Back in the 1960s, beauty was so simple that some beauty parlors—like the nine traditional ones run by Robert Andrew Zupko—only had one service: roller sets. But beauty trends began to change, so Zupko changed right along with them, adding skincare and nailcare to his hairstyling business. When 1996 hit the calendars, the salon evolved into a full-fledged day spa that covered 7,000 square feet.
Zupko has since created Robert Andrew – The Salon & Spa, a 22,000-square-foot Tuscan-style getaway nestled in the giant scalene triangle that connects D.C., Annapolis, and Baltimore. Inside the salon, more than 90 beauty professionals—including nail technicians, massage therapists, and stylists—shape and polish nails, snip split ends, and disentangle achy muscle knots. The salon also boasts a troupe of Yon-Ka trained aestheticians who remove dead skin cells with pumpkin enzymes and melt away frozen funny faces with hot-stone facials.
More recently, Zupko opened Robert Andrew Medical Spa, where the spotlight's on lasers, injectables, chemical peels, and other high-tech skincare services.
Massage therapy for performing artists: that's the Massage Harmony specialty. Musicians, actors, and dancers put their bodies through a storm of physically demanding activities in the pursuit of their crafts, and the Muscular Harmony team has developed a variety of skills?not just in massaging, but in listening?that effortlessly restore function to these hard-working bodies. But the therapists don?t reserve their kneads exclusively for stage-trekkers; they treat all clients to top-notch care. Whether seeking relaxation or increased function, massage recipients of all vocations find compassion and technical expertise in the hands of the medically trained massage therapists who work out of its own office in Lutherville and ATI Physical Therapy in Bel Air.
Grady L. Gamble of Gamblenation Massage was an All-American wrestler and all-conference college football quarterback. Which is to say, he understands the effects activity can have on the human body and the importance of properly taking care of it. That's where Grady believes
positive touch and soft-tissue manipulation?the fundamentals of massage?come in.
At Gamblenation, he offers Swedish and deep-tissue massages that draw from his massage-school techniques, but also from his deep understanding of the body. His practice is also centered on relieving pain and restoring the body's ability to function on the field, at the computer, or while towing the team bus with a jumprope.
Posh Hair Studio’s experienced massage therapist channels a variety of massage methods to pinpoint and relieve stress and pain. After consulting with the client to determine the most suitable massage treatment, the experienced massage therapist will tease tension into oblivion with one of five massage techniques. Reflexology massages (a $59 value) prod specific reflex areas to stimulate body organs and induce good vibes, and deep-tissue treatments (a $59 value) apply firm and focused pressure to alleviate pains and turn unused body carbon into diamonds. Myofascials (a $69 value) unleash sustained force to soothe muscles hidden deep below connective tissue, and, through a heavy dose of kneading, prenatal massages (a $69 value) free mothers-to-be from pregnancy pains and, at 38 weeks of gestation, may induce labor. Although additional services are not included with today’s Groupon, customers can apply this value of this deal toward optional upgrades such as warm Prossage oil or cooling Biofreeze topical application ($6+ each or $10+ for both).
Spa Bellezza has its share of inventive beauty treatments, sure. But it's something called whine therapy that stands out—clients bring a friend, munch on finger foods, sip a glass of wine, and engage in "some soul-felt girl talk." With her masters degrees in psychology and certification as a senior cosmetologist, spa owner Carla knows what she's doing when she organizes events such as these. The community-conscious grandmother earned a degree as a registered nurse and as a licensed cosmetologist as well, backgrounds she distills into organizing two-hour spa parties for girls.
Carla and her staff also focus on individual services. Vanilla, avocado, sugar, and an array of aromatherapy oils comprise the recipes for Spa Bellezza's body treatments. And, a selection of products by Essie, OPI, L.A. Colors, and more attests to the staff's discerning tastes. Facials, mani-pedis, and massages all attract clients to the spa like moths to a hot rod's flames.
The interior of Robert Ashtin Salon glows with serene hues of sea-foam blue punctuated by the stylists’ mirrors and pieces of art including a grid of ceramic leaves. These aesthetic flourishes symbolize the artful salon work performed by the staff. A pink-and-white damask accent wall can reflect the intricate beauty of clients’ new hair colors, which stylists transform with odorless, ammonia-free Inoa products. With Coppola Keratin Complex products, stylists tame frizzy locks into streams of hair so silky that it won’t blister the hands of Rapunzel’s future suitors the way her coarse locks did.