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.
In medical school, Dr. Carolyn Mai's mentors wanted her to become a surgeon. They noticed her uncanny attention to detail and that she possessed the steady, certain hands and a keen eye—skills which she now uses to administer noninvasive treatments that correct blemishes and signs of aging.
In Dr. Mai's office, patients don’t bounce from specialist to specialist, nor does the doc bounce from patient to patient. She keeps every appointment one-on-one, delivering close, personal attention that not only maintains the continuity of treatments, but also helps put patients at ease. Dr. Mai sees herself as being an approachable doctor who seeks to see her patients feeling more confident on their way out of the office than they did upon entering.
In keeping with this down-to-earth caregiving philosophy, Dr. Mai designed her office to feel light and airy with light blue walls that wrap around white, contemporary furniture. Large leafy plants overlook patients sipping tea and coffee, creating a relaxing atmosphere.
Luxz Esthetics owner Roxanne is one of only seven authorized Intraceuticals skincare professionals in Oahu. In this role, Roxanne administers Intraceuticals's signature treatment, which involves infusing the face with oxygen and painting it with a serum composed of vitamins, aloe vera, green tea, and hyaluronic acid. As implied by its prefix, the Intraceuticals formula seeps deep into pores. As a result, the products stimulate the skin rather than traumatize it with chemicals or gruesome Halloween masks. In addition to the nonchemical peel infusion, Roxanne performs diamond microdermabrasion to remove dead skin cells from the superficial layer. She also administers microcurrent treatments to naturally stimulate cell growth and provide a nonsurgical, nonpuppet-string face lift. Roxanne's private salon-studio specializes in other non-surgical skin care procedures including Microdermabrasion, Intraceuticals Oxygen Infusion Treatment and Atoxelene wrinkle reduction treatment.
Paradise Massages & Spa’s therapists combine tailored massage strokes with essential oils that evoke the relaxing scents of the tropics. During lomilomi massages inspired by Hawaii’s own holistic healing traditions, they use their hands, forearms, and elbows to rhythmically soothe muscles. Another island-inspired treatment, the hot-lava massage, employs heated stones to stimulate circulation and ease the daily stresses of living inside an active volcano. The staff’s expertise extends beyond sore backs and shoulders; their customized facials, for example, open pores with a blast of soothing steam before moisturizing skin with a healing mask and relaxing frown lines with a facial massage.
During a visit to DK Advanced Skincare, an experienced aesthetician will work with each client to help create a brighter and younger-looking appearance. Sessions with new clients begin with a skin assessment to evaluate each person's skin type. Some of their treatments, such as diamond microdermabrasion and non-invasive chemical peels, whisk away dull, tired cells to reveal the clearer complexion beneath. DK Advanced Skincare also offers the FAR Infrared Body Wrap System, which uses targeted infrared heat to penetrate into the skin, offering the benefits of sunshine without the harmful effect of solar radiation. The heat-therapy treatments can help to reduce cellulite, improve skin conditions like acne, increase circulation, aid in weight control, and relieve stiffness and pain.
It?s not just the soft glow of candlelight, the array of floral sprays, or even the pampering spa treatments that keep clients coming back to Laka Skin Care & Spa. They come for the salon?s holistic treatments, backed by the science of Nobel Prize?winning research. The salon?s staff is trained in everything from facial reflexology to the salon?s three signature facials.
What really sets the spa?s treatments apart are the optional add-ons. The house brand of aromatherapy, 21 Drops, infuses facials and massages with healing essential oils to entertain noses. Meanwhile, in the hot-stone detox room, heated amethyst mats detoxify both body and mind while clients relax on them. Sessions intend to increase metabolism and blood circulation while relieving muscle tension.