The ample hands-on experience that Aveda Institute's students receive in cosmetology, hair styling, and skincare is only one part of their extensive training. Even as these burgeoning professionals master more advanced techniques, their instructors work to impart a sense of social and environmental responsibility. These are the tenets of founder and environmentalist Horst M. Rechelbacher, whose vision of living in sync with nature led to Aveda's botanically based products for hair and skin.
At the institute, students cull knowledge from industry experts through extensive practical training under the supervision of mentors. Stylists learn how to cut hair and soothe stress with complimentary mini facials, makeup touchups, and horn sharpening. Future aestheticians restore balance to faces and bodies with relaxing skincare treatments.
To connect with both the local and global community, students also apply their efforts toward charity events such as Earth Month. This campaign helps raise funds for the Sierra Club, who in turn uses the donations to help protect sources of clean water worldwide. The Institute is also hosting an upcoming fashion benefit show on April 23, with procedes going to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Columbus.
Three times a week, Just U Relax's owner and principal massage therapist paid a 90-minute visit to one of her favorite clients, an elderly Italian woman who could barely speak a word of English. One day after a visit, the woman's daughter called and asked the massage therapist if she could come back again right away, saying her mother was not doing well. She arrived and set to work massaging her client's body, much of which had collapsed inward from a previous stroke. But instead of seeing the usual results, such as the woman's hands relaxing for a short time before tightening back into a bound position, the massage therapist saw her client maintain her peaceful composure. Then, this elderly Italian woman who could speak little English, let alone speak at all due to the effects of her stroke and Alzheimer's disease, looked at her massage therapist and said with perfect clarity, "Thank you." The woman's daughter called later, saying her mother died that evening, and that she wanted to say thank you for giving her mother such comfort before she passed. It was that moment that made the massage therapist realize she knew she could help people.
Raised by a cardiologist, the future owner of Just U Relax and her brother made a pact to go to medical school together, but when she found herself disenchanted by clinical environments and desiring a more hands-on approach to patient care, she explored massage therapy. Today, she and her team of licensed massage therapists at Just U Relax assess posture, gait, and occupational stress to customize bodywork for each client. The staff sees to guests' comfort in a variety of ways, including giving visitors warm robes and plush slippers, using massage tables with triple-cotton-padded tops, and playing relaxing music as aromatherapy wafts between rooms. Therapists also offer clients snacks such as fruit smoothies and granola bars. Additionally, each therapist is required to undergo at least three hours of training each month to learn new massage techniques and stay sharp.
When owner Giovanni Finocchiaro picked up the phone at Face It Spa, he heard one of his clients sobbing. She had been preparing for a presentation at work, and in the process, her skin had broken out so badly that Finocchiaro recalls her lamenting, "I just can't do it. I have to see you." Finocchiaro, who once dreamed of being a counselor, told her to come in immediately. "When you help people look better on the outside, it really does make them feel better inward, too," he says. When his distraught client arrived, he tailored a peel for her sensitive skin that helped kill bacteria and calm inflammation. Within a few days, he says, "she couldn't believe … how [her complexion] was already turning around."
Inside his recently remodeled boutique, Finocchiaro caters to each of his clients in the same way. He offers them complimentary water or tea before leading them across dark hardwood floors to a candlelit treatment room. After cleansing their face, he uses a lighted magnifier to analyze their skin type, then employs PCA products and a wide arsenal of customizable facial treatments to help them reach specific beauty goals or the center of the Earth.
Beauty Bar From the exterior, the early 20th-century farmhouse overflows with colonial charm, its stately white siding climbing three stories, complemented on one side by a tall brick chimney. Inside, Beauty Bar’s lofty 7,000-square-foot salon snaps visitors back into the present with track lighting, immaculate lines, and pine-hued wood floors. Crystal chandeliers hang in the nail room where technicians perform cocktail-inspired mani-pedis with titles such as Limoncello and Pink Martini, and photos of Audrey Hepburn whisper uninvited pointers about buffing and missed polish spots. The custard-hued walls of the lofted third-floor space surround 12 cream-colored styling chairs, where specialists transform coifs with the aid of Bumble and bumble, Pureology, and Beauty Bar's signature concoctions. Private spa spaces provide a serene setting for waxing, massages, and playfully named facials such as the Crybaby and Oh Behave, along with all-over pampering services including body scrubs and aromatherapy steam showers.
Voted No. 1 from 2209-2013 by the readers of the Akron Beacon Journal, Novus Clinic was born 20 years prior from board-certified ophthalmologist Todd L. Beyer and optometrist Jerry Sude’s vision for a one-stop eye-care facility. To bring this idea to fruition, they first recruited a neuro-ophthalmologist and a second optometrist to their team and eventually constructed a 3,800-square-foot surgery center in 1998. The state-of-the-art center was built in response to the voices they heard asking for laser vision-correction procedures such as LASIK and cosmetic treatments. Dr. Beyer, also a certified oculofacial plastic surgeon, began performing face-lifts along with noninvasive skin treatments after he found himself fielding queries from more and more patients about dermal fillers, peels, and laser hair removal.
With the expanding list of offered services, the clinic shed its original title, System Optics, and was reknighted Novus Clinic in 2003. The word novus, which translates to “fresh and exciting” in Latin, more accurately encompasses the clinic’s multifaceted approach to ocular and anti-aging treatments. The doctors never forget the primordial soup from which they sprang, though, and still conduct eye exams and keep a venerable inventory of designer frames.
For the last decade, the staff at Tavernier's Salon & Spa has revitalized appearances and moods with a slew of salon and spa services. Defined by its brightly colored walls and artwork composed of primary yellows and reds, the interior is home to a team of diligent stylists, aestheticians, and massage therapists.
Tavernier's hairstylists wield Redken and Matrix products with full-color treatments and strategically placed highlights to add depth to monochromatic hairdos. Nail technicians prettify appendages with Opi polish and soothing, hydrating dips into paraffin wax, and skincare specialists administer facials such as the one-hour basic European facial, which opens up pores like they're interviewees on Oprah so that they release their pent-up dirt and leave with a cathartic sense of cleansing and exfoliation.