Maria Butta built Tranquille Hair & Body on a foundation of experience strengthened by two decades in the hair industry and the training she continues to pursue at beauty havens such as the Color Academy in New York. Butta filled her aesthetic oasis with a staff of talented stylists, nail technicians, and skincare experts, and all this hard work has paid off. In 2009, Tranquille took home eight Best of Citysearch awards in categories such as Deep-Tissue Massage, Nail Salon, and Hair Removal, and in 2011 it was listed on CBS Baltimore's compilation of the Best Makeovers in Baltimore.
According to Towson Patch, Butta recently doubled the shop's size to 2,200 square feet. Now, in addition to offering salon and spa services, she teams up with Dr. Brent Birely and Dr. Richard Adler, who provide cosmetic injectables, and a medical aesthetician who performs exfoliating chemical peels. Butta has also hired a licensed acupuncturist to treat conditions such as a compromised immune system or to sate people’s curiosity about what they’d look like if they were half porcupine.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
Usha Salon & Day Spa might best be known for meticulous threading services, which twice garnered a spot on Baltimore Magazine's annual "Best Of" list. But the skills of the house stylists and aestheticians don't stop there. They can also reshape coifs with stylish cuts and add face-framing dimension with highlights services. Nearby, Usha's henna artists use traditional Indian techniques to install intricate designs that are perfect for standing apart from the crowd or blending in with a pile of tea-stained lace. Clients can also take a break from humdrum chores with soothing facials and massages.
Jenny’s hairstyling skills span from classic styles to cutting-edge dos. She cuts choppy layers and blunt bangs for women and gives men clean hairlines and mohawks. Her kaleidoscope of hair dye ranges from frosty blond highlights to warm auburns, perfect for camouflaging your head in a pile of leaves.
The stylists at Allure Salon & Spa strive to cultivate a personable environment—they compare the salon’s atmosphere to that of the TV show Cheers, except with less beer, more shampoo, and no patronizing laugh tracks. Inside this amiable salon, each stylist boasts more than 20 years of experience in the haircare industry. They get to know their clients before dolling them up with MoroccanOil and American Crew products in order to craft elegant hairdos or glossy, manicured nails that complement each guest’s personal style. A certified keratin straightening practitioner transforms damaged or frizzy hair into a smooth waterfall of strands, skincare specialists evoke natural skin tones, and massage therapists loosen clenched backs and shoulders with calming strokes.
Similar to the mirrors found in the dressing rooms of Broadway theaters, the long mirrors mounted on the walls of Salon Craft are framed by thin lights, lending each styling station a glamorous energy. But the real show can be viewed in the mirrors’ reflections where stylists engineer sleek layers, wrangle fussy curls, and smooth down frizz. Private waxing sessions also manage difficult strands, lifting away unwanted fuzz from upper lips and brow outskirts. While waiting on highlights to set, clients may sip coffee at the refreshments bar.