Dritan Azemi’s parents wanted him to become a doctor or an engineer. But he had his own ideas about how he could best help people. Feeling a calling in the world of aesthetics, Azemi dropped out of college and moved with his family from his native Albania to southern California. One day while out walking, he happened by a beauty school and stopped in to speak with the director about enrolling. Though Azemi had planned to heal people as a massage therapist, the more he worked on the school's styling floor, the more inspired he was by the happiness his clients felt after a great haircut. On his 20th birthday, Azemi celebrated by speeding down Interstate 15—an act that got him pulled over, right at the exit leading to the Ontario Mills mall. There, he discovered what was then Allen Edwards salon, where he quickly worked up to senior stylist and educator. When industry legend and ceramic-tools innovator Adam Shuman took over, Azemi learned many of his signature styling techniques and eventually became the company's junior art director.
Azemi's parents soon announced that they were moving to Pittsburgh, and he had to give up his glamorous fashion shows and photo shoots. He retained his sunny California mentality, however, and felt he could use this to enhance salon-goers' experience in the Pittsburgh area. The accomplished stylist opened Azemi Salons in 2008, naming the business not only after himself, but after a root word in several Eastern languages that means “power” and “moving forward.” To continue forward in its client-empowering mission, his team now offers spa treatments alongside hair services, performing skin-specific facials, relaxing mani-pedis, and massages to leave muscles as relaxed as the dress code at a Halloween parade.
Owners and principal members of the stylist team Emilio and Gino corral their decades of experience to create two distinct spaces where clients revel in personalized services. They staff more than 60 aesthetes, each of whom receives focused training on adjusting hair, skin, nail, and massage services to clients’ stated preferences and lifestyle. During and after haircuts, the team uses a house brand of products to style strands and address specific hair problems such as color fading, excessive oil, or naturally occurring pipe cleaners. During facials, the aestheticians home in on what lies below bangs by cleansing, toning, exfoliating, and moisturizing skin, and tension dissipates during therapists' restful massage sessions. The downtown Pittsburgh location also plays host to an elegant serata—a private, chandelier-lit escape where bridal parties can enjoy ultimate relaxation before addressing the fact that their friend is marrying a panda bear.
Stylists at Dolce' Vita Salon & Spa know that living the sweet life isn't just about being rich; it's about feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin. So they try to help their clients retain sharper images with professional haircuts, color, and keratin hair-smoothing treatments that make hair sleeker and enable it to fit back into its prom hat. Their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed—clients voted Dolce' Vita the best salon in Wexford in Trib Total Media’s 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards. To keep the good vibes flowing below the shoulders, the spa also offers spa services that include Swedish or deep-tissue massage, custom facials, and Minx Nails mani-pedis.
Between the chiropractic doctor and two nurse practitioners at Wexford Wellness CARE, enough knowledge exists to offer a range of nontraditional pain treatments. Chiropractic adjustments can ease not only physical pain, but also chemical and emotional. The same is true of acupuncture—which grows from Chinese medicinal routes and uses internal energy to align bodies—and massage, which can assuage stress and aches. Physical therapy, on the other hand, focuses on physical injuries, working to build up muscles and phonographs to their former glory.
If a struggling client ever wonders where certified health coach Heather Hosilyk gets her empathy, the answer lies in her past, which was defined by a poor diet and an extra 100 pounds. To lose the weight, Heather completely overhauled her diet to include no- or low-glycemic foods void of grains, gluten, and the gloomy fortune-cookie predictions that often trigger emotional eating. Today at The Natural Center for Health, Heather helps clients plagued with food addiction or stubborn weight do the same. She asks her charges to implement three basic lifestyle changes: nix processed foods, eat only heart-healthy fats, and use only ancient grains such as wild rice and quinoa. She uses one-on-one counseling and six-week group sessions as a platform for touting local, nutritious food as the basis of healthy diets. Apart from lending a hand to local farms and reducing emissions and superfluous packing materials, buying and eating locally ensures meals are fresh, tasty, and free of additives, Heather says, much like money still hot from the US Mint’s stovetop
The stresses of everyday life dissipate at the hands of Tranquillité Massage Therapy’s licensed staff members, who ply muscles within the softly lit confines of its private treatment rooms. The therapists target chronic aches and pains across the body, digging into or gliding across soft tissue with massage modalities including Swedish, deep-tissue, and soothing hot-stone. Specialty massages administered by highly trained therapists target overworked muscles that impair the body’s performance, and paraffin wax treatments enhance any massage with skin-softening warmth.
A visit to Tranquillité Massage Therapy shows that it takes the implications of its name seriously. Nearly every facet of the center contributes to an optimally relaxing experience, from plush massage beds to a policy that allows clients to prepare for massages at their own pace—time spent undressing, relaxing, and rehearsing groans of relief never counts toward massages.