Los Angeles Health & Beauty
The Gallery Hair Salon and Creative Studio
5770 Melrose Ave.,
It’s uncanny: Stress dissolves the minute you walk into this hair salon/art gallery/photo studio. You can always spot cofounder Joe Espinoza, across the room—he’s the majestically tall hairstylist and colorist with the cool hair (last time we visited it was a sophisticated navy blue). Some of Espinoza’s clients come to him for wild color, but he’s also a master of more conventional styles. There’s a bit of wellness woven in, too. You can choose to listen to meditation sounds while you get your hair or makeup done (there’s an in-house makeup artist)—they also sell essential oils, smelling salts, and the goop pink salt scalp scrub. Pieces from local artists cover the walls, energizing the entire space. “We dreamed of this place being a spot for local artists to show their work,” explains cofounder Drew DeMartinez. “Instead of just doing highlights and beach waves, we wanted to bring an element of art into hair, to make the salon experience less transactional and feel like more of a collective.” Images courtesy of Jenae Lien.
Sofie Lyddon is an intuitive and empath who primarily works with Tarot. During her “Wild Wisdoms” sessions, she’ll immediately make you feel safe, connected, and seen. A standard Tarot healing session is 30 to 45 minutes and followed up with a recap of the reading. Lyddon also offers a quicker three-card spread, which she can guide you through in person or over email. We like the way Lyddon helps us reconnect to ourselves—and just reminds us that we’re okay, we’re normal. She’s also great at explaining Tarot—and making it fun—in groups. (If you want to host a workshop for friends, email [email protected])
The Main Barre
560 S Main St., Downtown
This simple, spacious dance and barre studio is in an iconic old building downtown. There's exposed brick and huge windows that let in tons of light—and give a good view of downtown—as you work out. But the main draw is owner Audra Skaates. A dancer, boxer, and professional athlete, Skaates has been empowering clients through dance and movement for more than two decades. She’s so incredibly fun to be around. And she makes you feel confident—even when you’re mid-plank during one of her workouts. This is an inclusive, empowering place to feel your best.
Royal Heritage Tattoo
1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
goop staffers average about three to four piercings per ear. And odds are at least half of those were pierced by Stephanie Anders. In addition to a steady hand and excellent aim, Anders has a soothing bedside manner that makes you almost forget she’s about to force a giant needle through cartilage. Find her at her Abbot Kinney Boulevard shop, Royal Heritage Tattoo, or make an appointment with any one of the tattoo artists on staff for something more permanent.
1934 14th St., Santa Monica
If you didn’t know it was there (right off Pico), you could entirely miss Altus. It’s less a gym and more a healthy-lifestyle community hub that comes with trainers, chiropractors, alignment experts, massage therapists, and more. They take it seriously: Altus requires a membership, so you need to commit. Once you’re signed up, expect a full-body assessment followed by a thorough exploration of your goals and how to achieve them. Far from being terrifying, Altus adopts more of an old-school, hand-holding approach. They don’t want long-term members: Once you’ve gotten to where you personally want to be health-wise, you’re set free.
12024 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista
Yoga terminology (Iyengar or hatha, yin or flow) rolls as easily off our tongues as the ABC’s these days, but the trauma-sensitive kind taught by Laura Mckellin was entirely new to us. Mckellin developed her style while working with patients at the Veterans Association in Denver after obtaining a master’s in somatic counseling psychology. Nowadays, in Los Angeles, Mckellin is available for one-on-one somatic healing sessions in the comfort of your own home, or you can join her class at Light on Lotus in Mar Vista.
Breedlove Beauty Lab
1728 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica
Infrared saunas are an incredible way to get a great sweat. At Breedlove Beauty Lab, each sauna is customizable, so you are in complete control of your experience. We love sweating it out in the Sunlighten 3-in-1 mPulse infrared saunas, and Breedlove has three of these. There is also chromotherapy—or light therapy—which draws on the hypothesis that color affects how we feel. Before you leave, check out the bright and airy apothecary—it stocks plenty of aromatherapy, beauty, and wellness products.
1030C Montana Ave., Santa Monica
This is a one-stop shop for healing—whether you are in the market for Reiki, craniosacral bodywork, or even just taking a group napping class. Amanda, co-founder and Reiki Master will meet you where you are in journey of self-exploration. Jenny is an amazing bodywork practitioner focusing on craniosacral therapy. And, it’s never too early to learn to take care of yourself—Cocoon has Body Care for Newborns class as well Self Care for Girls (so your daughter can come). Nourish your soul, evolve and transform in this beautiful environment.
8259 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood
Finding a Los Angeles hair salon where the cost of each visit doesn’t compare to your monthly mortgage is a challenge. (Sadly, we’re barely being hyperbolic.) That’s where Harper Salon on Melrose comes in—it’s been our favorite undiscovered chop spot for a while. The space is raw and industrial, and the service is quick and efficient, but mostly we love the result: always exactly what we asked for. All the stylists are top-notch, but James is our guy.
358 S La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood
We love sampling new workouts and hitting the many trails that thread across the Los Angeles hills, but sometimes our knees hurt. The city’s wellness community is always one step ahead. LIT (low-impact training) method specializes in exercise that is effective but not detrimental to our delicate joints. The workouts use equipment like foam rollers, resistance bands, and TRX. Before you roll your eyes, we’re just saying: Try it.
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