At J. Joseph Salon & Spa, owner Roy Naccour has grown his business from a tight-knit group of four employees to an enterprise with 31 expert stylists sought out by television programs, fashion shows, and droves of loyal customers. The salon's level system helps clients choose an ideal stylist based on training, years of professional experience, and number of swords and epaulets. Armed with instruction and certification from top salon academies, the team of stylists, aestheticians, and nail technicians helps patrons rework their appearance with haircuts and makeup applications, formal hairstyling, and shellac mani-pedis. Therapists help clients unwind and release pent-up tension with deep-tissue or Swedish massages, while skin experts revitalize complexions with nourishing facials and microdermabrasions.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.