Originally uploaded by dutch_merlijn.
I was out getting coffee the other day and walked past a hairdressing salon not too far from my office. I'd been thinking about having my hair done for a couple of days, so the find seemed quite timely. The clincher though was the fact that the salon I found is an Aveda concept salon. I absolutely adore Aveda products so I was sold on it.
Heading over for my appointment last night, I was really looking forward to the glamorous, fragrant, relaxing Aveda-style pampering that I remember from my exposure to other salons in Chicago and Adelaide. I was introduced to my stylist, a Russian expat who exuded "fabulous" out of every pore. I was also introduced to a giant fellow who would be my pre-Russian pamperer.
Maybe it was my fear of giants and/or Russians bearing scissors, but I relented on my usual no-touch policy and I consented to an Aveda scalp massage before my haircut. Over comes Giant, cracking his knuckles and bearing a grin that I took to be raw sadism but was probably just concentration. He drizzled some fragrant oil onto the crown of my head and then got started on the most amazing cranial manipulation I have had in a looong time. Oh Aveda, how I have missed you.
Giant Man kneaded the nape of my neck, massaged my temples and worked his magic on my knotted shoulders. Every single follicle of hair was responding - I was feeling relaxed and energised at the same time, it was really weird.
Then Giant took me over to the sinks for the pre-cut hair wash. As the water ran over my head, my hair felt like it was fizzing. A really strange sensation. Shampoo. Rinse. Conditioner. Rinse - but with cold water. OMG it was like heaven. Happy Hair, Happy Gab.
Russian dude was classic - a man of few words but someone who certainly knows how to use a pair of scissors. He prides himself on being the best short-hair stylist in the salon. I think he might have conducted that poll himself, but who am I to doubt him?
As if my sensory Aveda appointment experience to this point wasn't memorable enough, Russian dude then turned his attention to cutting the back of my hair. As he cut and cut, he leaned forward and gently blew the hair strands off my neck.
Yes, friends. Rather than brushing the cut hairs away with his fingers (as he had done up until then), he again leaned forward and - ever so gently - blew the cut hairs off the back of my neck. I was sitting at the front of the salon - right by the register! People could see! This is not part of the usual Aveda treatment, and it was so amusing I didn't know what to say. So I just shut up and blushed furiously. Hopeless.
After my do was done (and I honestly feel he did a great job), Russian dude slipped me his business card and said he hoped to see me soon.
On the way out the door, I made a comment about the Aveda soy candles they were selling.
"Oh they're really good," says the Russian. "We keep ours in the toilet". Interesting sales pitch, man. So of course I bought one. And guess where I keep mine? Uh-huh, you guessed it.