The door to Bakerloo Salon and Gallery is always open, welcoming in fresh breezes and allowing the salon's pooch—a Boston Terrier named Dahlia—to sneak out and snooze in patches of sun. Inside the laid-back space, clients sip wine, coffee, or tea while stylists call upon advanced training by Toni&Guy and Vidal Sassoon to spice up hair with vibrant color or fresh new cuts. Each station stands stocked with shampoos and styling creams by ALFAPARF Milano, Schwarzkopf, and Unite Eurotherapy––a paraben- and sulfate-free, PETA-approved line that is never tested on animals or sharkskin suits.
Named a reader's choice salon by the North County Times in 2010, the space insists upon celebrating and welcoming the community. A rotating gallery displays work by local artists and hosts regular fashion and art shows, and the backyard invites patrons to peruse a selection of antiques available for purchase.
Dermacare owner Jeff Birchall, MD and his staff of friendly nurses and medical aestheticians wield a color-blind Cutera laser to permanently remove hair from most skin types. As the pulse of light zaps each unwanted strand at the root, a CoolGlide hand piece soothes skin with lowered temperatures and whispered recaps of professional golf tournaments. Some patients report a mild pinching or stinging sensation, though no local anesthesia or pain medication is typically required, and after the treatment, skin may be slightly red and swollen. Most areas require at least five treatments to fully banish hair, depending on its thickness, stage in the growth cycle, and favorite Addams Family character.
In 2001, the first iTan Sun Spray Spa opened its doors. It had a simple goal—to make clients feel and look lovely with professional tanning services. Today, the spa has more than 20 branches around San Diego, each offering a slightly different assortment of tanning beds, spray-tanning booths, and mechanical spa services.
The Smart Tan–certified staff prioritizes keeping up with tanning technology by stocking state-of-the-art tanning beds such as the Sun Angel, which uses sensors to customize a blend of UVA and UVB rays, practically eliminating overexposure and the need to wear a beekeeper suit to detract from a burn. Many beds come equipped with stereo sound systems, misters, and fans. Just down the hall from these beauty gadgets, Mystic and airbrush machines bronze limbs without UV rays or tan crayons, and mechanical spa machines dispense relaxing red-light treatments, infrared-energy body wraps, and aqua massages.
Guests with a taste for refinement find it the moment they step into Champagne Skin Lounge and find themselves bathed in the glow of a shimmering chandelier. But it's aesthetician Nicole Torres, Jennifer and Rebecca who cements the classy experience—she personalizes each waxing, facial, and massage service to ensure her clients get the royal treatment they crave. She custom-blends her facials from natural ingredients, mixing in professional h2t and Dermodality formulas to combat ailments such as acne, pigmentation, and fine lines, though her pumpkin peel can tackle all three problems, infusing pores with restorative nutrients that elicit admiring whistles from jack-o'-lanterns. While the services may feel luxurious, Peters works hard to ensure her spa remains welcoming and unpretentious, making it accessible to even the shyest clients who swing by for the shop's specialty Brazilian waxes.
Tan By the Sea in Carlsbad and Deep Tan & Spa in Encinitas keep skin bronzed seven days a week, regardless of the season. To deliver the sun-kissed look of Apollo's cheekbones, the facilities offer tanning beds—which range in intensity from the introductory Sunrise 3500 to the lamp-riddled European high-pressure TurboPower 25000s—as well as VersaSpa chambers that provide summer-worthy façades without the stern gaze of UV rays, misting clients from head to chakra with clear or bronzing solution in as little as 60 seconds. Decorating the salons are swimsuits, sandals by Havaianas, and products by Designer Skin, Hempz, and Australian Gold. In addition to tanning specialists, the spas' teams include aestheticians as well as technicians who can brighten pearly whites with dental-grade treatments.
The laid-back, fun-loving mentality of SoCal surf culture pervades Spa Samudra & Hair Lounge. Kids and pets walk freely throughout the premises as shoppers peruse the organic skincare line, made from wholesome, all-natural ingredients. Spa Samudra, however, seamlessly balances this surfer charm with the staples of a traditional day spa. Its organic skincare products, for example, are used in classic facials, which include steam cleans, exfoliation, and optional extractions. The aesthetic team also brightens faces with peels and soothes feet with detox footbaths. In addition, the 11 hairstylists at the up-and-coming hair salon pamper strands with an array of haircuts, color, and smoothing Brazilian Blowouts.