Happiness is the best beauty formula

Melissa Breault and her daughter, Shayla, enjoy lunch in their Stonington home.

Melissa Breault has some unusual "beauty advice" for her younger clients:

"Become who you are supposed to become before you bring other people into your life or start a family. You'll be more equipped if you establish your independence first."

But she says it's advice that people hoping to dispel their insecurities through marriage or parenthood, really need to hear. And she's well-posed to give it. As the owner and operator of Stonington Hair & Skin Solutions, Breault sees her clients in a vulnerable moment. They come to her unhappy or ashamed of certain physical attributes, and sometimes hurting. Society can be notably uncivil to women with facial hair or men with excess hair on their ears or back.

Hair loss for women in particular, she says, "is devastating."

Breault maintains a home office because she says it offers privacy for her customers. Visitors park in the rear of the house, where they are greeted with a working fountain in season and classical music in the treatment rooms.

Her practice offers electrolysis hair removal, microdermabrasian facial rejuvenation and reflexology. She is studying reiki, and recently introduced cold laser therapy for hair restoration. The FDA-approved treatment uses low-level lasers to remove waxy buildup in hair follices and stimulate circulation. Breault says hair loss is slowed within six to eight weeks, and growth is seen within six months. Her clients are encouraged to use silicone-free and sodium laurel sulfate-free hair products during the process, as those ingredients can clog follicles and prevent the hair bulb from receiving nutrients. The laser device looks similar to the overhead hair dryers found in salons; the procedures are painless, and the initial consultation is free.

Microdermabrasian customers are also treated to a sample reflexology treatment, as part of Breault's mission to promote a broad vision of health and happiness. "Medical beauty," as she describes her work, is about looking your individual, genuine best.

Breault's own foundation is built on a lifelong gift for intuition and the belief that "whatever you give out in the world is what you get back. So it's important to throw out positive energy."

"I'm really into healing," she says. "I'm hunched over my clients all day and I can tell" when someone is troubled. To keep her own energy in balance, she practices yoga and works out in the morning, before her daughter, Shayla, 6, wakes up. "When I'm not working, she's my focus," Breault says. "She's my number one accomplishment."

Breault sees clients on nights and weekends. "I have people coming up from Block Island, Fisher's Island, clients from New York who travel for their sessions." As a result, Sundays are sometimes long work days for her.

She also handles the administrative aspects of her business, maintains her home, and cooks organic meals for her family.

It's a lot to juggle, but she wouldn't change a thing. She says, "I'm grateful, but I'm not lucky. I've worked for everything I have."

Melissa Breault, left, reads
Melissa Breault, left, reads "Froggy Goes to the Doctor" with her daughter, Shayla, 6, and their dog, Abby, in their Stonington home. Melissa and Shayla read a book together most days.

For more information:

Melissa Breault, Stonington Hair & Skin Solutions, 731 New London Turnpike, Stonington, Conn., 06378; 860-535-0125.


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