While working at other peoples' salons, Shelly Spann yearned for something of her own. "I wanted to get my name out there," she says. One day, while watching reality TV, Shelly was struck by an idea. All of the shows were "centered around women and hanging out together, so I thought, 'Oh my God, how awesome would it be if we did that?'" Shelly masterminded a business that beautifies brows on location at get-togethers as partygoers sip champagne and wine. "It takes a little bit of the edge off of waxing," she says with a laugh.
Now Shelly divides her hours between mobile services and time at her full-body-waxing headquarters. She uses Nufree Nudesse, a sugar-free wax alternative that removes hair with less pain, irritation, and grumbling from cranky candles. Clients can also request numbing creams to keep procedures even less uncomfortable.
Waxing and brow sculpting aren’t Shelly’s only specialties, though. The fully licensed aesthetician also beautifies her clients’ complexions with a selection of exfoliating and hydrating facials. Her treatments range from mini and teen versions of her signature facial to custom European facials that take their cues from individual skin types.
Children's toys, brightly colored mirrors, and coloring easels delight little ones at Salon 36 Kids, and patient stylists pamper them with kid-centric beauty services. During a first haircut, stylists carefully snip baby and toddler hair, saving a lock for the parents and also providing them with a photo and keepsake certificate afterward. Along with kid cuts, Salon 36's team is well versed in highlighting teens' manes, flatiron straightening, trimming parents’ locks, and dolling up digits with mani-pedis for all ages, which also are featured in the salon's birthday-party packages.
In addition to services tailored to kids, the staff also uses high-quality, kid-friendly beauty products. Fairy Tales products keep bugs at bay with a lice-repellent formulation. The salon also stocks their shelves with eye-catching hair accessories, from barrettes to headbands, as well as specialty toys, including floating bath toys and picture puzzles of Einstein's first mohawk.
"At the age of 16, my chemistry teacher inspired my love of chemistry by teaching me how to make beauty products," say Cindy Tawiah, eponymous founder of Diva by Cindy. Cindy has garnered praise from a variety of outlets, including Tyra Banks's fashion and beauty website, for her line of natural, alcohol-free hair products. Her products have also received praise and awards from typeF and Shecky's for detangling hair in a swift and stylish manner. Cindy's staff employs her signature line of healthful shampoos, conditioners, and 'do balms during a variety of hair services. As 'dos get done, other team members work to treat the whole body, from the aestheticians who smooth and renew skin with waxes and facials to massage therapists who knead away stresses or recalibrate energy levels with reflexology and reiki techniques.
At Neha Threading Salon & Spa, Neha Gupta, a threading specialist and licensed cosmetologist who's worked in India and the United States for 18 years, leads a team of experienced aestheticians, technicians, and stylists. She invites customers to unwind and relax with a wide range of beautifying and soothing spa and salon services. Threading and waxing remove unwanted hair, sculpting brows along the way. Custom facial treatments cleanse pores and exfoliate complexions, rejuvenating them for another day in public or one final staring contest with the mirror. Full-body massages use modalities such as deep tissue or hot stones to alleviate aches or pains, whereas hair and nail services tend to heads, fingers, and toes.
From within Unique Nails & Spa’s historic Pikesville location, owner Loretta Warfield-Davis leads her team in beautifying clients from head to brightly polished toenail. While guests recline on comfy beige massage chairs and enjoy complimentary refreshments, nail technicians furnish digits with acrylic sets and coats of OPI or China Glaze polish. Waxing pros tame overrun eyebrows into graceful arches, and aestheticians emphasize winks that have the power to change traffic-light signals with eyelash extensions. Facials and massages are also available. For male or female groups of up to 25, the salon hosts spa parties that combine relaxing mani-pedis with a BYOB policy.
Salon Alpi's owner Alpi Unal deploys coif-wrangling talents acquired in Europe and honed stateside, as well as a troupe of stylists who continually sharpen their scissoring skills with classes. Armed with top-notch products, nimble fingers infuse manes with a single shimmering hue to complement inner earrings or perk up layers with sunny highlights. A cut and blow-dry hews off unhealthy ends, snips fringe into sexy sweeps, and breathes life into limp locks for a refreshed or original hairdo.