It would be easy to pass an entire week at Infinite Tan & Spa, lounging on massage chairs, gossiping with the nail technicians, and sunning in advanced tanning beds as stereos pipe in your favorite CDs. Unfortunately for the rest of us, the only people who are able to spend an extended period of time at this tranquil oasis are the staff of specialists, who perform professional haircuts, adorn nails in Shellac polish, and soothe muscles with Swedish, deep-tissue, sports, and prenatal massages. When administering professional facials, the expert aestheticians cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize skin to smooth wrinkles, reduce pores, and remove any last-minute shopping lists you might have hastily jotted on your forehead.
During more than a quarter century at the helm of LookAfter Hair Company, Peter Hall has seen the styling industry gradually split in two directions—toward the high-end salon and toward the in-and-out fast cut place. With LookAfter, Peter decided to close that gap. There, guests can get premium salon services on a walk-in basis and haircuts from stylists who will gladly slow down for careful consultations instead of racing through trims with stopwatches in their hands. The name LookAfter is meant to reflect this blend and to demonstrate his vision for a place where the staff stands ready to serve all clients, whether they need keratin treatments, eyebrow waxes, or beard trims. This approach has helped LookAfter grow to more than 40 locations across St. Louis, Kansas City, and central Illinois, and the idea has also led to ongoing community outreach. Stylists have helped raise money for disaster relief, support breast-cancer awareness, and generate funds for veterans’ programs by carrying haircare products from American Warrior.
Shannon O'Rourke has been cutting hair for more than a decade. In that time, she has seen styles come and go, but she's never lost sight of what every client wants: a stylist who listens and takes their concerns into account. Shannon is all ears at Sei Bella Salon and Boutique, where she takes the time to figure out her clients' styling goals and then brings them to life with cuts, coloring treatments, and vivid highlights.
At ColorFX, skilled stylists and aestheticians execute a slew of services with a special focus on color and color correction, earning themselves a nomination for Alive magazine's Best Salon award. The friendly staff also treats feet to pedicures and hands to a variety of manicures, including hot-oil manicures, and nail art. To keep up on the latest trends and to prevent hair from devouring clients à la Cousin Itt of the Addams Family, the experienced stylists participate in continuous training and education.
Advanced certified stylist Audrey Johnson draws on six years of experience, including experience as a corporate trainer for Xtreme Lashes, each time she customizes a Jo Mousselli Xtreme Lash treatment that befits her clients’ distinct facial structures. After crafting the look, she then carefully adheres the chosen set to natural lashes, resulting in a more voluminous look without the mess of mascara.
A good spa will transport its guests to a time and place where everyday stresses are forgotten. American Image Salon & Spa can take you to a rainforest waterfall, for example—its monsoon massage sends the gentle mist of a Vichy shower cascading onto backs and shoulders. If you'd prefer a steamier setting, opt for the hot-stone massage, during which a therapist banishes tension with kneads and strategically placed lava rocks. There are also packages that provide even longer, more luxurious escapes, such as the 6.5-hour Day of Beauty: a Clarisonic facial, massage, mani-pedi, shampoo, makeup application, and lunch.
Sometimes, however, a visit to the spa or salon is a quick reward in the middle of the day. That's why the staff here administers most of the standard treatments for the hair, nails, and body. Stylists trim new 'dos and flatten frizz with Chi Enviro smoothing formulas, or nourish the skin with specialized facials. Manicures might feature add-ons from a seaweed mask to a layer of eco-paraffin, a more environmentally friendly way to soften the hands than by wrapping them in live ferrets. Gentlemen are hardly neglected, either. Their services include haircuts as well as mustache- and beard-tinting.