Sweet 185?s dedication to natural ingredients is apparent in its organic facials, which rely on plant essences, and its holistic massages, which use herbal oils. The same can be said about its hair removal treatments?rather than rely on chemical-laden waxes, Sweet 185?s experts hark back to the ancient Egyptian technique of sugaring, using an un-heated paste made simply of sugar, water, and lemon to remove hair. Because of this excellence, they have been included in USA Today's Top 10 Spas in Charleston.
Meanwhile, the spa's oxygen therapy treatments have caught the attention of both the Charleston Mercury and the Moultrie News. Inhaling four to five times the normal amount of oxygen in the air while reclining in the spa's leather zero-gravity chairs is said to promote healing and heighten memory, and is far easier than doing aerobics in space.
After their treatment, guests can peruse Sweet 185 boutique, where staff have handpicked gifts and goods ranging from natural chocolates to jewelry to organic sunscreen. There, visitors will also find Angel Rox clothing made with organic cotton and low-impact dyes, Jurlique creams and lotions that are never tested on animals, and Nadina bath towels, made with sustainably grown bamboo rayon.
Belying its moniker, Old South Barber Spa is a modern facility where the charms and amenities of an old-fashioned southern men’s club are ladled into a historical home’s luxurious confines. The shop’s barbers carefully trim hairs and gently shave beards and necklines using hot lather, shave oils, and a straightedge razor; the way it was done in the good old days when all walks to school were uphill on sidewalks made of quicksand. Barbers also treat hands and feet with manicures and pedicures, and pores with facials designed to rejuvenate and brighten skin.
Old South Barber Spa’s pleasantly placid interior, located inside a 217-year-old home, surrounds visitors in a comforting blanket of rich mahogany, lavish furnishings, and original antique heart-pine floors that evoke the drawing rooms of historical gentlemen’s clubs. In addition to banishing split ends to exile in a dustpan, customers may partake in complimentary beverages and shoeshines, and top off their spa experience by visiting the cigar bar, which will also enhance their Groucho Marx impressions.
The team at Stuart Laurence Salon, a Bumble and bumble network salon, knows a thing or two about hair. These stylists hone their haircutting and coloring techniques at Bumble and bumble University, an institute for hairdresser education in New York City. They have also trained with industry greats such as Toni & Guy, and a few have even worked in art design, television, and film. Several staffers are Ouidad-certified stylists, who have diligently studied haircare designed specifically for curly locks. One such technique is Ouidad's signature Carve & Slice cutting method, which can be used to remove extra bulk or create well-defined, manageable ringlets that dead-eyed porcelain dolls would kill for.
The highly trained stylists specialize in precise highlights and color that ranges from natural to avant garde. They also perform custom hair and makeup services for weddings.
At Oasis Tanning Salon, visitors deepen their complexions with both UV tanning and sunless spray tans. Before entering either lie-down or standup beds, patrons glaze their pelts with lotions from California Tan and Swedish Beauty that maximize the effect of the UV bulbs' emissions. Tanners can purchase UV tans a la carte or by the month, or they can invest in VIP memberships that reward them with deeply discounted rates for six-month, one-year, or 15-generation contracts. During five-minute airbrush-tanning sessions held in private rooms, certified technicians mist guests with a personalized hue harvested entirely from natural ingredients. Customers trapped in padlocked pants can elect to be airbrushed from the waist up or just on the face and neck, and tanners can augment their freshly misted bods with a cocktail tan, which supplements spray sessions with up to five minutes in a standup UV bed.
Tropical Tan and Salon specializes in spray tanning, which they apply by hand to sidestep streaking and ensure there’s no orange tint to the tan. Staffers apply full-body versions of their spray tans in about 10 minutes, and they can last approximately one round trip to and from the moon—about 7–10 days. UV tanning is also available in Level 1 and 2 beds.
The salon team also performs waxing, nail services, and massage therapy, all with an emphasis on treating customers like family. In that vein, the interior offers a clean but comforting ambiance, with homey rugs over the hardwood floors, rich green plants towering toward the ceiling, and wicker-and-glass tables sporting beverage fixings. Wall art and cushioned couches in the waiting area point the way to a flat-screen TV, and the sunlight pouring through tall windows hints at the tanning going on inside.
At Skin Therapy Center, Dr. Zeyi Chen invokes decades of experience in dermatology to calm skin of all ages, whether it suffers from teenage blemishes or timeworn wrinkles. To fuel their selection of face and body treatments, the spa uses its own line of products. Originally launched 19 years ago, these elixirs use everything from peptides to Chinese herbs to strengthen and clarify skin. Dr. Chen and his staff also apply the centuries-old practice of acupuncture therapies. Hair-thin needles gently clarify the body's energy channels to unseat stagnant tension, bolster immunity, and accelerate intestinal intranet connections.