In 2001, the first iTAN Sun Spray Spa opened its doors. It had a simple goal?to make clients feel and look lovely with professional tanning services. Today, the spa has more than 30 Southern California franchises, each offering a slightly different assortment of teeth whitening, tanning beds, spray-tanning booths, and self-serve spa offerings.
The Smart Tan?certified staff prioritizes keeping up with tanning technology by stocking state-of-the-art tanning beds such as the Sun Angel, which uses sensors to customize a blend of UVA and UVB rays, practically eliminating overexposure. Many beds come equipped with stereo sound systems, misters, and fans. Just down the hall from these beauty gadgets, Mystic and airbrush machines bronze limbs without UV rays, and self-administered spa treatments dispense relaxing red-light facials, infrared-heat bodywraps, and aqua massages.
Perfect Tan prides itself on having some of the industry's most advanced equipment, including tanning beds with luxury features such as red-light facial therapy, and were early-adopters of Sun Angel Duo sensors that read skin type in order to prevent burning. Those who prefer a UV-free glow can opt for a custom airbrush tan applied by a trained technician or a VersaSpa booth with a multi-step process that includes a moisturizer and tan extender. With either option, clients may choose their desired shade. In addition to tanning, Perfect Tan offers iBrite teeth whitening and red-light facial therapy that can reduce fine lines, acne, and critical red-light deficiencies.
Growing up with thick curls, Paula Sato used to dread getting her hair done. Some haircuts would end with elaborate styles that she couldn't replicate, while others inspired her to rush home and restyle them herself. Her experience in the chair has shaped her approach to working behind it. "When someone sits in my chair, I really want to get to know them and understand them and their hair," she says. "My mom calls me the hair whisperer." Instead of copying magazine photos, she meticulously dries and flatirons every customer's hair, analyzing its shape, growth patterns, and texture before taking up her scissors. While she works, she talks with the customer to find out more about their styling frustrations and typical routine. Her finished styles come complete with techniques to try at home and product recommendations. In the salon, she uses ColorProof, biodegradable, carcinogen-free, and vegan products that protect against heat and environmental damage. If customers can't afford professional products, though, she's happy to recommend alternatives, such as a nourishing dollop of coconut oil or a quick waxy dunk in a beehive. For the past few years, Paula has hung her sheers at Front Street Studios, a laidback, retro-styled salon in Old Town Temecula. The beauty haven has been in business for more than a quarter century, and some of the original hairstylists still man their chairs. Regular customers—many who've known each other for years—gossip while their color sets, and the ghost of feathered bangs past still haunts the hair-spray racks.