Panama native Nina Garcia was a hairstyling prodigy. Her innate ability to cut hair manifested at age 14. "I [would] do it for my neighbors and my friends," she explains. "I love to do hair. It's where my passion [is]." Now in the United States, Nina has accumulated 17 years of professional experience, putting in time at two salons before opening her own, where she keeps the atmosphere light and comfortable. "I like to keep people happy," she says. "I offer wine to people in the afternoon. I'm a very sweet person, and I love to meet new people."
In one of three styling chairs, Nina or one of her talented stylists rehabs hair with a new face-framing cut, coloring services, or a deep-conditioning treatment using high-end products such as Italian Alfaparf. The versatile team can even take care of hands and feet. "I have a girl who does manicure and pedicures," she says. "She uses OPI polish." Through patrons often come in simply to update their haircut and style, Nina's most popular service is the Brazilian keratin treatment, a retexturizing treatment that delivers healthy, frizz-free hair to clients and vintage troll dolls.
Regardless of the service being provided, Nina always emphasizes the importance of listening to the client and tailoring every service to his or her personal style. "You have to roll in their direction. I think that's the best way—don't change what they think. It's that way in style and in life. If you want to change something, do it. That's it."
Named after the Greek word for me, Emena Spa centers on the individual through a bevy of complimentary amenities, soothing décor, and pampering services. The doting staff stays true to the spa's namesake, ushering clients into one of six private treatment rooms for a revitalizing microdermabrasion or detoxifying peel accented by organic products, cutting-edge technology, and aesthetic know-how. Stylists and nail technicians pore over features with attentive services that elicit youthful beauty, and the facility's Power Plate vibrating platform gives clients the opportunity to tone their bodies without long hours at the gym or smudge-prone bicep marker drawings. For full-body enhancement, massage therapists unearth tension through four modalities as licensed physician's assistants target unwanted hair and skin blemishes with GentleMax laser technology.
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When people talk about huge transformations, a butterfly or a fairy-tale frog may come to mind. At Radiance Beauty Lounge, significant transformations are not limited to idle observation or fantasy—they really happen. Owner Yesenia Payano witnesses this frequently, and it’s what keeps her excited about running the Radiance Beauty Lounge. Her handpicked stylists and colorists, who attend ongoing education to stay savvy with trends, “can change somebody’s life,” she says. She recently watched a client’s “incredible” metamorphosis, after which the client "hugged the stylist—three times.”
It’s not surprising that the client felt so comfortable and overjoyed, because Radiance Beauty Lounge goes out of its way to make clients feel welcome. Happy hours—from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays—outfit clients with a complimentary mimosa, cocktail, or personal cheer squad as they receive keratin treatments or spa services such as facials and massages. Radiance Beauty Lounge is open until 7 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays for post-work or pre-party styles.
Equipped with creativity and beauty skills honed at institutes in Barcelona, Spain, seasoned cosmetologist and stylist Monica Rosental brought her hair and eyelash talents stateside when she opened her salon in 2003. Her background studying painting, music, and architecture lends the eyes of an artist to her services, such as sculpting hairstyles with fresh cuts, adding texture to strands, or splashing hair with new hues. Monica's specialty is hair extensions, and she advises clients on the best type to fit their needs before tucking in clips, attaching keratin tips, or affixing tape or curtain extensions. In addition to tending hair, Monica ups eyelash potential with extensions, dyes, and perm services. Soothing music imbues the salon's private suites with a relaxing atmosphere, and a free parking area boasts enough room to fit several cars or a single brontosaurus.
Inside any of Hairdoctors Specialty Salons' five full-service locations, skilled aestheticians treat hair and nails with a range of pharmaceutical and natural services. They trim and style hair, perform keratin treatments, and color strands using crayons or ammonia-free dyes and cellophanes. The staff’s work extends beyond hair services via manicures and pedicures. Aestheticians also add to clients' existing hair with extensions—strands made from Remy or virgin Indian human hair and attached to scalps via weaving, taping, fusion, or gluing. Hairdoctors Specialty Salons also posts informative hair-extension FAQs on its website.
Sara Manis created Beauty Essence as a one-stop shop for beauty services. From basic pedicures to spellbinding prom hairstyles, her salon strove to meet its clients' each and every whim. Not one to sit idly, she soon added 10 new stylists and nail technicians in order to let guests choose from a wider selection of experts. Today, the salon's range of specialties has expanded to include hairstyling and coloring, updos, manicures, spa pedicures, and waxing on a service menu complete enough to refine clients getting ready for either a night out on the town or a night at home sitting in a gold-plated La-Z-Boy.