More than 30 years after its inception, Cactus Salon & Spa and its team of continually educated stylists have not lost their edge—they earned the Long Island Press's designation as Best Hair Salon and Best Day Spa in 2012. It's not surprising, then, that the salon has enjoyed such impressive growth over the years, with more than two dozen separate spa and salon locations.
Although hair is still the focus—stylists craft 'dos that reflect everyday ease or fashion-forward thinking—the repertoire has expanded to include everything from nail treatments and massages to permanent cosmetics and laser services. Since the roster is so broad, many clients take advantage of Cactus Club memberships, which give them the flexibility to try multiple services and products by deactivating the force fields between treatment rooms and granting a 33% discount on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
April & Co.'s owner, Paula Malerba, believes in the importance of education. That's why all of her hairstylists continually attend the L'Oréal Knowledge Lab in New York City to stay up to date on the latest cutting and coloring techniques. Aestheticians stay sharp, too, providing careful makeup applications and an anti-aging facial that's organic and seaweed-based, like the diet of a health-conscious manatee.
There are three ways to achieve a bronze, summery shade. You can lie out in the sun, soak in the controlled rays of a tanning bed, or get an airbrush spray tan. Though overcast skies or cold weather can make the first option a bit unreliable, Tan Lines Optional Tanning Salon has the other two covered no matter the season. The salon’s fleet of tanning beds imbues skin with natural color, and its airbrush technicians spray even mists of bronzing solution across skin for UV-free tans. The salon stays open until 10 p.m. Monday–Saturday, providing further evidence of its superiority to the actual sun.
Upon entering Spa Exo'tique's 4,600-square-foot relaxation haven, clients head to their gender-appropriate changing facilities, dress themselves in comfortable garments, and unwind with a steamy cup of tea in the Serenity Room. Once ready, they meander into one of the 12 private treatment rooms, where experienced staffers skillfully relieve tension with massages, soften skin with body treatments, and purify pores with facials. Beyond the pampering techniques, the spa uplifts appearances with medical-grade services that range from chemical peels to the laser-powered removal of clients' unwanted fuzz, whether it's hair or simply a floor rug with separation anxiety.