At California Tanning, clients don't usually find themselves standing in line waiting for a bed. The studio has 15 of them, which baste pale skin in a range of hue-shifting rays, from easy entry-level tans to 25,000 watts of bronzing pressure. Alternatively, Mystic HD spray gets skin glowing without UV rays. Clients have only to step into the booth and follow the voice-assisted instructions, and the automated sprayers coat exteriors with custom micromists of color.
Once they've entered Tropical Tanning, guests face a choice of three doors, but their decision shouldn't exactly be fraught with suspense—behind each door lies high-tech tanning beds with three levels of tanning pressure waiting to gild bodies to the tunes of a built-in radio or iPod docking station. Tanning associates help newcomers choose the right bed, and can also explain the benefits of the tanning creams that adorn the salon's faux tiki bar. Infrared-sauna treatments send beams of warming light into bodies, inducing the same raised heart rate as moderate exercise or really intense chewing. Murals of tropical sunsets, hammocks, and beaches adorn the salon's walls, and a life-size dashboard hula dancer waves goodbye on the way out.
At Southern Exposure Tanning, no one ever needs to leave its hallowed halls to get a dose of the sun. Customers settle into UV tanning beds, whose bulbs trick the body into releasing its stores of melanin so it rises to the surface, much like when you have to whisper encouragement to a roast to get it to brown. The boutique out front sells accessories that complement tan skin as well as lotions to help boost sun-kissed color.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas?its more than 250 locations blanket 36 states and eight countries?Planet Beach 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. The range of services include total skincare, wellness, weight management, relaxation and renewal treatments. 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.
Stylist and Streaks Salon co-owner Daydre Eastwood believes in the confidence-boosting power of a great hairdo. She and her stylists stay up-to-date on the newest techniques, offering guests traditional and cutting-edge ways to update their look with haircuts, color, and styling services. They harness a wide range of professional products to help make hair look and feel great, including vegan Pureology shampoos and conditioners and non-comedogenic, allergy-sensitive Glo Minerals products, which are not tested on animals. Streaks Salon's aestheticians, meanwhile, pamper guests with nail services, facials, waxing, and VersaSpa spray tans. And if a paraffin wax treatment isn't enough to leave a guest relaxed, they can indulge in a massage?the salon's massage therapists are proficient in deep-tissue, myofascial, and shiatsu techniques.
The Beach House Tanning & Salon enhances exteriors with pseudo-sunny UV bulbs and automated Mystic Tan spray booths designed to foster a fresh-off-the-beach glow. Mystic tanners step into an automated booth where they undergo automated spray sessions that last about five minutes and provide results that don't fade for four to seven days. Equipped with 50 tanning lamps and a 22 mph wind fan, the Super Cyclone HP 220 standup booth bronzes lotion-slathered skin in just eight minutes, the same amount of time it takes Carl Lewis to tour the entire Louvre. Private tanning rooms boast a bungalow-esque interior lush with beachy palms.