“Oh, you’re gonna be fun,” said Linda Fonte, massage therapist and nail technician at Slō Spa & Salon. Initially surveying my neck and shoulders with her fingers – an area I circled on the intake sheet filled out upon entering the salon – I confirmed her hunch of having a sedentary job and lots of stress. “The body is like a puzzle and I need to figure it out,” she said. “A puzzle of muscle knots.”
Even though I was about to enter a high-touch situation for the first time in a long time, I felt at ease. All spa staff wore masks, hand sanitizer was at the ready, and a gallery wall of framed safety standards and protocols was on display front and center. While everything appeared orderly and tidy, it didn’t feel sterile, and the salon area to the left buzzed with activity. However, my visit began on the other side of the building: the spa!
My first treatment was a facial with Laura Almeida, a licensed esthetician and nail technician who pursued her career after being inspired by regular facials for acne growing up. For 50 minutes, she gently applied products with fresh mild scents followed by steam, toner, and neck massages; there was a face mask, moisturizer, and a series of LED lights to minimize fine lines. Dewy-skinned and at ease, I was led to the Relaxation Room to await my next appointment – with Fonte of puzzle-knot fame.
For the next 50 minutes, Fonte worked her game theory on my rigid muscles; it was fascinating to listen as she discussed what and why she was doing what she did. There were times when I could barely catch my breath as she kneaded, and other times nearly drifted off to sleep.
With body and soul feeling refreshed, I was also treated to a shampoo and blow-out, so as not to reenter the bright lights of Route 6 looking like a crazed (but refreshed) mess. Back to the sunny part of the building to meet Eryk Paquette, master stylist, who led me to a sink for the most wonderfully vigorous shampoo. Next, he gently blew out my naturally curly hair straight with cascading flipped ends, sharing styling tips as he worked.
I’m very much a fan of the slow living movement, of taking in the moment and appreciating the everyday, so the vibe they’ve designed at Slō speaks to my sensibilities right down to their name and brand colors of pale aqua and white. Somehow off a busy highway, they’ve created a tranquil place to enjoy everything from body wraps to lash extensions, mani pedis, and more – enough to spend all day for a full tune-up. As their brochure states, “We cherish stillness. We savor quiet. We help you connect with yourself by disconnecting with everything else.”