With its crystal-laden chandelier and iconic images of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, Michael Jenkins's workspace would probably look different today if not for his career change. "I actually started accounting before [styling] and totally hated it," he says. "I didn't like looking at numbers."
So in 2001, Michael made a "major switch" and embarked on a hairstyling adventure. These days, within a spacious double room rented from Sola Salon, he and his assistant Tabitha Stricklin transform hair with the aid of Keune Haircosmetics colors—which he picks for their vibrancy—and Aquage styling products.
Although Michael loves "fun, funky styles" and bold colors, he makes sure to listen carefully to his clients' desires. "I always do a consultation with the client, no matter if they've been with me 10 years or if they're new," he says. He offers them water to sip when they come in and lavishes scalps with a massage as he shampoos their hair. Dance music keeps the atmosphere upbeat as he adds texture to looks with highlights, banishes frizz with keratin treatments, and politely asks split ends to jump ship.
Abi Goldberg wanted to open her own spa to honor her entrepreneurial father's memory after he passed away. In 2012, Abi used her family's business instincts to rebrand her salon. Chroma Salon Spa Boutique, formerly La Chique, now features industrial chic decor with aqua-colored accents for a more modern, serene setting. Clients can still count on pampering Image Skincare facials and customized cuts, as well as wine and beer to sip or pour out in respect for recently lost locks. Abi also maintains the boutique's stock of handcrafted jewelry and accessories she personally selects from expos in New York and Atlanta.
The sweet aromas of mango, hibiscus, pumpkin, and cocoa butter mingle inside Zen By Jenn, where the eponymous specialist calls upon an arsenal of natural products from Pevonia Botanica and Plantogen to pamper skin and ease tension. Jenn offers a variety facials and peels, such as the honey-layered treatment designed to hydrate skin and eliminate bacteria and the linden-blossom soother, which uses essential oils and root extracts to fight damage-causing free radicals. Deep-tissue, Swedish, and hot-stone massages are not complete without a choice of seven Balinese oils designed for specific troubles, such as cellulite-smoothing kopi made from dark coffee or mood-boosting thai oil made from ginger, lemongrass, and shredded Archie comics.
Gabby Espada probably has a better bedside manner than most aestheticians: before pursuing a career in skincare, she spent many years as a registered nurse. Today, she operates Blissful Beauty, a spa where she currently performs custom organic facials and chemical peels. Using naturally derived products from brands such as Éminence and Repêchage, she administers treatments such as the firm-skin facial, during which she uses açaí, blueberry, raspberry, and brambleberry extracts to brighten and tighten skin. Even the chemical peels integrate natural ingredients: the enzyme peel has a blend of pineapple- and papaya-citric acids, and the flower-extract peel boosts cellular turnover, evens skin tone, and helps pores with their green thumbs.
Calling upon her training at the Daytona Institute of Massage Therapy and the knowledge that led to her subsequent certification, massage therapist Kelly Murdick heals the sore backs of local athletes and community members with a variety of massage modalities. Though her methods— which range from tissue-stretching myofascial release to the healing aromatherapy of the Raindrop technique—address specific aches and injuries, they share common goals of easing the mind’s stresses and the body’s tensions. Along with her massages, Kelly fights cellulite with Parafango treatments and cocoons bodies in wraps designed to stimulate blood flow and promote the growth of nascent wings.
Friendly stylists at EnVision Hair Studio dedicate their energies nearly exclusively to beautifying locks, serving up a full menu of cuts, as well as coloring and conditioning treatments. Wielding high-quality salon products by the likes of Redken and Paul Mitchell, the clipsters infuse snipping sessions with all the luxury of a velvet-lined swimming pool. Conditioning services such as smoothing keratin therapies treat locks to a feast of calming mango butter, grape seed, and meadowfoam, leaving tresses shinier and frizz-free for up to three months. The team keeps up on the latest trends, including Hotheads and feather hair extensions, maintaining its focus on tailoring treatments to suit each visitor.