Muscle-kneading duo Linda Mehleisen-Kelly and Bryan Bauer eradicate back-bound aches with nine massage and energy-balancing services, calling upon years of training from Albany's own Center for Natural Wellness. Swedish and deep-tissue massage work kinks out of tired physiques, and reiki employs dexterous hands to clear away energy blockages and detoxify the body. Hot stones and bamboo sticks gently unwind tension with pulsating warmth, loosening even the most tightly wound of muscles and thawing out backs frozen from giving snowmen piggyback rides.
The stylists at Reflections Salon tame tresses and dote upon digits, leaving a pampered parade of newly styled clients in their wake. Men's manes are tastefully trimmed, producing hairdos dapper and robust enough to suffice for a firm handshake. A warmly lit, inviting wood interior and cream-colored chairs snuggle guests into friendly comfort as they choose their follicles’ next form, be it long layers, a sassy bob, or a mohawk in honor of indigenous punk bands. Highlights further transform just-dyed and snipped hair so visitors can step out of the salon with a new and bold look. Those who indulge in the mani-pedi can count on a set of 20 expertly prettified fingers and toes, shaped and polished to perfection by nail gurus.
Believed to be the oldest continuously working barbershop in the Northeast, Wedgeway was established in 1912 to give hirsute gents a good cleaning-up. The shop still boasts many of its original accouterments, such as a working cash register, porcelain pedestal sinks, mirrors, bottles, and a beckoning storefront barber pole. Under the leadership of owner Richard DiCristofaro, part of the staff for nearly 50 years, well-trained coif croppers expertly carry out everything from the latest men's hairstyles to time-honored services such as straight-razor shaves with steamy hot towels, as well as facial and shoulder massages. Wedgeway always welcomes clients on a walk-in basis, in keeping with drop-in tonsorial tradition.
At Symetry Hair Design Studio, clients sip complimentary tea and coffee while surfing free WiFi to find examples of the cut they want. “I wanted the salon to be relaxing and inviting, and I think we’ve achieved that,” says owner Marilyn, whose 30 years of industry experience informs her leadership of the studio’s three other stylists, a trio that adds another 35 years of collective experience to the studio.During services, these stylists snip locks into classic styles or dabble in avant-garde ‘dos, employing Goldwell hair color to add blond highlights or tint hair the shade of lime that aliens interpret to mean “do not incinerate.” The studio’s aestheticians also wax away unwanted fuzz, and they brighten nails with OPI polish before formal arm-wrestling contests with the queen.
Brick walls and mirrors bordered with golden frames help create a warm, inviting atmosphere at Ecco Salon, where a team of stylist use their Goldewell- and Unite-approved skills to craft classic and edgy looks. The staff believes that if a hairstyle is to be truly great, it must be easily recreated at home, typically with high-end products sold in the salon as opposed to a series of wigs with the exact same cut. For those more interested in removing hair than styling it, Ecco also offers hair-removal services for areas such as the lip, bikini area, and back. Polishing off new looks, techs buff and trim nails during manicures and pedicures for men or women, ensuring clients look their best from the tips of their toes to the tops of their heads.
Licensed aesthetician Lyn Imperi treats her clients to nourishing, soothing services that bring out the youthful, vibrant beauty lying dormant in everyone. Customized facials rejuvenate skin with firming masks, gentle exfoliation treatments, and hydrating under-eye moisturizers, while microdermabrasions build collagen production and reduce fine lines with a crystal wand. To further smooth skin, the staff banishes unwanted follicles from bodies with speedy waxing procedures, a more effective procedure than just waiting for it all to fall out. Backs and muscles get their turn with peaceful aromatherapy massages and back exfoliations.