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.
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—all of which use 24-karat gold to brighten and cleanse skin.
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. Heated amethyst mats detoxify both body and mind while clients relax on them.
Gentle music breezes past the salmon walls at Sophisticated Facial & Nail Spa, where black, leather massage chairs rest on natural-wood floors. Nail technicians with a keen eye for artistry paint fingernails with such specialty designs as zebra print, flowers, butterflies, and near-perfect replicas of toenails. Dermalogica products nourish visages during a half-dozen different 90-minute facials, which range from an oil-and-acne treatment that uses high-frequency currents to kill bacteria to an anti-aging facial powered by hydroxyl-acid exfoliation. Private treatment rooms also host waxing procedures that leave skin smooth and hairless for longer than razors, tweezers, or stern lectures do.
The staff at Q Laser Center leads clients on a laser-driven journey toward smoother, less visibly vascular, or tattoo-free skin. The Center prides itself on using safe, FDA-approved, and effective laser treatments, carried out in a clean and comfortable environment, free of stressors such as onrushing asteroids. In addition to laser treatments, the Center's team also helps to rejuvenate the skin with chemical peels, cosmetic injections, and other aesthetic services.