Individual styling stations stand freely throughout Brittany’s Spa Salon, their pointed-dome mirrors reflecting shiny hardwood floors and shelves stocked with rows of professional salon products. Brittany Molina founded her studio after graduating from cosmetology and hair-design programs in 2002, and she continues to expand her repertoire at educational events in New York City, Paris, and Spain. She shares this knowledge with her team of stylists, teaching them new techniques for creating vibrant colors and weaving in strand-lengthening extensions. These skills have certainly paid off; since its founding, Brittany's Spa Salon has been featured in publications such as Ortega Times and Folio Weekly. Hairstyling is merely one aspect of the salon’s service menu. As guests recline in plush black chairs, technicians brush nails with vibrant Zoya polish and carefully remove chinese finger traps. Private rooms nearby host relaxing massage-therapy sessions and moisturizing Dermalogica facials. When she isn’t styling hair or overseeing her staff, Brittany is something of an inventor: shelves throughout the salon stock jars and bottles filled with her own line of hair products.
Panama native Nina Garcia was a hairstyling prodigy. Her innate ability to cut hair manifested at age 14. "I [would] do it for my neighbors and my friends," she explains. "I love to do hair. It's where my passion [is]." Now in the United States, Nina has accumulated 17 years of professional experience, putting in time at two salons before opening her own, where she keeps the atmosphere light and comfortable. "I like to keep people happy," she says. "I offer wine to people in the afternoon. I'm a very sweet person, and I love to meet new people."
In one of three styling chairs, Nina or one of her talented stylists rehabs hair with a new face-framing cut, coloring services, or a deep-conditioning treatment using high-end products such as Italian Alfaparf. The versatile team can even take care of hands and feet. "I have a girl who does manicure and pedicures," she says. "She uses OPI polish." Through patrons often come in simply to update their haircut and style, Nina's most popular service is the Brazilian keratin treatment, a retexturizing treatment that delivers healthy, frizz-free hair to clients and vintage troll dolls.
Regardless of the service being provided, Nina always emphasizes the importance of listening to the client and tailoring every service to his or her personal style. "You have to roll in their direction. I think that's the best way—don't change what they think. It's that way in style and in life. If you want to change something, do it. That's it."
Hearing the words "carve and slice" in the same sentence as the words ?beauty treatment? probably brings to mind painful plastic surgery, but at TranZitions Hair Salon, it's actually a service for your curls. Ouidad-certified stylists perform the carve-and-slice technique to cut down on the unwanted volume that causes a "pyramid look" while still defining and plumping up your ringlets. It's one of a select few Ouidad procedures at the salon, which also employs products from Paul Mitchell, Goldwell, Kenra, Redken, and other high-profile brands. The hair mavens administer treatments that range from custom highlights and complex updos to a 15-minute bang trim, a far chicer way to keep your hair out of your eyes than installing an awning on your glasses.
Besides their cuts and color applications, the staff also performs waxing, makeup, and nail services, which can include extras such as an aromatherapy hand massage. Additionally, skincare specialists exfoliate complexions with facials and microdermabrasion.
Marilyn Castorina has made a life out of making people prettier. A stylist with more than 20 years of experience and advanced training from both the International Dermal Institute and PCA Skin, she now welcomes clients to From Head to Toe Salon & Spa, where she renovates looks with services ranging from cuts and colors to facials, waxing, and nail services. She begins each hair appointment with a consultation, working with each client to determine a flattering plan before snipping away split ends or adding splashes of Pravana color. One of Bio Sculpture Gel Nails' educators in the state of Florida, she adds personality to fingertips with the company's no-chip color. She also eases tension by massaging faces, necks, and shoulders during the signature facial, and aims to leave complexions firm and acne-free with skin-specific treatments. As a more intensive anti-aging solution, Marilyn might even recommend a microdermabrasion session or a peel featuring clinical formulas by PCA Skin. They also use the Dermalogica skincare line, which was developed at The International Dermal Institute to eliminate common irritants, such as mineral oil, artificial colors, and kryptonite.
A passion for creative hairstyling brought Tony Woodley, owner of Shine Salon, from London's Oxford Street to Orlando's Park Lake Street. The story of his journey, however, isn’t quite as simple as that. After sweeping floors as a 15 year old at Andre Bernard’s flagship salon, he apprenticed at John Frieda’s salon and continued to grow as a stylist. His obvious skills led to jobs at magazine photo shoots and finally to the fashion capital of New York City. Frustrated with the lack of truly creative opportunities in the U.S., Tony took matters into his own hands, moved to Florida, and started a salon that he could call his very own.
Since opening, Shine Salon has made a name for itself as a haven for creative hair design. Tony and his staff continue to pride themselves on creating flattering cuts and coloring treatments for any number of occasions. Their concern for beauty doesn’t stop at the scalp; the team's aesthetician doles out facials and waxing services that leave skin smooth and nourished, and a nail tech moisturizes hands and feet before painting nails with highly detailed maps of local bus lines.
Guided by aesthetic intuition, the technicians at Touch of Life Med Spa use scientifically refined procedures to improve their clients' skin texture and tone. A Candela laser system bombards dermal blemishes with controlled pulses of laser light energy, helping to hide the appearance of stubble, spider veins, or acne scars. Additionally, the center's chemical peels and facials can leave countenances looking as youthful and as hydrated as an ice sculpture of Dorian Gray.