Elie Esper, the creative director and founder of his eponymous salon, has shown off his talents on magazine covers and runways from Paris to the Middle East, and was the official hairstylist of Couture Fashion Week in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Though his avant-garde designs have won international acclaim for more than 16 years, he still takes pride in beautifying brides before their trips down the aisle. Drawing on professional products from Kérastase, he washes away dirt and wig powder before infusing strands with color and sculpting shapes that defy both gravity and convention. His ability to bridge the gap between elegant and edgy attracts brides from around the world to Elie Esper Salon for wedding consultations and trial runs.
Though the historic post-and-beam building that houses her studio dates all the way back to the 1830s, licensed massage therapist Lynda Williams is used to dealing with healing traditions that are even older than that. She draws upon her training and experience in ancient Eastern and Western modalities—including acupressure, craniosacral, and positional release therapy—to release stress, address chronic pain, and relieve the symptoms of an array of medical conditions. Each therapeutic session is tailored to clients' individual needs, addressing both physical symptoms and their underlying physical or emotional causes.
The Ridgefield Salon & Spa's owner, Darcey Wulkan, is also a licensed massage therapist and certified aesthetician and has been a local beautifying presence in Fairfield County for more than 17 years. Along with her staff, Darcey provides a suite of aesthetic services ranging from basic to downright indulgent—encompassing everything from classic mani-pedis and full-body waxing to decadent facials built around ingredients such as 24-karat liquid gold, caviar extract, and diamond dust. The newly remodeled spa features two pedicure chairs, complete with shiatsu massage jets, to make it even easier to schedule mani-pedis with the a friend. Massage therapists knead out knots in a private treatment room, where cocoa-colored walls and tranquil black-and-white photos of nature lend a relaxing aura akin to watching Yanni do yoga.
Saltana Cave hearkens back to an ancient tradition of spending time in salt caves and mines to treat respiratory ailments. Benefits of breathing in negatively charged ionized salt and other trace minerals may include improving the symptoms of asthma, allergies, acne, and eczema as well as decreasing the side effects of smoking. What’s more, Saltana Cave looks otherworldly—its literal tons of Himalayan salt rock create a relaxing environment with their pink glow. Soothing background music and zero-gravity lounge chairs help you get zen in this accessible retreat.
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Korean spa's massive 40,000-square-foot facility houses multiple floors, which each feature saunas aimed at providing visitors with relaxation and health benefits. Heated to a pore-opening 200 degrees Celsius from burning oak-tree wood, the dome-shaped hot-steam room—bulhanjeungmok in Korean—features floors made of yellow soil and salt that replicate a 500-year-old therapy designed to treat illness and pain. On the complete opposite side of the temperature spectrum, the ice sauna uses freezer-like frosted walls to cool the air around patrons sitting on log stools or standing on their hands. In between hopping from sauna to sauna, visitors may hang out in one of the lounges, get a haircut, or even grab a warm Korean meal or refreshing dessert.
Though the exposed pipes, elegantly dark wood floors, and high ceilings of Amitie Hair Studio give an industrial feel to the salon, the styles coming out the door couldn't be more different. The staff specialize in romantic, flowy looks, courtesy of their Brazilian keratin treatments and Japanese perms. These help change the natural texture of hair, whether it is pin-straight or full of kinks, to create face-framing layers that flow together. Once hair has the correct body and texture, they can then cut it into trendy styles or add a touch of color to give it dimension. In addition, they do makeovers to help you look your best for special events such as weddings and the annual magic-mirror convention.