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.
Treatments at Bodhisattva Tea Spa work to soothe away clients' stress from the inside out. Sauna sessions use infrared radiation to warm bodies from within, helping to banish toxins, chemicals, and heavy metals via relaxing sweat. Massage therapies evict deep-seated tension caused by hard labor, improper posture, and serving as an Atlas statue in public gardens. Alternatively, aesthetic services such as facials and waxing rejuvenate the outermost layers of the face and body. Patrons can complement any spa treatment with sips of warm, flavorful tea
Floor-to-ceiling windows bathe The Doll House Hair Salon in natural light, illuminating the team of stylists as they make over clients. Full-length mirrors reflect each step of the transformation as the beauty experts maneuver around cushy black salon chairs and snip strands into trendy, classic, or elegant 'dos. For extra attention, they employ Paul Mitchell products to color strands and administer deep-conditioning treatments that infuse hair with the strength of professional wrestler's ponytail.
The massage therapists at Ready2Relax send calming ripples across muscles with comforting bodywork. Contended sighs drift across the studio as the medium pressure of flowing Swedish strokes tempers aches. The therapists are also trained in deep-tissue pressure or reflexology, which can help to access pain situated deeper in tissue. Volcanic rocks soak up warmth, letting them slip across tense musculature to improve mobility after working out or smashing all the cinder blocks at a rival karate dojo.
With speedy waxologists and specially formulated European waxes made just for its clients, it's no wonder that Bombshell Waxing opened a second location just one year after its inception in 2010. That's also largely due to the passion of owner Shelly Reagon, who is very hands-on with her business and who can often be found in scrubs and an apron herself.
She writes in Sophisticated Woman Magazine that it's important for women to go to a reputable salon for a wax, one that never double-dips its waxes and knows eyebrows aren't just caterpillars napping on the forehead. She also talks about her belief that brows are "sisters, not twins"?that it's most natural and beautiful if brows both look polished, but they don't need to be identical. Another revolutionary idea of hers is that waxing should be an experience a client looks forward to, so her salons offer vajazzling services and onsite boutiques where clients can shop for lingerie that shows off freshly bare skin.
Salon Maia owner Melissa Maia and makeup artist Kelly LeBlanc specialize in making brides' wedding-day visions a reality. The duo performs on-location, preceremony transformations and has collaborated on bridal showcases for New Orleans Bride magazine. Within the magazine's pages, Maia and Leblanc have offered tips for brides-to-be, such as trying out a variety of lipstick colors, deep-conditioning hair six weeks before the wedding, and securing updos with a hairspray that is specifically designed to repel rice.
Within the art-covered, bright blue and white walls of the salon itself, Maia and her team of stylists nourish clients' hair with high-quality products. They use the Pureology and Redken lines to cleanse, condition, and color, and the sought-after Agadir Argan oil spray treatment to repair and protect damaged strands.