Hair–down to there hair?

28 Sep

In her youth, the Thrifty Bon Vivant used to be a try-out hair model at a major Center City salon in Philadelphia. Yes, I was the one they’d try out a cut on for the big NY shows, since my hair grew quickly and I was averse to nothing–and was getting tip-top stylists’ work for free. Finer things, and lower prices–perhaps my mantra began there! But now the poor Bon Vivant is older and greyer–in fact, I’m not quite sure how grey/white I am, since I have no desire to find out (though I admit to some odd fantasies of stripping the color and adding strands of brown, or having a brown-dipped foot at the bottom).

Is this shoe polish in a deeper can?

Caring for your hair is not cheap–and I’m not even talking about shampoo, conditioner, or grooming products. I’m talking cuts, dyes, stylin’. While I used to have short, sharp cuts, I now look like the aging smoldering librarian, my waist-length tresses clipped in a feeble bun-like updo, when I really want to look like Joanie on Mad Men. When I’m in my home town, I go to my trusted hairdresser and get a dye job with or without highlights–that generally costs anywhere from $80-$145 with tip included. But my hair starts betraying a skunk stripe in about two weeks, I don’t go home often enough, and I couldn’t afford that if I could. Grow old gracefully and stop dyeing it, you say? What’s that? I’m afraid I put my fingers in my ears. I love sharp cuts, but mine would require trimming every few weeks, and the last time I got it really cut (about six years ago), it was $55.

So what’s the solution? For me it’s buying a root touch up dye for about $6.50, when I think of it, and using a hair crayon from a place like Sally’s Beauty Supplies when I forget. The latter is under $4, and can be applied to the roots quickly. When I first bought one, I thought it was a waste–it hardly showed up, and I felt like I was using a coloring book, pressing really hard. Somewhere in a conversation I found out what I was doing wrong–you wet the crayon before application. Easy as pie, and not too bad in a pinch.

But suppose you want to have a feel for luxury and get a cut or more? Still possible in the Cleveland area, though you might have to prepare to spend some time. My friend Miss J delighted in Brown Aveda Institute, 19336 Detroit Rd. in Rocky River (440.255.9494)–there’s another in Mentor, at 8816 Mentor Ave.  It’s a beauty school, and the supervised students work on women, men, and those between 6 and 18 with permission. The work-up may take a while, but hair services include a complimentary scalp treatment, mini-facial, hand & arm massage. A woman’s cut & style is $15, a shampoo and style is $13, and the full list of perm, relaxing, braiding, massage, color, waxing, etc. services can be viewed here.

Any thoughts on great places to purchase hair products? Cheaper products as good as any on the market? Please, let’s talk!

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