Aqua Salon owner Kathy Snyder loves a challenge. When asked what she likes best about her job, the veteran hairstylist told Our South Bay, “So many of us are particular about exactly what we want our hair to look like but haven’t any idea how to articulate it to someone. It’s my job … to ‘get it’ when a customer reaches out for help.” A former employee of celeb-favorite Cristophe Salon, Snyder spent 10 years meeting the often daunting needs of Hollywood’s most demanding heads. Today, she doles out that same level of service in an environment that is decidedly more relaxed, complete with a soothing ocean view and skylights that allow the sunshine to stream in.
As guests sip wine and watch the waves roll along the sandy shoreline, Snyder’s team of master stylists care for hair with cutting-edge cuts, extensions, and balayage coloring techniques. Makeup artists employ the Jane Iredale line of mineral makeup to beautify visages, and spray tans by Infinity Sun provide a golden glow to help prep bodies for the beach or a stint on James Cameron’s mantel.
Working mere blocks from the Pacific Ocean, Six Degrees Salon and Spa’s team of stylists distills the sea’s natural beauty and calming influence into beauty treatments under the guidance of co-owners Joel and Frida Silva, authorities in haircare and skincare services, respectively. While stylists trim hair and wax errant fringe in the second floor’s open, hardwood-floored salon upstairs, licensed massage therapists knead out kinks and aestheticians unleash powerful facials and peels on blemishes in the downstairs spa and boutique. Armed with products from top-tier companies such as Obagi and Moroccanoil, the beautifiers render coifs and skin more healthy and radiant than a nutritionist's grocery list left in a running microwave.
In his early days as a massage therapist, Sean Struxness was struck by the stark contrasts in quality between high-end and low-end spas, noticing a large gap between the two. He founded The Massage Spot to fill that gap, partly because he no longer wanted to mow the gap's out-of-control grass. Though it forgoes the locker rooms and showers that full day spas may offer, Struxness's mini day spa doesn't skimp on the tranquil atmosphere, as it features flickering candles, soothing music, and a relaxing zen area. The service menu isn't lacking, either; The Massage Spot's team of professionals performs haircuts and deep conditionings, nine types of facials, spa pedicures with aromatherapy soaks, and Western and Eastern styles of massage therapy.
The hair-pampering pros at The Haircutters have trimmed locks and transformed outmoded manes for more than a quarter of a century. Unlike many salons, in which shampooing is a separate service, the team starts off every haircut and style by treating scalps to suds with handfuls of professional products from top brands such as Biolage and American Crew.
Apart from the signature shampoo-and-cuts, the staff at The Haircutters also offers color and texturizing services. Redken color camp for men gets hombres’ heads looking good, and spiral perms cascade with curls. Devoted to client convenience, The Haircutters welcomes walk-ins seven days a week.
Beginning her career as an aesthetician, Carolyn Peters worked as part of the team at the flagship skincare center of the renowned Dermalogica brand in Marina Del Rey. For six years, she worked alongside other specialists, honing her craft and learning the ropes of the skincare industry. Striking out on her own, she established Carolyn Peters Skin Care, and has worked independently for 17 years while receiving specialty training in skin care technologies, Reiki, and waxing poetic. Today, she oversees a host of services, from facials and peels to manual lymphatic drainage and Reiki massage.
The knowledgeable staffers at Planet Beauty stock the store’s shelves with enough top-quality beauty products to outfit a regiment of beauticians. Guided by experience as aestheticians, stylists, and makeup artists, they help guests navigate the roster of premium brands, which includes bad-hair-day-banishing products from Frederic Fekkai and Kérastase. Skincare potions from Dermalogica and Peter Thomas Roth clear facial canvases before applications of Smashbox blush brighten cheeks or Divaderme lash extender make eyelashes visible from orbit.