Whenever her kids' bangs began to fall into their eyes, Paula Thurman couldn't help but feel a twinge of anxiety. She knew a trip to the hairdresser was in store, which meant an hour of squirming, whining, and complaining about itchy bits of fallen hair. But it was on one such trip that inspiration struck. As Paula told reporters from the Kansas City Business Journal, “as soon as I walked [into the salon], a fire went off in me, and I knew it. I saw it and thought, ‘I can do this.’” Although she had no experience running a salon or business, Paula had plenty experience keeping kids happy. She decided to combine that with keen motherly intuition and lessons learned from a few business classes to design a special salon for energetic youngsters—Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids was born.
Today, Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids has sprouted locations across Kansas, Missouri, and into New Mexico. Amid the salons' mad splashes of color, cheerful stylists snip up new styles and arrange locks into playful pigtails and beehives that are perfectly sized to hide uneaten vegetables. While they work, their young clients sit in chairs shaped like race cars, watching movies or playing video games. As kids are getting cuts, moms can shop for a toy, bow, or bottle of root-beer-scented shampoo for their wee ones in the onsite boutique.
Planet Beach 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.
Everybody’s skin is different; as a result, everybody’s personal tanning needs are different. That’s why Always Tan offers Norvell sunless spray tans, which are customized to clients’ shade preferences to give them natural-looking body color. The Norvell process takes about 15 minutes, and tans continue to develop in richness over 24 hours, much like the long-lost relatives of lottery winners. In addition to sunless tanning, the studio provides clients with the option of four levels of UV tanning and carries tanning products and lotions from brands such as Designer Skin, Swedish Beauty, Australian Gold, and Supre Tan.
Affinity Salon’s tress-tamers boast a backlog of cosmetological certifications to sanction their spread of skull-string-snipping services. Renovate your head threads with a cut and style (starting at $35 for women, $25 for men), or disguise yourself before a law-flouting jaywalking binge with an all-over color treatment (starting at $50). The salon’s mane-wranglers specialize in using Tigi products to smooth and saturate strands with deep-conditioning treatments (starting at $10), and frizz fighters can also opt for the Brazilian blowout, a 90-minute treatment that actually bolsters hair health and lasts up to 12 weeks without using corrosive chemicals ($300).
Since 2004, The Birdcage Salon's meticulous stylists have injected pizzazz into dreary 'dos with expertly crafted cuts, vibrant colors, and omega-oil-rich Aquage products. The 90- to 120-minute appointment with a Level 1 stylist begins with an investigation into current hair hopes. After reaching a verdict, the hair whisperer will apply complementary highlights (a $70 value) to flatter complexions and provide a good role model for graying ball caps. Follicles marinate in color while patrons marvel at feather-sketched walls inside the open salon. Scissor specialists express their gratitude to veteran split ends before severing ties and shaping locks into a pristine style (a $25 value). The salon is open seven days a week, and Groupon customers can upgrade to a Level 2 or Level 3 stylist by paying an additional fee or bringing a recommendation letter from George Washington’s powered wig. Call ahead for details.
The style stalwarts at Supercuts have trimmed, toned, and honed the domes of hair-bearing hominids for decades. Walk-ins and waltz-ins are always welcome seven days a week at any of Supercuts' convenient locations. The experienced stylists can accommodate cuts ranging from quick, careful mop maintenance to a more buzzworthy beehive for hypnotizing local grizzlies. Each scissor-handed specialist will draw from a vat of experience, leveraging quality hair products from Paul Mitchell and others to infuse your filaments with a winsome glow and creative coiffure. Feel free to stockpile up to three Groupons to ensure a series of sure-fire cuts before snow-spooked wallets retreat into prolonged hibernation.