Leah and I have been bitchin' and moanin' about hair issues for quite some time. We want something sexy and exciting, but... let's face it, we're cheap! We want extravagance, but we are too damn cheap to pay for it.
Well... sometimes we are, anyway.
Such a quandary. What's a girl to do? A commercial on morning drive-time radio suggested just the answer: a cut and color at Aveda Institute Portland for only $40. Holy hijinks, they've got to be kidding. (And they sort of were; we'll get to that later.) A quick phone call and two Saturday morning spots were reserved for us. The receptionist confirmed our cost would be $40 each, and responded to my admission we'd never been there with a reassuring, "I've got you scheduled in with two seniors."
She wasn't talking about the geriatric type, but rather the student descriptor. Because, if you haven't guessed, Aveda Institute Portland is a training ground for future cosmetologists, esthiologists, nail techs, and instructors.
My emotions oscillated between, "What the f*ck are you doing, putting your locks in the scissors of a not-quite-yet professional!?" and "Wow, this will be a very cool thing to do: getting a great 'do, and helping someone learn while under the appropriate supervision. And all on the cheap."
There are other options in town, such as Paul Mitchel: the school. But Aveda products rock my animal loving world, thanks to their natural formulas based in all sorts of flowers and herbs which are tested on PEOPLE, not animals.
Bright and early Saturday morning we set off for The Big Weird City; Leah made it clear many, many times she would have preferred the afternoon slot, instead of the morning. Okay, okay, I'm sorry, my bad. After coffee, we arrived early (for the word is if you are so much as ONE MINUTE LATE they cancel the appointment) and set about our adventure.
My stylist was nice, skilled, and got the job done. No complaints there. She answered all the questions that tumble from me almost non-stop about her background, the program, the products, the methods. A perpetual 3 year old, I am, with an enduring curiosity and fascination with what makes just about everything work. She was methodical and steady, and when she picked up the scissors she did so with confidence, which chased away whatever worries remained.
A cut and a color was to be $40. I did ask for multidimensional highlights, but was nevertheless surprised when the total came up to $70. That was haircut ($16) plus deep conditioning ($10) plus color ($40) plus... something else that made the total $70. Cheaper than the regular price at an Aveda salon (which would have been about $135). But...
The "deep conditioning" amounted to a tiny ketchup-cap of conditioner that was slapped on and wrinsed off like any old normal conditioner (which would have been included in the shampoo anyway). The difference between an all over color and a two color hilight on the top only is NOT twice the price in either time OR labor. But, while we waited for the color to develop, a hand massage was offered, which was a nice touch.
The instructors were oddly inconsistent with the clients; they walked up to some clients and warmly introduced themselves and talked about the process, while totally ignoring others. The students, from what I saw, were all really pleasant and doing a good job: healthy, fabulous, beautiful hair left over and over again.
I'm happy with my results, although I did wimp out; I wanted something like a streaky blond paired with something punchy and purple-red over my natural brown. Somehow I got talked out of the blond and I'm not sure if she did it or I did it to myself. Regardless, my hair now appears to have chocolate covered cherries smeared through it, and that is indeed a desirable result. The cut is the same, only shorter, and with a great many more layers for bounce and movement.
Leah looked freakin' awesome. The cut was a perfect shape for her face, and her hair looked sleek, vibrant and luscious.
I'd do it again. And I'd recommend it. Afterward, a nice trendy slice of Portland lies at your feet for your exploration for great eats and a little shopping.