When Susan Lange’s massage therapist suggested she try watsu, Lange knew as much about the therapy as most people—nothing. “We’re kind of obscure,” Lange says with a laugh, referring to the watsu community she now considers herself a member of. The therapy, whose name is derived from “water” and “shiatsu,” blends ancient Japanese finger massage with the restorative properties of warm water. In heated pools, therapists fully support their clients as they administer a combination of massage, stretching, and instant-rice-cooking techniques. After her first watsu experience, Lange writes, “I felt like I was dancing, floating, flying and being nurtured all at once."
Today, Lange shares this experience with others in the yurt she and her husband built in the meadow adjoining their home. Inside this yurt is a 15-foot circular pool filled with 4 feet of warm water. Once they have waded in, clients can strap on narrow floatation devices to assist Lange as she guides them through the water. As she performs the massage, Lange gently strikes Tibetan singing bowls drifting alongside her in the water, creating a soundscape to further soothe the senses.
A Bumble and bumble network salon, Littleton Hair Company is home to a collection of talented stylists, spanning wide ranges of experience and expertise. Each staff member is personally trained by David, the salon's master stylist and network educator, who has 31 years of experience. Their talents and specialties cover a wide range of tress-taming turf. With experiences in other industries such as fashion and entertainment, they might specialize in tending to curly hair, long layers, or men's haircuts and gray blending. But above all, each stylist is well equipped to offer services such as haircuts and color treatments, backed up by an ever-expanding product line.
The technicians at Hera Nail Spa draw upon 10 years of experience as they care for natural and artificial nails in an elegantly remodeled setting. Staffers coat fingertips in traditional polish or apply durable Gelish or CND Shellac polish that can last without chipping for up to two weeks. For pedicures, patrons climb aboard the La Fleur II chair, whose massaging action mimics human fingers by playing rock-scissors-paper beneath the upholstery. The remodeled space boasts chandelier-like glass lighting, a trickling fountain, and stately arches and columns.
Light streams in through Southwest Salon's wall-to-wall windows, flooding the intimate studio and illuminating the expert nail technicians as they trim cuticles, apply an exfoliating sugar scrub, gently buff nail beds, and replace and repair acrylic nails. Southwestern textiles and turquoise walls surround the techs and the salon's visitors, whose feet soak in steamy tubs during pedicures. Each nail-centric service can conclude with a special OPI, Shellac, or Gelish polish, which protects nails and renders them shiny, chip-free, and impervious to criticism for up to two weeks.
At Rethink the Ink, certified laser specialists help clients forget about deep-set skin stains by breaking down unwanted ink with highly concentrated pulses of pure light. Prior to taking on the task of removing body graffiti, each technician receives thorough training from Lorenzo Kunze, M.E., who was a pioneer in the advancement of aesthetic and medical laser treatments. During each 10-minute treatment the team collaborates with an advanced Quanta DNA laser system, which features a large spot size to treat multiple ink colors at once. The treatment—the feeling of which is often likened to being snapped by a rubber band—also maximizes comfort by applying chilled air to the skin courtesy of a Zimmer Cryo 6 cooling system. The body's natural immune function gradually removes broken-down ink after each treatment, eventually leaving skin free of scars and out-of-date shopping lists.
Angie Cummings never thought she'd own a salon. When her husband surprised her by buying one, she worried about expanding her clientele beyond the loyal fans of her at-home nail business. "So I kind of just stumbled into [this business], honestly. But it has been the biggest blessing," she says. "There's never a day, ever, that I wake up and think, 'I don't want to work.'"
The turnaround came when Cummings realized she could "[sit] there talking to people" as she boosted their confidence beautifying their nails. The salon is fresh from recent redecorating, which included painting the walls a soothing neutral color and filling tall vases with even taller reeds. Within the new salon, massaging pedicure chairs cushion clients during luxurious spa services, and oval portrait mirrors capture the flash of stylists' scissors and twinkling eyes as they customize fashionable cuts.