Seva—named for the Sanskrit root-word that means 'to serve selflessly'—grew from a single, simple location opened in 2008 to what is now a beautifying powerhouse with shops populating nine states. Owner Vas Maniatis stumbled upon the concept of owning an eyebrow-centric salon during a trip he took with his sweetheart-turned-wife to Chicago's Little India district on Devon Avenue. While his date indulged in a quick eyebrow threading, Vas marveled at "what looked like hands and arms and a spool of thread dancing to some peculiar rhythm." He quickly set in motion a plan to set up shop and expose the ancient hair removal technique to those living outside the Indian community.
Today, a menu of services ranges from traditional eyebrow and facial threading, to instantly-drying no chip manicures that stay flawless for up to 14 days of incessant thumb war tournaments. Additionally, aestheticians at Seva de-fuzz a variety of physical locales with warm wax such as legs and arms, as well as detox faces with anti-aging, express, and acne facials.
The stylists and aestheticians at Magic Scissors Coiffures & Boutique beautify clients from head to toe. Skincare experts use antioxidant-infused vitamin facials and ultrasonic skin scrubbing to reveal healthy glows. On the salon floor, stylists update looks with everything from cuts and color to Brazilian Blowout treatments—infusing strands with frizz-free shine. But the feel-good vibes don’t end with a new 'do. The salon donates clippings to a charitable project, where hair’s oil-retaining properties are put to use in cleaning up oil spills.
The tanning pros at Xotic Tan help clients combat alabaster tones with a variety of tanning services. Clients can recline in toasty tanning beds that bronze limbs with customizable intensity. Alternatively, they can step into Mystic tanning booths for quick spritzes of UV-free bronzer, or opt for a custom airbrush tan that allows them to fit in at the beach or to stop getting mistaken for snow.
Modeled after traditional Korean spas, King Spa and Sauna houses nine distinct therapy rooms, each of which specializes in treating a different form of ailment or anxiety. The Charcoal Room lines its walls with antibacterial briquettes, which can alleviate conditions such as eczema and undercooked pork sausage. The domed sauna in the Fire Sudatorium encircles entrants in dry-heat and oak-tree aromatherapy, whereas the low temperature of the Ice Room encourages blood flow to the chilled parts of the body. In the heated Base Rock Room, slabs of siraka stone emit infrared rays, increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage during a process that, like most mixed-martial-arts careers, typically doesn't last longer than two 15-minute sessions.
Flower murals and rose-colored walls draw guests into The Pink Nail & Spa like honeybees into a garden; cushy leather seats await them, as inviting as lush flowers. Guests plop comfortably into the chairs during manicures, pedicures, and waxing services. Creative Spa manicures and pedicures condition skin with elixirs infused with citrus oils, antioxidants, and vitamin E. Nail technicians also pamper the hands and feet with relaxing soaks and moisturizing treatments. During regular spa mani-pedis, the techs knead palms and soles and slough off expired skin with gentle exfoliation tools. Clients can also opt to pamper their whole bodies with more than a half-dozen types of massage therapy, including Swedish and deep-tissue treatments that melt pain, tension, and subcutaneous cheddar wheels.
During free one-hour consultations at the Chicago Center for Anti-Aging, licensed nurses sit down with patients to help them choose among an immense array of treatments. The staff brings diverse specialties to the table, from plastic surgery and psychology to acupuncture and massage therapy. This eclecticism points to the center's philosophy, which holds that health is not simply the absence of disease and excessive body glitter, but the aligning of one's physical and mental well-being. That's why the sprawling service menu places nutrition counseling and body wraps beside cosmetic surgery, vision care, and spa treatments such as facials and Botox injections.