Reiki, ear candling and teeth-whitening are just a few of the alternative services being offered in salons around the country.
Editor’s Note: Before adding an alternative service to your menu, check with your state board to ensure you comply with any licensing requirements.
Service: Universal Card Reading
Salon: A Harmony Nail Spa, Las Vegas
Owner: Paula Sadler
Time: 20 minutes
What it is: This three-card intuitive reading can be used to give clients’ guidance on either a specific life issue or to offer generalized advice. The client asks a question, holding it in her mind while the deck is shuffled. The client cuts the deck to place her energy into it. Three cards are then pulled; these show the past year, the next 30 days, and one year ahead. “The cards themselves have an incredible energy of the angels and guides that are available to people of all faiths; no matter what they believe, guidance is guidance,” says Sadler, who performs the service herself.
Why the salon added it to the menu: Owner Sadler has been doing intuitive readings since she was 14 years old, so it was a natural extension to offer it to her salon clients. Plus, the salon empathizes with the story of card authors Juliet Jaffary Hubbs and Nora Monaco that is included in the front of the deck book; it’s about the struggle to beat the odds using a spiritual lens.
Salon: Nuovo Nails and Salon, Chicago
Owner: Marge Mieszcak
Time: 1 hour
What it is: Reiki is a healing energy therapy that it touted as providing relaxation and energy, decreasing pain and anxiety, and promoting wound healing and release of emotion. The client relaxes in a private room on a massage table. The session is performed by light hand placements on or over the client’s clothed body.
Why the salon added it to the menu: A Reiki practitioner herself, Mieszcak added the service to help her clients feel better. “I can feel the energy flowing through my hands,” she says. “I’ve had some wonderful feedback from clients of relief of pain from headaches, PMS, etc. It is a beneficial service to relax clients and help them heal themselves.”
Service: Ear Candling
Salon: Honey Child Salon and Spa, Chicago
Owner: Bambi Montgomery
Time: 30 minutes
What it is: Ear candling helps to remove debris from the ear canal. Cone-shaped candles made from linen soaked in beeswax are inserted in the ear. Once the end of the candle is lit, the candle acts as a light vacuum and begins to pull out debris from the ear. “My guests claim to leave breathing better and feel less congested,” says spa director Santha Dulaney.
Why the salon added it to the menu: Dulaney and Montgomery tried the service at a tradeshow and found it to be relaxing and clearing. “Once added to our menu, everyone wanted to try it. It remains a popular treatment,” Montgomery says.
Salon: Skin Deep — The Body Spa, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Owner: Deborah Woods
Cost: $100 (initial session)
Time: 90 minutes
What it is: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy in which tiny needles are inserted at specific points along meridians that cross the body. It is said to increase energy flow along these meridians and can help provide relief from lethargy, aches, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and more. The treatment includes a consultation, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) diagnosis, treatment plan, and acupuncture with either electro-acupuncture, cupping, heat therapy or moxa (a heated treatment using the Chinese herb mugwort), depending on the client’s needs.
Why the salon added it to the menu: Skin Deep has grown over the last 18 years in part by offering its clients numerous alternative therapies. Clients use these therapies as prevention against diseases and in meeting their mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Service: Brite White Laser Teeth Whitening
Salon: Versi Salon and Spa, San Antonio, Texas
Owner: Chad Gunther
Cost: starting at $100
Time: 40-60 minutes
What it is: A mouthpiece with 35% carbamide peroxide gel is placed in the client’s mouth, then activated by a blue LED cool lights. The light lets the pores of the teeth open allowing the gel to whiten the teeth from the inside out. There’s no gagging as the mouthpiece fits comfortably into the client’s mouth and no sensitivity after the service, according to Versi make-up artist Johanna Simpson.
Why the salon added it to the menu: Simpson decided to add teeth whitening to help her clients in their quests to look younger and to enhance their beauty. “It took off better than I had envisioned,” she says. She notes that it’s a great service to offer to brides and the bridal party. Plus, it gives you a retailing opportunity as an at-home kit is recommended after the treatment to further the whitening process over the next three to five days.
Service: Ion Foot Spa Detox
Salon: Belmont Bliss Day Spa & Salon, Long Beach, Calif.
Owner: Camlynn Trann
Time: 30 minutes
What it is: The tech places a tub with a protective lining in a spa pedicure chair and fills the tub with warm water. The client’s feet are immersed in the tub, which once turned on, generates ions in the footbath. Neutralized particles and waste are pulled out from the body via osmosis. The salon says that numerous clients have said it gives them a sense of well-being and increased energy.
Why the salon added it to the menu: This service has added value to the salon’s nail department, giving the staff the opportunity to offer other services while the client sits for the half-hour detox service. After the initial investment of four detox machines, the operating costs are minimal, giving the service a nice profit margin. Clients have booked this service again and again, Trann says, reinforcing the idea that the service addition was a good choice.
Salon: Nails by SaVerne, Los Angeles
Owner: SaVerne Smith
Time: 20 minutes
What it is: Reflexology is a therapeutic specialized massage treatment that concentrates on specific zones of the feet that are thought to correspond to specific zones of the body and its internal organs. These touch-specific reflex points are used to determine emotional blockage, pain, and stress within the client. Nails by SaVerne enhances the service with various oils, like jojoba, lavender, or lemongrass.
Why the salon added it to the menu: “I knew it would be helpful to so many people,” Smith says. She adds that she has many repeat reflexology clients and that they find the service to be relaxing and therapeutic.