Owner Nancy Aponte is a 36-year veteran of the styling game and an advocate for eco-friendly styling alternatives. Some years ago, she became concerned with the toxic effects of hair-color products, and opted instead for more earth-conscious method. This approach has helped earn Aponte a nod as Best Eco-Friendly Salon 2012 in Fairfield County from the New Haven Advocate. Now in the comfort of her cozy studio, Nancy's crew of skilled stylists can transform tresses with organic coloring products, nix unwanted hair with body-sugaring treatments, or unblock energy channels with private reiki healing sessions.
In the late 1920s, the Great Depression was rendering most Americans professionally and financially paralyzed. But in a small California kitchen, Merle Nethercutt Norman was putting a plan in motion to formulate her own skincare products and share them with family and friends. She truly believed in her formulas, knowing that by getting them on as many faces as possible, she would develop a following of customers. She was right—within a few years she and her nephew were opening their first studio in Santa Monica, and they eventually unveiled a series of independently operated stores that enabled women to take ownership during a time of gender-based limitations such as men-only restrooms.
Today, in approximately 2,000 stores across three countries, the three basic principles of Merle's original vision still apply. Each studio is independently owned and fosters an in-depth knowledge of the company's own line of makeup and skincare products. Just as Merle shared her creations with close friends more than 80 years ago, today's aestheticians embody the business's "try before you buy" philosophy. A menu of complimentary studio services—from foundation checks to express facials—allows patrons to sample the lauded brand before committing to the purchase of products or full spa treatments.
Aqua Salon & Spa offers cosmetic treatments from its med spa, as well as nail-sprucing and hair-primping services in a contemporary chic atmosphere. Smooth wrinkles and turn frowns upside down with your choice of Botox (20 units) or Dysport (40 units). Both treatments are quick and nonsurgical, and can restore a youthful appearance more easily than crawling around on hands and knees, communicating in monosyllables. Results typically last up to four months.
The bodywork experts at Half Moon Spa don’t just soothe sore muscles with their hands and elbows. They also take to tabletops to skillfully walk over particularly tight regions of the back, glutes, and legs. In addition, they tending to clients’ pores, providing cleansing facials that leave complexions refreshed, rejuvenated, and glowing more brightly than a lightening-bug flash mob.
For 25 years and counting, licensed electrologist Karen Kolenda has accumulated expertise in the art of depilation. Having witnessed the efficacy of electrolysis, she's well-versed in the advantages of this hair-removal method. In contrast to waxing and threading, electrolysis yields permanent results. Compared to basic laser treatments, electrolysis works for people of all skin tones and hair types. And relative to extracting hair with wads of nougat, electrolysis is less sticky.
At American Barbershop, stylists work to resurrect the corner barbershops of yore, when striped poles spun out front and everybody knew each other's name. They're off to a good start—their red, white, and blue barber's pole twirls in front of the shop, and the vintage feeling continues inside, with red leather barber's chairs sidled up to antique wooden workstations stained dark with pale trim. They even have a rocking-horse haircut chair for kids or the tiny cowboys who mosey on in for a beard trim. The barbers offer hair services for men, women, and children, and keep their menu simple and no-fuss: haircuts and shampoos, along with beard trims for men and blow-dry styles for women.