Since its humble beginnings in 1935 as a small health-food store that specialized in yogurt, GNC has evolved into the world's largest specialty retailer of nutritional products. The chain's more than 4,800 retail locations throughout the country stock numerous vitamins and supplements, all of which meet the company's strict standards for truthful labeling, ingredient safety, and product potency. They carry supplements that aid in sports nutrition, protein intake, diet, digestion, and beauty. Equally as dedicated to customers' shopping experiences as it is to product quality, the company created GNC University, an online learning platform, to help staff members bone up on nutrition and fitness knowledge. The knowledgeable sales associates field questions about everything from weight-management plans to stacking supplements for optimum earlobe strength.
International Hair Salon first opened its doors in 1984. To this day, its stylists sculpt dos with products by Bumble and bumble. and Moroccanoil. The latter contains antioxidant-rich argan oil that strengthen tresses and adds shine. Stylists also add length and volume to locks with Great Lengths hair extensions, which are made with human hair rather than synthetic strands or spaghetti noodles.
Products by brands such as Pharmagel, Aquage, Sexy Hair, Moroccanoil, Vavoom, and Essentials jump into clients' hair and hands at Lakeside Hair Boutique and Day Spa. That's because the stylists use them during hair services, but also make them available for sale in the boutique. It's not just high-end products that refresh guests, though. It's also the facials, hair extensions that last up to one year, soothing massages, and luxurious manicures and pedicures. So, in addition to stylists who re-imagine hair-scapes by using Japanese hair-straightening techniques, nail technicians host clients in cozy black leather thrones during mani-pedis. The latter might involve shiny shellac gels that last for up to two weeks without chipping or fading. Elsewhere—in private rooms—massage therapists work away knots and pent-up stress. Their methods include specialized Swedish, deep-tissue, hot stone, and aromatherapy massages, as well as just playing a tambourine on your back.
Though massage therapist Melanie helps her patients find peace and calm on top of a massage table, she finds her own on the peaks of Nepalese mountains. She travels worldwide—her next trip is to Colombia to learn healing rituals directly from Lakota tribes—to find the enlightenment she needs to share with others. Her signature massage style is reiki, which she works into her other modalities, including Swedish and deep-tissue. She also incorporates aromatherapy oils into her sessions, such as invigorating blood orange and cajeput, which soothes sore muscles after taxing activity, like lifting dumbbells or catching a glimpse of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a swimsuit.