Inside CJ’s Salon, whimsical touches abound as stylists artistically highlight locks with fading ombre or bold color-block patterns. Giant stars and the scissors used to clip the Statue of Liberty’s famous coif adorn the walls, while black leather chairs cushion clients for all their styling and waxing needs. Along with haircuts for men, women, and kids, the staff brings digits up to snuff with nailcare.
Davis Beauty and Wellness beautifies its clients inside and out with a menu of spa treatments that includes facials, microdermabrasions, and waxing coupled with nutritional guidance. Licensed aesthetician Maryanne Davis draws upon 15 years of skincare experience when exfoliating the pores of her male and female clients. Armed with products from Cellular Laboratories, she fights signs of aging from fine lines and wrinkles that resemble cassette-tape ribbons. Dietary coaching and weight-management programs balance out their list of services and attempt to help patrons achieve long-term health.
As a young man, John McKenna realized he had a talent for hairstyling, eventually moving from New York to the beaches of Florida to open his own salon. In addition to transforming the hair of clients ranging from mothers to teens, McKenna styled Miss Tampa's hair and won a reader-nominated runner-up award in 2010's Best of the Bay. Within his European-style salon, an exposed-brick accent wall adds a splash of warmth to furniture's sleek design, much like the cardigans that zoologists fit over the cheetahs they study. Behind their stations, certified color specialists paint tresses with golden highlights or lowlights and cover grays with Matrix honey-based color cream, which the salon guarantees will completely mask the offending strands. Stylists consult with clients before taking the first scissors swipes, determining the best shapes, lengths, and hues to fit each client's style. McKenna personally assures clients that "how you look is as important to us as it is to you."
Every day at Shear Sophistication, Heather O'Donoghue gets to pursue her passion: hair. She loves everything about it—the process of keeping it healthy, the endless variety of styles, and the opportunity for self-expression that it offers. As a studio owner who thinks outside the box, she works closely with each client to help them uncover their hair's potential. Heather also offers makeup applications to complement her styling services.
What would make the owner of a successful tanning salon consider selling his business to a 20-year-old upstart? Robert Paolini may have been young, but he’d earned his bronze-colored stripes; since he was 16 years old, he’d worked long hours at the salon, and his friendly manner put customers at ease. When the sale fell through, Robert put together his own business plan, gathered investors—some of whom were former tanning clients—and opened his own salon, The Hot Spot Tanning Co.
The salon has since weathered a boom in the tanning business, and Robert attributes the company’s survival to an amicable staff, who have created an atmosphere he compares to the show Cheers. “People who tan visit the salon three to four times a week, more often than they go to the grocery store,” says Robert. “They want to go where they feel comfortable.” So in each private room, tanners can stow their gear safely on sturdy shelves, hang clothing on hooks, and refresh after sessions with deodorant, makeup remover, and hand wipes.
Warm-skinned patrons slip from high-pressure tanning booths, which coax out melanin with lights designed to avert burns and lend credence to claims that one is a model in a water-wings catalog. Against the hushed hiss of a Mystic Tan booth, Robert presides over a selection of supplements, sports drinks, and shakes, and draws on a certification in sports nutrition while guiding clients through health and weight-loss programs.
Essentials Massage & Facials' Spa professionals relax weary bodies with a collection of therapeutic services. Soothing massages employ a collection of kneads, strokes, and manipulations to reduce tension and disentangle body knots, with luxurious add-ons such as paraffin treatments and aromatherapy. The skin-savvy techs also rid frames of unwanted stubble with waxing services, smooth out wrinkles with chemical peels and microdermabrasion, and soften countenances with professional skincare products during facials.