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Lake Co. woman spent so much time at spa that she decided to open one
By Kim Mikus | Daily Herald Columnist

Helen Kakos, owner of the new Spa Soma salon in Lake Zurich, offers an array of trendy services from Brazilian blowouts to Minx manicures.


Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Nail Technician Louise Knutter applies Minx Nails, high fashion nail art to a client, at Spa Soma salon in Lake Zurich.


Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Head stylist Amber Wishart works on a client at Spa Soma salon in Lake Zurich.


Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

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Published: 9/10/2010 12:00 AM

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Helen Kakos' passion for going to the spa and the need to find a hobby drove her to launching her own business.

The Hawthorn Woods woman recently opened Spa Soma at 303 N. Rand Road in Lake Zurich. The word Soma is a Greek word for body, Kakos said. "We treat the whole body, head to toe," she said.

The small spa with private suites and Wi-Fi access includes a hair department offering cuts, perms and color for men and women. The spa offers the popular Brazilian Blowout, a treatment that treats and straightens frizzy or damaged hair. "This is the latest thing," Kakos said.

Massage, starting at $65 an hour, facials and acne treatments as well as nail services are included at the spa, which opened about a month ago.

Another hot trend - Minx manicures - have been popular. For $60, the Minx manicure technician does not use regular nail polish, but extremely thin film-like stickers that make nails look like they were dipped in liquid metal. Lady Gaga, Madonna and other stars have been sparking interest in the special manicure. For $35, spa offers a Shellac no chip manicure that lasts two weeks.

Kakos, 43, offers spray tan services as well. She added that she donates $5 from each tan to the football program at Lake Zurich High School where her two sons go to school.

The spa employs eight people. The entrepreneur said she has hired high caliber stylists and nail technicians with the training that she used to travel many miles to patronize.

"I had a hard time finding the right person to do my hair," Kakos said.

Now that her children are in high school, Kakos explained that her husband wanted her to find a hobby.

"I told him, I'm opening up a spa. Since I go (to spas) quite often, it seemed like the right thing to do," she said. Kakos, who has been a stay-at-home mom for 18 years, said her husband, James, is a cosmetic surgeon dentist in Arlington Heights.

Kakos is in the process of preparing the spa for when country singer Leslie Harter visits in a few weeks to have her hair done before opening for an Allen Jackson concert in Rockford. The business owner said that Amber Wishart, a stylist at her new salon, has done Harter's hair in the past, including for her recent video and album covers. "Amber is our lead stylist," Kakos said.

For more information about the business, check out

• Kim Mikus covers retail and small business. She welcomes comments at