years. With a master colorist on staff, the studio specializes in hair hues, but stylists also snip, condition, and style with professional products. Color services constitute about 75 percent of Salon Celine's business, and sylists will work with clients to customize colors to their style and needs. Meanwhile, across the room, a dedicated brow specialist tidies eyes, and makeup artists and stylists spruce up brides with wedding-oriented beauty treatments. To pamper even the busiest of clients, the receptionist pencils in special evening and weekend appointments by request, and a retail boutique provides Moroccanoil, Pureology, Joico, Matrix, Coppola products to use at home.
The welcoming staff of Mirrors Barbershop clips head threads into newly flattering arrays before luxuriously sloughing away facial hair during straight-razor shaves. During the men's haircut, barbers shear superfluous head threads as clients repose in plush chairs at old-fashioned styling stations, complete with gold- and brown-framed mirrors and windmill-powered blow-dryers. After manes are tamed, a strap-sharpened blade deftly scrapes away at unwanted cheek fuzz. Otherwise, a kids' cut trims hair into manageable styles for a youthful 'do that's as dapper as a three-piece Bob the Builder suit.