Helmed by ambidextrous hairdresser Ben De Cordova, who garnered a first-place Green Award at the 2010 International Fantasy Hair Competition, Salon De Cordova soothes strands and shoulders with passionate attention to artistry and detail. Wig whisperers wield well-sharpened scissors to tame overgrown dos (a $40 value), releasing bad dreams that have been trapped in there for months. After blowing bristles smooth and dry, a soothing shiatsu massage (a $35 value) squeezes stress from the client's scalp and neck, as well as squeezes rainwater from their shoulder pads. Heads depart Salon de Cordova silkier, slightly lighter, and accentuated with a relaxed smile.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas?its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries?Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.