Heels and toes deliver soothing pressure during the East Asian ashiatsu deep-tissue massages at Balanced Body Massage Group. Supported by overhead bars and assisted by the heavy hands of gravity, therapists glide their firm soles slowly over tense backs. A fusion of Swedish and compression techniques helps pump fresh blood throughout the body, iron out knots, and send stress to military reform schools. Oil infuses the uppermost layers of skin with rich moisture, and trigger-point therapy routs chronic pain from hideouts in the soft tissue. Refreshed limbs leave the table feeling as long and loose as the Man with No Name's poncho.
After more than 10 years as a stylist, Jamal Edmonds understands the importance of listening. As a young salon apprentice, he listened to his instructors and was rewarded for his efforts with a scholarship to the prestigious Bennett Career Institute. Even after countless fashion shows and magazine spreads, he hasn’t forgotten this crucial skill. It’s why Salon Lamaj, his beauty shop in Capitol Heights, continues to thrive.
Jamal is no stranger to the salon floor, and he regularly works alongside his team of highly trained stylists, all of whom have had a say in developing a menu of customizable beauty services. Their skill is evident in the way they sew and braid extensions or finish looks with a round-brush blowout—but never without listening to their clients first. The salon’s services don’t stop at the scalp. Facials gently wipe away acne, Shavasana extensions add volume to lashes, and makeup applications ensure that you’ll get the fingerprints of any relative who unlawfully tries to pinch your cheeks.
Ama Hammah finally saw the creativity and beauty of natural hairstyling after living in Ghana, where chemical-free hair reigns. At Au Naturale, she brings her learned skills and ingrained passion to spruce up natural hair and refresh locs. To further enhance her services, Ama uses natural products from Fabulocs and other manufacturers to strengthen and care for strands the right way.
Sacred Lox Hair Boutique’s licensed hairstylists continually lengthen their list of mastered services. They’ve most recently added for-purchase hairpieces and extensions to the salon’s boutique area, which doubles as the entryway to a salon where they cut, color, and straighten hair. The team of experienced hands behind these services includes a licensed braid-and-natural-hair cosmetologist who specializes in advanced weaving techniques. Her skills go on full display during the salon’s weaving classes, which help students learn to adhere different types of hair to scalps or jack-o-lanterns suffering from gourd-pattern baldness.
"You are smart. You are nice. You are pretty. You are uniquely you." This is the mantra at Viva La Girls Spa & Club, where beauticians aim to increase kids' confidence and expand their brains, too. They can perform an array of treatments at their perch within Glam Spa Lounge or travel to a location of the client’s choice to doll up youngsters with nail art, facials, and glitter makeup. Spa soirees make kids feel like movie stars, princesses, or CIA agents disguised as princesses with beauty services packaged with add-ons such as a pink limo service, candy buffets, yoga lessons, and lip-gloss-making stations. Lessons in etiquette and cooking are also available, and the Viva La Girls club keeps youngsters engaged with books, field trips, and community service.