Spring ‘Do

For more than a year, I’ve been getting my hair snipped at a nearby salon but have felt increasingly displeased with my last few cuts. A friend told me about the Aveda Institute in Castleton Square Mall where you can get hair cuts on-the-cheap from stylists-in-training. B swears by Aveda, so I’d popped in the store once or twice. I had no idea about the school though – all the hustle and bustle surprised me when I arrived Saturday for my hair cut. I had to wait a few weeks for a weekend appointment but it was well worth it. I am officially in love with all-things-Aveda…and avocado for that matter, simply because it starts with “av” too!

I waited a few minutes and finally a lovely girl named Kasey took me back to her station. The floor was packed with students busily shearing, highlighting, teasing, and curling eager customers’ hair. I slunk into the chair in front of Kasey’s tell-all mirror, where she immediately started fussing with my locks. I told her I wanted quite a bit cut off but nothing too short. We decided on 4″, which Kasey said is 2″ short of the length required for a donation to Locks of Love. I briefly considered having the extra inches chopped off but just couldn’t do it. (I did offer to donate several pelts of back hair instead.)

Before we got started, Kasey searched for her instructor, who confirmed our plans and gave us the green light. And so began my “Aveda experience.” Kasey led me down a hall into a quiet, dark room. Peaceful music spilled from speakers hung on the wall and candles flickered lazily in every corner of the room. One other patron sat draped over a chair while a stylist carefully kneaded her back. Kasey spritzed a towel with some sort of aromatherapy and spread it on the head rest of a free massage chair. Next she asked me to straddle the chair and drop my face into the opening in the head rest. A lovely smell wafted pleasantly as Kasey got started on my mini-massage. The best part: the massage is complimentary with every hair cut! I’ve only had a professional massage once and that was while interviewing a masseuse for a story I was writing about the French Lick Springs Spa. Simply because I was unaccustomed to the Aveda surroundings and found myself assuming a decidedly unladylike position, I felt a bit uneasy and wasn’t fully able to enjoy the experience. By the time I’d relaxed a bit, it was time to move on, but I think it’s extremely rad they offer that service for free.

Next Kasey lead me into an adjacent room that looked like a cross between the inside of a space ship and a planetarium. Little stations, each boasting a stool, a padded table, and a sink surrounded a big hub in the center of the room. I climbed onto a free table and settled down. Kasey helped me comfortably position my noggin and then wet and shampooed my ‘fro. About this time I noticed the ceiling, which twinkled brightly with happy stars. Very cool!

Next came another free-with-every-hair-cut service: a mini-facial! I’m not sure what products they use but it involved a soothing facial massage, two creams that felt very nourishing, and finally a hot, steamy towel on my face while conditioner penetrated my parched strands. The hot towel was my favorite part of the whole show – it felt so lovely and comforting. I was sad to hear Kasey ask me to rise up à la Lazurus and head back to her chair for prompt snipping.  

Next Kasey cut my hair in a flurry of scissors and precise hands movements. Since my hair is naturally curly and I usually wear it as such, she offered to straighten my ‘do after the cut. She used several mysterious products but the results were fantastic – my hair has NEVER been so smooth and straight. I asked her about a good, reliable straightener and she said the best on the market is the Chi, which runs about $100. She also said I could get a generic Chi (what she used on my hair) at Sally’s for less. I plan to purchase one soon.

Once Kasey finished straightening and styling my hair, she looked for her instructor. There was a bit of a hullabaloo and her instructor wasn’t able to make a cameo so I told her I loved my cut and was ready to roll. The best part of the whole affair? My hair cut cost $17 and they don’t accept tips. SEVENTEEN DOLLARS AND NO TIPS!! I had plenty of dough left to try some new products (Be Curly Curl Enhancer and Hand Relief) and still only spent half of what I normally do for a hair cut. What a deal! And the results?

Hair Cut
Note: The ‘senior picture 1994’ quality of this picture has not escaped me, but I thought you’d want to see my new ‘do from the back. Basically I subjected myself to Glamour Shots-style humiliation so you could admire my straighty coiffure. I hope you’re happy!

Not bad, right? (More views here and here.) My hair now feels so healthy and happy to be rid of evil dry ends. It’s so much curlier at this length too, which is fun (until humidity strikes.) I’ll definitely be going back for future hair cuts. If you live near an Aveda Institute and are in the market for a new stylist, give ’em a try and tell them Mymsie sent you.

P.S. I’ll stop gushing after I note that I found out manicures only cost $15! I think you know where I’ll be spending my free time from now on.


One Response to “Spring ‘Do”

  1. PastaQueen Says:

    I have been looking for a new hair stylist since mine – *gasp* – retired! It’s been simply horrible, especially since I need to have an author photo taken sometime in the next couple months. I have this fear of looking like I have a Flowbee haircut for as long as my book is in print. I will try this Aveda Institute of which you speak and if they turn my hair pink I will blame you 🙂

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