Mark Lohmann's interest in health began when he witnessed its absence. As a child, he saw family members struggle with debilitating disease, and he began to wonder about ways he could restore their health. When he grew older and hopped on a track to become a yacht chef, Lohmann explored nutrition and often massaged his own shoulders to cope with "the long grueling hours spent on [his] feet for some two decades." When his parents' ailing health called him home in 2003, Lohmann began formally training in bodywork—starting with Active Isolated Stretching—before opening Planet Massage in 2005.
Lohmann's team of more than 10 licensed massage therapists tends to patients with medically based bodywork, often combining multiple modalities and products. The muscle masons further coddle clients with foot massages, heat packs, and Biofreeze, a paraben-free gel designed to relieve pain and make portrait subjects sit still for up to 20 hours. Planet Massage's crew can be dispatched for mobile massage appointments, and members also lead classes and workshops that guide clients through basic kneading techniques.
Those looking for Las Olas Barbershop need only look for the striped Padair barber pole, which has been spinning out front for generations. Made in the year 1948, it’s emblematic of the longevity of the shop, which first opened on Las Olas Boulevard in 1951 and was helmed by the same man—Ben "The Barber" Adamo—for more than 46 years. Though Ben has since passed, the traditions set down by the old-school barber are continued by current owner David Quinn, who takes care to ensure his third-generation customers receive the same quality service as their fathers and grandfathers before them. He's also taken great pains to revamp the aging hub—which he described as "a piece of history on the boulevard," to Go Riverwalk writer Kevin Lane—while respecting its legacy and character.
Today, though the wood floors and paint colors have been updated, guests can still see Ben's familiar photo and prized golf club hanging around. Upgrades have included barber cabinets and chrome-and-porcelain Paidar barber chairs dating back to the 1930s, which add authenticity to the shop's vintage aesthetic and nightly jitterbug marathons. And while the new generation of barbers continues to dole out the shop's signature shave-and-a-haircut service, they now also cater to women and kids and have even added manicures to the menu.
Some spa services—tanning and paraffin-wax dips, for example—were never meant to be combined. Others complement each other swimmingly, as the staff of Spatopia Massage knows. One such ingenious synthesis is their Angel Touch facial, which incorporates massage techniques such as acupressure and lymphatic drainage to guard against headaches and anxiety.
Those looking for a massage on its own browse styles from Swedish to reflexology. Eastern and Western methods unite on the menu, as therapists can target the body's energy meridians with shiatsu manipulation, or administer both Swedish and deep-tissue kneads during The Betty massage. Add-ons enhance appointments with hot stones, hot towels, or an abbreviated reiki session.
Spatopia's facials combat skin conditions such as teen blemishes and signs of aging, often incorporating natural extracts to rejuvenate complexions. For example, the anti-aging facial combiness lemon, grape seed, red-wine extract, a blueberry moisturizer, and a chocolate-wasabi mask—born out of a failed dessert-sushi recipe. At Spatopia's Symphony location, the service list expands to cover nail care and waxing.
Coleen Evans planned on becoming a lawyer. After years of pondering law school, she realized that she'd rather work with deep auburns and chestnut browns than the legal system's shades of gray. Nearly three decades since trading in the gavel for the scissors, Coleen is the owner and artistic director of Salon Enchanted. She oversees a team of stylists that uses Paul Mitchell salon products as its members shape locks into asymmetrical ‘dos or polished styles that have passed the test of time: the SATs. Coleen requires her Paul Mitchell-certified stylists to attend at least three continuing-education classes every year to keep expanding their skill sets.
The salon's colorists blend hues by hand at a color bar, tweaking mixtures to produce chestnut tresses that match eyes or a mane so golden it passes for legal tender. Beyond the color bar, Coleen invites clients to relax in the H2O lounge. Hot towels cushion necks and mood lightning glimmers amid mint-green tiles and decorative branches that evoke a desert oasis.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Waxing can be painful. That's why the owners of Aquablue Wax & Skin Care have made it their mission to remove hair in the gentlest, most sanitary manner possible. All their technicians are licensed by the state of Florida and are backed by more than 15 years of experience, which enables them to wax unwanted fuzz from both men and women with careful precision. Follicle-liberation sessions are made all the more manageable with the staff's use of European hard blue waxes, which are never double dipped or recycled from old birthday candles. After clients shed hair from their faces and bodies, they can polish their newly revealed visages with a facial, a microdermabrasion treatment, or a peel, which help to nourish their skin and repair problematic complexions. Aquablue also provides mobile spray-tanning services that let customers bronze their bodies with a UV-free formula made from sugar cane while at home, the office, or a sunless tundra.