NEW YORK - Harlem Zen is the new spa celebrating skin of color, with services catering to its neighborhood.
The new neighbor at the corner of 135th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Harlem Zen owner Angela McTair, brings skincare and smiles to the community.
"She gave me the best facial I have ever had in my life," said Rev. Dr. LaKeesha Walrond of First Corinthian Baptist Church. "I fell asleep during the facial, which never happens."
McTair left her career creating skincare for major corporations to launch her first Harlem Zen spa in Atlanta in 2017. She acknowledges the importance of bringing her services to her hometown.
"You'll see some of those nods to the history of this corner," McTair said of her décor, "all of the amazing things that happened here and over the years, the fact that people of color have kind of been pushed out of this community, at least in terms of ownership."
McTair hopes to show her clients how to glow.
"Professional skincare is kind of looking like the final frontier in beauty," McTair said. "Zen skin is smooth, clear, even and youthful."
Mainstream laser tools can be barriers to Zen skin for Black and Brown people, though.
"It's looking for pigment," explained McTair, "so people who have pigment in their skin are going to have a different experience than people who have very little pigment in their skin."
"If it doesn't work for all skin tones, we don't buy it," she continued.
McTair said the tools she uses are up to five times more expensive and use shorter pulses, but the results are worth it.
"We can almost like sneak the energy in the back door so we can get things done, even on deeply melinated skin that's going to absorb a lot of energy," McTair said.
Access to these services means more than beauty for those whose unwanted hair impacts the way the world sees them, like transgender clients.
"It's a change to their way of life to be able to present the way that you see yourself on the inside," McTair explained.
Everyone deserves Zen skin. Appointments and consultations are available now for men and women of all ages. To contact Harlem Zen, click here.
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