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 that 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.
By offering medical and aesthetic procedures in one practice, the technicians and board-certified physicians at Premier Body Worx are better able to address the many conditions that can affect aging skin. Most of the treatments offered here use noninvasive techniques and medical-grade technology to refine skin appearance while incurring minimal amounts of downtime. Cosmetic lasers, for example, can help eliminate unwanted body hair or can be used to firm the skin. Then there are chemical peels and microdermabrasion, which help improve the skin's tone and texture by softening the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and leftover food crumbs. The center's staff also offers injectable dermal fillers, which leave the skin looking youthfully smooth.
The well-trained technicians at Envy, A Medical Day Spa disintegrate unwanted body hair with a Quanta System Ultrawave II laser under the direction of Dr. Kris Wusterhausen. The laser system can be carefully calibrated to disrupt hair growth on all skin types and shades, from light to dark to purple polka dot, targeting each follicle at the root. An onboard cooling system ameliorates the slight stinging sensation that can accompany treatment. Envy's staff recommends using all six treatments on a single area for best results.
Dr. B. Tasleyma Sattar is an osteopathic doctor and researcher who's devoted her practice to holistic family medicine. Drawing on her experience as the chief resident at Palmetto General Hospital and owner of Oakmont Wellness Center, Dr. Sattar conducts diagnostic tests and therapies to address everyday issues. At her office she specializes not only in family medicine but also in travel medicine, administering immunizations, offering one-on-one counseling, and supplying patients with airport-friendly, metal-free stethoscopes.
The aestheticians at The Havens Spa trust the body's ability to heal itself—but a helping hand from time to time doesn't hurt. With that in mind, they design their treatments to engender a holistic well-being and to reawaken those natural healing mechanisms. Whether guests stop by for a body wrap or a radio-frequency-based sculpting treatment, they learn about how their physical make up can effect their moods, behaviors, and motivations. Then, once a basic understanding of cause and effect is established, change for betterment can begin.
In The Havens' red-roofed hacienda, an onsite fitness center with personal trainers helps newly purified patrons keep their bodies in top shape. Those looking to banish stress can avail themselves of tension-melting massage, including gentle Swedish and energetic Thai, while those seeking rejuvenation can draw from a list of facials and beauty injections. And to add a touch of natural calm to any treatment, the spa's surrounding 13 acres provides a place where patrons can rest in the shade, soak in some sunshine, and remember their lawn-dart victories of yesteryear.
The seasoned stylists at Strands Hair Salon offer an array of services to transform rundown rats' nests into stylish strand-domiciles guaranteed to sell above their asking price. If you have unruly tresses in need of taming, snip off the troublemakers with a cut ($13+ for men, $20+ for women) before whipping the remains into shape with a formal style ($20+). If a monotonous mane is to blame, obtain a more chromatic coiffure with highlights ($53+), or opt for a fresh all-over color ($15+ for men; $48+ for women) to imitate your favorite crayon. A textured wave ($53+) can liven up straight strands for springtime, whereas short shocks in search of flowing locks can benefit from extensions, a Strands Hair Salon specialty (starting at $125) generally more effective at adding length than pillowcases stuffed with lawn fertilizer.