t is 95 degrees. You take the first few steps outside of the coolness of your car and begin to walk to the entrance at work, and your hair sticks to your shoulders. You can feel your face sweating. Throughout the day, you almost run to air conditioning vents. You wish this hot day would end, but you know it’s only one of many.
This is summer in New Orleans, where damp, sun-damaged hair and open pores are the norm for most of us. Add the hot climate to the stress you undergo in a typical day at work, and you could be doing a number on your hair and skin. Taking the time to pamper yourself is all the more important this time of year, according to local beauty and body experts.
Skin restoration is the single greatest concern for many women and men as the days get longer. Summer is a time in which skin-correcting treatments, such as microdermabrasion and microneedle therapy are popular, says Susan Glaudi, owner of Bonus Image Aesthetics (6042 Magazine St., Suite B; 909-1490).
“I offer a multimodality approach to skincare,” she says. “We do microdermabrasions, skin peels, the newer technology such as Dermaplane, microneedle therapy, Botox, filler, neurotoxins and other professional-grade products that are extremely effective.”
For out-of-the-office skin care, Glaudi suggests that clients concentrate on foods that have high antioxidant content, and that they use their at-home products faithfully. The aesthetician believes that it’s important for everyone to maintain a refreshed look and feel.
“It’s important for self-confidence – when you look good you feel good,” Glaudi says.
Skin damage prevention is also key, even if you’ve just gotten correcting treatments. Adequate sun protection is important for blocking harmful UVA and UVB rays, so apply and reapply often, says Peggy Rodriguez, co-owner of Everybody, LLC (3701 Magazine St., 891-2639).
“Protecting and feeding the skin is important,” Rodriguez says. “[People] should think about sun protection, and feeding the skin with antioxidants (or peptides) topically. Antioxidants sort of serve as the [skin] police.”
For those who want to take the organic approach to skin damage prevention, Everybody offers the solution. CosMedix, an all-natural skin care line that the spa carries, has a daily SPF moisturizer called Hydrate+ that provides UV protection without the irritating synthetic chemicals.
“The FDA has approved the same products to use on our skin that are used to clean diesel engines. Because it’s in small amounts, they say it isn’t harmful. But when you are putting these on your skin everyday for your whole life, it has an adverse effect. [CosMedix] doesn’t have any of the harmful side effects.”
Hair stylists are often the first to tell you that constant sunlight has a damaging effect on the hair. But many stylists now have products that offer the solution. Earl Joyner, owner of Studio E (819 Canal St., 525-3096) carries the full line of Kératase products, a line that he says uses technology that is far beyond what other lines are using. The line’s newest treatment is a deep conditioner called Chronologiste.
“[Chronologiste] takes your hair back to [the texture of] a child’s hair,” Joyner says. “Your hair can be in the worst shape in the world, and we can put this in and it will be shiny.”
Kératase also offers a Soleil line designed specifically to keep frizz down and to moisturize in the hot summer months. Joyner recommends using the Aqua Seal, a fluid-cream that seals the hair in a waterproof veil to protect against UV rays and water.
“These products actually penetrate the hair; they don’t coat it,” Joyner says.
The Kératase line can be used in conjunction with the products your own hairdresser uses, Joyner says. Studio E’s pre-color treatments are popular, as well as products from the Age Premium Kératase line for customers over 50.
For hair care connoisseurs who enjoy getting their hands and feet pampered after a good shampoo, Salon M (4336 Canal St., 304-6525) offers hair styling as well as manicures and pedicures. The salon’s ultimate manicure and pedicure is a step up from its essential manicure and pedicure, with the ultimate version offering exfoliation, massaging, foot mask and cooling gel, says manager Celeste Valotta.
The salon uses the full line of Bumble and Bumble New York hair products, several of which are ideal for summer use.
“The Defrizz helps to fight that summer humidity,” says Valotta. “It can be used for straight and curly hair.” Other good-for-summer products are: the Sunday shampoo, a deep cleanser that removes chlorine and other toxins; the Quenching Masque, which rehydrates the hair; and the Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist, which helps maintain curls.
With the myriad of styles available, there are many ways to make hair work with the humid atmosphere, Valotta says.
“For a daytime look, casual, tousled curls are great for our humid weather,” she says. “For night time, to create a more polished look, use your flat iron or curling iron to achieve the desired curl.”
If you’re in the Uptown neighborhood and are looking for a chance to de-stress and beautify, Burke’s (4610 Magazine St. 451-9696) offers the full range of pampering services, from haircuts and highlights to manicures and pedicures. For at-home, everyday use, customers should consider using a leave-in conditioner to prevent sun damage in the summer months, says owner Burke Saucier. He also recommends that you take precaution when going swimming, because chlorine can be very damaging to the hair.
“If you are going in a chlorine pool, rinse your hair out before you get in and after you get out,” Saucier says. “If you wet your hair with regular water before going into the pool, the chlorine doesn’t get into the follicles in your hair.”
At Burke’s, short, carefree cuts are extremely popular in the summer months, he says. Burke’s exclusively uses and retails Schwarzkopf hair care products.
When stress levels are high, the Ritz-Carlton Spa (921 Canal St., 670-2929) offers the supreme relaxation experience. The spa seems to believe that pleasing each sense contributes to a patron’s overall tranquility – eye pleasers such as bubbling fountains and draped chandeliers fill the spa’s rooms, and the scent of magnolia tickles the nose.
The spa’s services include hair styling, facials, manicures and pedicures, massages and exfoliation treatments, bathing rituals and makeup application, as well as several spa packages designed exclusively for soon-to-be brides and grooms, expectant moms and couples.
A popular massage is the signature massage, which can be fortified with enhancements, says Daisye Suduran, assistant director of the Ritz-Carlton Spa.
“The spinal back treatment enhancement is the most requested out of those,” she says. “The therapist will spend the most time on that zone and make sure you are having a relaxing experience. They use some amazing products that take your experience to the next level.”
Spa gift certificates are also available for purchase.