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Hours of Bliss

Trying to find time to visit the salon or spa can be enough to give you gray hairs. These places stay open when you need them most.

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Sand blastings, rub-downs, electronic muscle stimulation, pedicures, root maintenance. In these youth-obsessed days, maintaining a radiant status quo has become a full-time job. But for those of us who already have full-time jobs, the fact that so many stylists and beauty technicians keep banker's hours has made finding time to squeeze in appointments a cause of not a few wrinkles. Most spas take Sundays as a day of rest; salons, like theaters, are traditionally dark on Mondays; and late nights and early mornings are usually out of the question. But there are a few spas and salons working overtime so that a busy schedule doesn't have to lead to a bad hair day or cramped neck muscles. Indeed, the next time you're about to head for an after-dinner nightcap, you might opt for a late massage instead; you'll sleep better.

Pierre Michel
131 East 57th Street (212-755-9500). Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday till 7 p.m., Saturday till 5 p.m.

Early birds with frequent breakfast meetings, take note. The secret here is that they will take appointments as early as 7 a.m. if you ask. So by 9 a.m. you can be cut, tinted, waxed, and plucked. The salon has the most thorough and lasting manicures ($22) and pedicures ($45) in town.

Moty Moty
40 East 63rd Street (212-750-4900). Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday till 7 p.m.

A Sunday-night date? Moty Moty at Equinox custom-blends hair-conditioning treatments and follows them with a blowout. Prices start at an extremely reasonable $50.

AKS
694 Madison Avenue, near 62nd Street (212-888-0707). Monday through Wednesday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday till 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday till 6 p.m.

Mondays are a well-kept secret at AKS. You can get in and out of the usually hectic Madison Avenue salon in half the time and avoid having to wave at acquaintances from beneath the unflattering halo of a hair dryer (cut and blow-dry starts at $90).

Simon
22 East 66th Street (212-517-4566). Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Don't be intimidated by the socialites' limos lining the block in front of Simon salon. Everyone gets personal attention, without pretense. There's a garden here, too, and even the frizziest of heads becomes shiny and sleek in under twenty minutes (cut and blow-dry starts at $85).

Salon Ishi
70 East 55th Street (212-888-4744). Monday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday till 8 p.m., Saturday till 5 p.m.

Their rapturous scalp massages and shiatsu pedicures ($63) are unavailable on Mondays, but you can get a basic color ($92), cut (cost varies), and blowout ($74) to get you through the week and return on Saturday for more leisurely indulgences.

Sacha and Olivier
6 West 18th Street (212-255-1100). Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It's all about hair -- no nails or other beauty treatments -- at the very French but très casual Sacha and Olivier salon. Cuts are done dry because they believe it gives better texture and control (cut and blow-dry starts at $85). Color, glossing, conditioning treatments, and stylish do's for Monday-evening soirées are available, too.

Splash Salon
45 Rockefeller Plaza (212-218-8600). Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The new Sports Club L.A.'s Splash Salon at Rockefeller Center is even more medically geared, with endermologie treatments and dermatologist Steven Victor on board. So if your facial doesn't help as much as you'd hoped it would, you can always resort to a shot of botox.

Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa
160 Columbus Avenue, at 67th Street (212-595-0099). Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In a city where gyms stay open all night, the salons and spas attached to fitness centers can often be relied upon for long hours. Paul Labrecque at Reebok Sports Club on the Upper West Side has just gotten hold of the electronic lifting machine used at Yasmine Djerradine and Biologique Recherche. Spa director Regina Viotto is as proficient at these toning facials as she is at her cleansing and oxygen treatments. Massages ($60 for 30 minutes, $90 for 60 minutes) are geared toward athletic types with sore muscles.

Frank Paul Salon
2151 Broadway, near 75th Street (212-595-4800). Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It can be a challenge to find the Frank Paul Salon, which is located, rather regrettably, at the back of a Cosmetics Plus store. Though closed on Mondays, it's a fine place for Upper West Siders to run to for a blowout, waxing, or nail care on a Sunday (full-leg wax $40 and manicure $12).

Lia Schorr Skin Care
686 Lexington Avenue, near 56th Street (212-486-9670). Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday till 5 p.m.

To make better use of your time, Lia Schorr has added combination facials to the menu, so not only do three people go at you at once -- face, fingers, and toes -- but the facial can be multi-tasked a step further: For the extra bang, get your eyelashes dyed while the mask is on (facials $65; manicures $15).

Antonio Prieto
25 West 19th Street (212-255-3741). Monday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Summer is an ideal time to try Antonio Prieto, where you can sit in the garden and sip lemonade while your feet are rubbed with sage oil (one-hour pedicure, $40). To accommodate busy workers, the salon incorporated the "out-to-lunch" manicure ($15), which will have you back at your cubicle after 25 minutes.

Healing Hands
(888-heal-999) 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

What could be more relaxing than going to a spa? Having one come to you. Healing Hands will send well-trained therapists and estheticians to your home to dispense massages, reflexology treatments, and facials ($130 for one hour).

Oasis Day Spa
108 East 16th Street (212-254-7722). Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Shed your weathered skin over the weekend, not when you have to return to the office with bits of oil-soaked salt around your neck and in your shoes. Oasis Day Spa, a friendly, low-key enclave in the Union Square area, offers wonderful salt scrubs ($50 for 30 minutes) as well as waxing and facials.

Millefleurs Day Spa
130 Franklin Street (212-966-3656). Daily 9 a.m. to midnight.

Set up as an ancient Egyptian temple, Millefleurs offers tarot-card readings ($100 for one hour) as well as belly-dancing lessons ($20 for one hour). The spa, which also provides more traditional treatments like waxing ($20 for bikini) or aromatherapy facials ($85), stays open an extremely considerate seven days a week till midnight.

Carapan Urban Spa & Store
5 West 16th Street (212-633-6220). Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.

Santa Fe spirituality comes to the big city at Carapan, where, as soon as you enter, street fumes are replaced by incense, and Pueblo Indian instrumentals block out car horns and fire trucks. They offer ten different massage modalities ($95 for one hour), including a serious Swedish-Shiatsu combination, medical massage, and deep tissue. Avoid the painfully New Age "aromatherapy rituals," in which the oil selected is matched to the moon's phases.

Physical Advantage
139 East 57th Street (212-460-1879). Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

If faulty office ergonomics have you self-adjusting several times a day, a weekend stop at Physical Advantage might set you straight. Trigger-point therapy and deep connective work, which focus on releasing muscle tension and spasms, are not for the faint of heart, but they get results ($75 for a one-hour session).

Dr. Margolin's Wellness Spa
166 Fifth Avenue, near 22nd Street (212-675-9355). Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday till 6 p.m.

If steaming in a lavender salt bath after a thorough massage while someone feeds you organic oranges and places cool packs on your forehead sounds too soporific for a Sunday afternoon, you can try it as a way to unwind before bedtime, because Dr. Margolin's Wellness Spa is open until 11 p.m. weeknights. Being barely conscious enough to get home afterward will be your only complaint (aromatherapy salt scrub is $90, and a private steam shower is $20).

Osaka Traditional Therapy Spa
50 West 56th Street (212-956-3422). Daily 10 a.m. to midnight.

Sick of the same old dinner and a movie? Try Osaka. This Eastern-themed spa has gained a loyal following of couples who prefer a side-by-side late-night rubdown to a packed dance floor. All inhibitions are shattered when you and your lover's limbs are lathered in oil and loosened up. Don't feel shy if you're single, though: Plenty of men and women bring a friend or just show up stag ($100 per person for two hours).


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