When Maureen Schantz founded Alternative Health Associates more than two decades ago, she did so with a simple concept in mind: bring together professionals who can tend to customers’ every aesthetic need. She and her staff do just that with a wide range of cosmetic services, ranging from Maureen’s specialty, electrolysis, to Botox and waxing. But their services also extend into aspects of health. Swedish and deep-tissue massages disperse aches, and a protein-oriented weight-loss program builds muscle and gets rid of fat faster than a firm handshake from a really muscular cousin.
A regal lobby welcomes guests into Georgetown Electrolysis Skin Care, with swirled wallpaper accenting a corner fireplace, around which a chaise, an ottoman, and plush couches are situated. As they pass under a crystal-dripped chandelier and into private treatment rooms, guests will discover that the staff members who perform each service mirror the coziness of their confines. The spa’s specialties include deep-cleansing facials, massage, and body wraps that battle cellulite and unwanted inches. Staff members also use electrolysis and laser hair removal to permanently oust unwanted fuzz from the body, as well as from sheep who plan to retire to the Caribbean.
The staff at Modern Nails believes in the importance of regular manicures and pedicures to keep nails healthy, strong, and well-groomed. Each day, clients enter the salon and are greeted by the smiling faces of skilled technicians who perform a plethora of nail-related services, from simple polish switches to avocado-rosemary manicures and luxurious European pedicures with whirlpool spas. They also apply acrylic and gel nails as well as silk wraps, which strengthen nails and provide jobs for out-of-work silkworms. Though the staffers are mostly dedicated to nail services, they also offer body waxing, threading, and eyelash extensions.
One part school and one part salon, Kenny’s Hair Salon instructor stylists teach both aspiring beauty professionals and clients the ways of beautification. Here, style students put the finishing touches on practice hairstyles and learn the ins-and-outs of professional makeup application. Meanwhile, the seasoned veterans practice what they teach, primping clients to perfection with trendy cuts, while showing them how to re-create their new looks at home. Their hair-straightening treatments smooth out kinks, rendering locks frizz-free with Coppola Keratin Complex or the organic ThermaFuse f450º system. Beyond tending to tresses, the staff pampers hands with manicures that ready digits for making an appearance out on the town or tickling royalty.
Stepping into Metropolitan Nail Bar is like entering a modish 1960s club. Bright-red retro loveseats groove in the waiting area. Black lights dapple patches of the spa in their electric glow. Cushy camel benches line the walls, with whirlpool tubs below each station. To entertain guests, a flat-screen TV faces a circular chrome bar and blue-light drying station.
If posh environs weren’t sufficient to make visitors feel like VIPs, the savvy crew of nail techs augments services with indulgent extras usually reserved for celebrities and presidential ghosts. Manicures and cocktail-themed pedicures come with hot-towel wraps and massages, and optional add-ons include reflexology and acupressure foot treatments.