Traditional Chinese medicine and Western beauty practices join forces at Advanced Medi-Spa Hawaii. Practitioner Cindy Chang draws on her experience as a licensed acupuncturist and cosmetologist to deliver face-lifts—which rely on fine needles instead of scalpels—and skin-clearing treatments that use intense pulsed light and herbs. A few zaps from a cold laser help erase age spots, freckles, and birthmarks, and the radio-frequency energy emitted by the Lamprobe machine banishes skin tags, clogged pores, and the other blemishes caused by not living in a car wash.
Led by Pravina Kumar, a 22-year veteran of the beauty industry, the Threading Lounge staff uses its namesake technique to gently whisk away unwanted hair above the eyes and lip. Trained hands require a single cotton thread to perform the Asian technique, which isolates offending hairs without irritating the skin or accidentally flossing all the teeth. Threading requires no chemicals, sharp tools, or violent motions—clients simply relax into seats of plush, red cushions under the glow of a crystal chandelier. Threaded hair normally returns on the same timetable as waxed strands, and any length of hair may be jettisoned with the procedure, from peach fuzz to a yak's eyebrows.
Armed with current techniques for properly maintaining noggin lawns, Regis Salon’s network of stores keeps clients’ hair in order as dictated by the latest trends. Within this caravan of hair bazaars, customers’ wild manes are tamed by skillful stylists; use your Groupon toward a shampoo, cut, and blow-dry, and lean back and dream of breakdancing Stay Puft Marshmallow Men as a stylist carefully cleanses hair with shampoo and conditioner and then clips it into stylish head hedges that beautifully complement scalp-garden pathways. Afterward, the hair that’s left behind will receive a loving blow-dry for a style that gleams and glitters like a ruby-encrusted bowling ball. During the treatment, stylists offer helpful tips and tricks to help clients care for hair at home. If a shampoo and cut isn't your cup of sports drink, put your Groupon toward the cost of another service, such as hair coloring (starting at $52), highlights (starting at $75), or a perm (starting at $75).
Salon C is a full-service salon that updates clients’ looks while bestowing them with personalized attention and complimentary beverages. The experienced and well-rounded staff—composed of Paul Mitchell educators and graduates of the Aveda Institute—keeps their skills current through continual education. Ever on the hunt for the most flattering looks, they begin each service with a thorough consultation that evaluates clients’ eye color, skin tone, and DNA.
On the spa side of the treatment menu, aestheticians use Dermologica skincare products to foster younger-looking facades, while waxing techs create hair-free surfaces. Makeup artists forge temporary or permanent enhancements, and nail techs add another dimension to fingers and toes with 3-D nail art.
For Salon Blanc co-owner Alan Vuong, hair is more than something to tuck behind an ear or sweep over a shoulder—it's an artistic medium that inspires creativity and pride. The salon's website even asserts that "hair is an expression of the moment we live in." Nothing could hold truer for Vuong and his team, who are continually educating themselves on the latest cutting and coloring techniques and products. They displayed these to full effect when they journeyed to California for the 2011 International Salon and Spa Expo—one of the largest professional beauty events on the West Coast—a trip chronicled on Living Local.
Vuong's trendsetting artistic vision earned him the title of Honolulu magazine's Editors' Pick for Best Hairstylist in 2009, and according to that publication, "he even has clients flying in from Japan and Guam to get the Vuong vibe." He and his crew rely on the Kérastase and Shu Uemura lines for haircare, and also offer services such as bridal packages, makeup, and waxing.
It should come as no surprise that Vuong is as concerned with the salon aesthetic as he is with his clients' satisfaction. His blank-canvas hair philosophy is much like the look of the Ala Moana Beach–facing salon itself; in fact, he compared the space to an artist's studio in a feature in American Salon magazine. The minimalist, white-on-white interior is accentuated by black leather chairs and feathery chandeliers that are lighter and more elegant than a performance of Swan Lake on the international space station.
Pure Elements Salon & Spa uses all-natural Aveda products on clients from head to toe. The company also follows through with Aveda's green mission to beautify without harming the earth. The skilled staff members peruse Aveda's robust selection of eco-consciously harvested serums, shampoos, and lotions as they prepare for a range of spa services that includes hair, skin, massage, makeup, and nail treatments for both men and women. Nail technicians exfoliate feet with an all-natural sea-salt scrub before polishing toes. Massage therapists use natural elements during the hydra-stone massage, which, as its name suggests, incorporates both water and hot stones to make muscles as loose as a procrastination club’s meeting times. Aestheticians slough dulling dead skin cells from the face with microdermabrasion, facials, and glycolic peels. Clients can mix and match a combination of Pure Elements’ services to build extra-long spa packages or bridal packages to spiff up ladies on their big days.