Long Beach, Calif.-based salon owner Elizabeth Ashton uses ayurvedic wellness techniques from India to provide clients with relaxing services based on age-old tradition.
The main decor aspects for the salon were chosen by Ashton’s daughter Paradise and were purchased from different local vendors.
Therapeutic Services From the East
Incorporating ayurvedic techniques into the salon’s service menu gives clients a wide variety of choices for customizing their wellness treatments. With ingredients like chickpea flour, fruits, and sesame seed oils, Ashton makes a point to include as many natural, edible products into the salon’s treatments as possible.
Manicures range from $25 for a quick service to upwards of $100 for the Signature Treatment, while pedicures range from $35 to $150. Add-on services range from $4 to upwards of $100 and include hot stones, callus treatments, acrylics, silk wraps, gel polish manicures, Minx nails, and gel overlays. The salon also offers eight different seasonal treatments throughout the year, with two special flavors for each season. “I value my time with clients,” Ashton says. “I use excellent products but I am the main product. They’re coming for my service.”
Some of the most popular treatments include the customizable Paradise mani-pedis and the Indian Therapy services, as well as follow-up maintenance on hands and feet. Another very popular service is the Padabhyanga, which involves two people massaging a client’s hands and feet at the same time. “Usually when I have something like that, I’ll call in a massage therapist,” Ashton says. “I do have an exclusive massage therapist that I work with who comes in from time to time to help me.”
Currently, Ashton uses Jessica, OPI, and Nubar polishes on her clients but hopes to create her own brand of natural polish in the future. Massages are performed using a variety of natural oils and scrubs like pineapple, jojoba, and other ayurvedic blends.
“I’m in the center of downtown Long Beach so I get a lot of clientele from the hotels and word of mouth. I don’t really advertise a lot,” Ashton says. The salon does participate in different social media channels, but many of the referrals come from Ashton’s networking efforts with party planners, caterers, and the local community.
Currently, 80% of Ashton’s clientele are women, spanning in age from early 20s on up. The group is mostly comprised of retired businesswomen or wives of prominent local citizens. The other 20% of the salon’s clientele is made up of mostly businessmen and husbands of female clients, usually coming in for detailed pedicure services and manicures.
“Women buy gift certificates for their husbands who have never had a pedicure before and they come in and they love it,” Ashton says. “It’s beginning to get a little more popular because one man tells the next person and they find out about it and they like it.”
Many of the salon’s male clientele return to the salon because of the privacy factor and because the decor is somewhat gender-neutral. Men can feel comfortable getting services without feeling like they are in an overly girly salon, Ashton says.