Helmed by ambidextrous hairdresser Ben De Cordova, who garnered a first-place Green Award at the 2010 International Fantasy Hair Competition, Salon De Cordova soothes strands and shoulders with passionate attention to artistry and detail. Wig whisperers wield well-sharpened scissors to tame overgrown dos (a $40 value), releasing bad dreams that have been trapped in there for months. After blowing bristles smooth and dry, a soothing shiatsu massage (a $35 value) squeezes stress from the client's scalp and neck, as well as squeezes rainwater from their shoulder pads. Heads depart Salon de Cordova silkier, slightly lighter, and accentuated with a relaxed smile.
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.
Nu Image Med Spa Tampa brings medical expertise into a spa-like environment. Expertly aimed laser beams take on multiple tasks, alternately nipping hair follicles in the bud or restoring aging skin to youthful opulence. FDA–approved injectable such as Restylane and Botox ward off wrinkles and lift sagging countenances. Topical treatments such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion reduce signs of aging by sloughing off dull outer layers and unveiling new, fresh skin. Nu Image Med Spa Tampa's practitioners hire private detectives to keep tabs on the beauty industry's latest research and accept only the most effective skincare products by companies such as Obagi and Skin Medica for use in conjunction with beauty treatments.
At Artistic Cuts Salon & Spa, a cool blue tile mosaic greets visitors when they approach the desk, scarcely concealing murals of swans and cranes that usher in a feeling of serenity. Beneath hanging lanterns, specialists perform a variety of salon and spa services for men and women. Stylists tame locks with custom haircuts, coloring, perms, and straightening treatments, which can be complemented by other beauty services such as waxing and permanent makeup. Spa technicians also reward bodies with massages, facials, and skin treatments such as microdermabrasion.
Don't be surprised if you notice a natural rapport between the stylists at Stagecraft LLC. Since the salon never rents out chairs to individual contractors, the stylists—all of whom graduated from Paul Mitchell schools—work together as a team while their clients sit back with a glass of wine, soft drink, or coffee. That means they can collaborate, if necessary, to devise a haircut, style, or coloring treatment using Paul Mitchell products.
At J. Joseph Salon & Spa, owner Roy Naccour has grown his business from a tight-knit group of four employees to an enterprise with 31 expert stylists sought out by television programs, fashion shows, and droves of loyal customers. The salon's level system helps clients choose an ideal stylist based on training, years of professional experience, and number of swords and epaulets. Armed with instruction and certification from top salon academies, the team of stylists, aestheticians, and nail technicians helps patrons rework their appearance with haircuts and makeup applications, formal hairstyling, and shellac mani-pedis. Therapists help clients unwind and release pent-up tension with deep-tissue or Swedish massages, while skin experts revitalize complexions with nourishing facials and microdermabrasions.