A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo 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 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.
Enveloped in a warm, tawny-hued interior, Willow Glen Tanning's team has cultivated a spectrum of healthy skin tones since daybreak on the new millennium. The staff greets new customers with a skin-analysis questionnaire, which can help determine the most effective method for creating a base tan or for downgrading a sports competitor's silver trophy. Among the salon's tanning equipment, six UV beds re-create the sun's handiwork with medium- or high-pressure technology, which relies on UV-B rays to kickstart the production of skin-darkening melanin or UV-A rays to deepen an existing tan. Also geared toward customized color, sunless spray tanning is performed by an airbrush technician equipped with organic, aloe-vera-enriched bronzer, or by an automated Mystic Tan spray booth, which puts four shades of bronzing formulas at the client's fingertips. Spray treatments can be augmented with red-light-therapy sessions, which stimulate collagen production to firm and rejuvenate skin from the inside out.
At Drybar, a pair of scissors or hair-coloring foil is nowhere to be found. That?s because the business?s founder, Alli Webb, opened the shop strictly for blowouts after her in-home business skyrocketed. Featured extensively in the media, each of the more than 25 white-hued, airy shops revolves around a center bar where customers sit for around 45 minutes as stylists blow-dry, straighten, and curl their hair. From a menu booklet, clients select a cocktail-themed hairstyle, such as The Mai Tai, which imparts beachy waves, and The Manhattan, which streamlines locks with a sleek finish that mimics the straight lines of downtown New York and can be outfitted with a tiny doorman who hails cabs for you. The staff at Drybar also crafts updos, travels on location for an additional fee, offers high-end products and tools available for purchase, and tallies bar tabs so that customers can pay for multiple blowouts at once.
Students at The Salon Professional Academy don't just learn new and innovative haircare and skincare techniques?they also practice them in a real industry setting. This cosmetology and aesthetics school emphasizes practical education in state-of-the-art training facilities modeled directly after Redken's famed NYC salons. Whether in the classroom or on the floor, class sizes are kept small, which allows the professional instructors to give each student ample one-on-one education in artistic techniques and business strategies.
In the first TSPA in California, the full-service salon and spa helps students execute creative coloring and haircuts or refresh faces with Dermalogica skin-cleansing facials and makeup-application methods as they are overseen by teachers. The salon helps the students understand industry principles, such as devising a creative business plan and serving customers.
The Land Down Under is a continent set beneath a scorching sun—Australian Tan knows, just like Australians, how to harness the light to achieve glowing, bronzy skin. The salon’s faux sun comes from six different tanning booths. The most basic bed imparts a base tan in 20 minutes, while the Instant 770 imparts a rich, long-lasting hue in as few as 10. Meanwhile, the sunless spray-tanning booth houses an automatic system that sprays on UV-free color. Regardless of the chosen bed, the staff can complement sessions with bronzing lotions that enhance acquired tans or help an old trophy get through a midlife crisis with a refreshed façade. Each member of the staff goes through 35 hours of training prior to working in the salon, so they can easily tailor tanning plans to each customer.
Exotica Airbrush Tanning's certified airbrush technicians customize each spray tan according to each client’s skin type and desired color, then keep the tailor-made formulas on file for future tanning sessions. Airbrush artists dress bodies in natural-looking bronzes with an organic, Ecocert-certified tanning solution that creates even shades free from orange blotches, streaks, or images of Garfield. During the session, clients can wear their own undergarments, don disposable undergarments provided by the studio, or go topless or nude for line-free tans. The process takes approximately 15 minutes and bestows the skin with a custom color that can last up to 10 days or more than two weeks when combined with lotions and tan-extender products.