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.
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.
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.
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.
Situated inside the Outrigger Luana Waikiki Hotel, the sleek contemporary interior of Ville De Coco envelops visitors in a tranquil environment while staff members administer customized pampering services. You can get a traditional Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage in a private room, or climb into a pillow-lined pedicure chair to soak your feet in warm tubs filled with aromatic salts.