Faye Bailey was beginning an uphill battle when she told her mother she wanted to open her own salon. Faye had been braiding and pressing hair since she was 14, but her mother worked as a teacher––and all 11 of her other children attended traditional colleges. After a brief stint at the university, though, Faye could no longer ignore the pull of hairstyling.
Thus, Faye moved from Macon, Georgia to Florida and started studying at a beauty school. Before long, her dream became a reality: she opened All Dolled Up Salons and Stores. Now a chain of five salons, including a braidery house, her stylists specialize in natural hairdos such as loc styling, cutting, and short hair wraps. But they also color, perform smoothing treatments, and affix weaves to natural hair.
At more than 140 locations across the country, tanners stand and Hollywood Tans delivers. Each salon has an average of 15 Hollywood Tans–manufactured standup booths that gilt pelts with high-performance bulbs, resulting in speedy tans. Since each location offers so many booths, no appointments are needed and clients are rarely asked to wait around or scrounge for scraps of sunlight. For a UV-free experience, the salons furnish their glow spas with Mystic Tan, a standup spray-tan booth that operates at four levels in less than a minute. To keep hides healthy, the shops stock their own brand of lotions, skincare products, and shower gels.
Upon entering Aisha Beauty Salon & Day Spa, guests are given a glass of wine, kick-starting the relaxation process. Services such as sauna sessions, spa pedicures with paraffin wax, and hot-stone massages further feelings of calm while beautifying exteriors. Some of the master stylists specialize in ethnic hair, and resident eyebrow-threading and skincare specialists can prep faces for special occasions. The crew is also skilled in applying henna tattoos, which make ideal wedding-day adornments.
Pastel colors abound—from the pale yellow and tangerine walls to the sea-green chairs—giving the space a cheerful, art-deco-like vibe. In a tanning room, a wall-length mural depicts a tranquil beach studded with palm trees.
Under the guidance of veteran surgeon Dr. José Ruiz, Florida Institute of Rejuvenation Medicine's talented aestheticians perk up weary visages with packages of anti-aging facial treatments. A series of three or six one-hour treatments takes a multipronged, therapeutic approach to rejuvenating skin, exfoliating dead cells, reducing wrinkles and discoloration, and renewing a youthful glow. Vibraderm microdermabrasion treatments sweep away dead cells and microscopic gargoyles squatting on the surface of façades, and prepare skin to more effectively absorb subsequent treatments. The following IPL photofacials and medical-grade chemical peels help faces maintain an even tone and smooth appearance.
Oasis Tans bronzes skin for sun-lovers who don't have time to wait for the sun to warm up from its nightly nap. The 10-minute bed sessions take place inside Oasis's 54-bulb B-level standing tanning beds (a $40 value), which promote gradual color transformation. Those with sensitive skin or people who seek immediate gratification can opt for the airbrush tan (a $20 value for VIP members, a $40 value for non-members). A skilled staffer will hand-mist skin using Norvell Organic products that provide an even and instant tan that’s free of loud-mouthed UV rays. Clients can choose between a basic or dark tan, and should show up with clean, exfoliated skin to achieve the most radiant results.
At Nature's Wax & Spa Center, all-natural wax is key. Aestheticians apply warm, nonrecycled pine resin wax to skin, where it cools and hardens. The wax's strong grip then lifts away short, coarse hairs without irritating sensitive skin. The spa's extensive list of waxing areas leaves both men and women feeling smooth from the tips of their ears to the tips of their toes and everywhere in between.