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.
In David Raccuglia's "Modern Man Portrait Series," impeccably dressed models of masculinity such as Jack Nicholson, Gary Oldman, and Iggy Pop pose in stark black-and-white photographs. The series hangs on the wall of the MensDept. as a reminder of the significant difference proper grooming can make to a man's appearance. It's a difference founder Kurt Kueffner spent 15 years showcasing for salon owners as he toured the country demonstrating men's haircutting techniques to fellow stylists.
When he decided it was time to put that teaching into practice, he opened MensDept., an upscale salon staffed only by stylists who have received at least 60 hours of hands-on, one-on-one training from Kurt himself. They base each cut on the client's hair type and head shape, rather than on meeting the daily mohawk quota mandated by local law. Beyond blending grays naturally into darker strands, the team can rejuvenate hair with customized color or conduct cuts at the client's office on weekdays until 3 p.m.
Once guests step under the red-and-white striped awning that marks the entrance to Salon Rouge, they're transported to France. The salon's ruby-red entryway leads to a chic space where the glows of chandeliers bounce off marble floors and papered walls. Antique armoire mirrors capture reflections of a mix of Parisian flea-market finds and upscale, modern touches, such as European shampoo bowls.
Veteran salon owner and stylist Richard Staab owned an art deco–styled salon before selling it and moving to the salon’s current location, formerly a century-old condo basement.
Amid this festive backdrop, Staab's team of expert stylists tends to tresses with top-quality products from Oribe, Kevin Murphy, and Savon de Marseille. Additional beauty products line the shelves, such as perfumes from Comme des Garçons, allowing guests to look and smell more authentically French than a Croissan'Wich.
Even though many of its stylists have graduated from top beauty schools across the country, Wave Salon puts them through an apprenticeship program so they can get real-world experience and learn from its own talented crew. The newly graduated stylists might get tips from veterans whose styles have appeared in magazines such as Redbook and Cosmopolitan. Or, the budding stylists might learn tricks from a human-hair-extension specialist whose work has also been featured in magazines, or Davines Regional Advanced Educator Aaron Olson, who has worked as a cosmetology instructor and who explains the benefits of using Davines for its natural ingredients and sustainable practices. No matter who they study under, the new graduates learn how important it is to consult with each client to determine which look is best for them.
When taj salon & spa’s stylists extract coloring foils, they don’t toss them in the trash. Instead, they recycle the aluminum, putting taj on a short list of local businesses that do so. This is just one of the ways the staff show how devoted they are to beautifying both the earth and the people that populate it. The members of the styling team have been trained extensively with Aveda and the International Dermal Institute to improve their hair, skin, and massage services. Other thoughtful touches that show their dedication to clients include warm towels for the face and neck during haircuts, complimentary bang trims between visits, and stylists who travel to create stunning hairdos before a wedding or between innings of a baseball game.
At Anew Aesthetic Medical Center, Dr. Vicky Hagstrom provides realistic hair-restoration options. Her individualized, minimally invasive treatments include transplants with the NeoGraft system, low-level light therapies, herbal supplements, and the LaserCap, a portable device designed to help waning follicles regenerate.
When she isn't restoring hair, Dr. Vicky works to restore the youthful glow of clients' skin through injections of wrinkle-effacing Belotero gel or Botox. She also tightens skin and works to reduce cellulite with the Vaser Shape, which breaks down fatty tissue by generating heat beneath the skin.