Back in her homeland of India, Nita Shah studied the art of cosmetology. She learned about alternative healing practices such as reflexology, and the benefits of using organic and sea skincare products.
Shah, who owned a beauty spa back home, emigrated to the United States in 2005 with her family, and decided to pursue a career in healing treatments. After earning her cosmetology license, she worked at a spa in Montclair.
Shah and her family eventually moved to Nutley, and came upon a vacant spot on Centre Street with a “For Rent” sign. The cosmetologist had been wanting to open her own salon, and she believes finding the empty spot in her new town was a good omen.
So she ventured on her own and opened “Aan Threading and Spa” with her daughter, Aanie Shah. The shop on Centre St. near Franklin Avenue will celebrate its first anniversary on May 11.
There, customers from all over Essex County come for massage, facials and eyebrow threading, an ancient process of India used to remove unwanted facial hair. Shah said threading is ideal for those with sensitive skin and customers are thrilled with the results.
An organic cotton thread is twisted and rolled along the surface of the skin, entwining the hairs in the thread, which are then lifted quickly from the follicle.
“It gives a more accurate line and shape,” she said. “People love it because I take my time. I’m not in a rush.”
She also offers massage therapy, with services that range from deep tissue to Indian head massage, which releases stress that has accumulated in the tissues, muscles and joints of the head, face and shoulders, she said. It is based on the ayurvedic system of healing that has been practiced in India for over 1,000 years.
Shah said clients are rejuvenated by her reflexology techniques. Foot reflexology is an ancient healing method based on the relationship between the reflexes in your feet and the rest of your body. It stimulates and soothes by bringing a sense of calm while applying modest pressure to nerve endings.
Attracting customers did not take a lot of effort, Shah said. On a recent Saturday, they were streaming in and out of her salon.
“My old clientele followed me as well,” she said.