With it being so expensive here in London, I wasn't sure what to do about getting my hair done across the pond. At a nice salon - the kind you aren't scared to walk into - we are looking at about 60 pounds for highlights, 40 for root color, and another 50 for a cut. So add it together and we have reached 150 U.K. pounds - do the conversion and you end up with 3 hours in a chair, lighter hair, 300 American dollars, and a partridge in a Pear tree....enter Groupon.
Until London, I never knew how this thing worked. I have had friends fall in the cyber line to get laser hair removal and the like, but I never thought about using this source for highlights! The first time I purchased said hair care package, I waited with bated breath to see if I would be the chosen one and receive the deal. I was in fact selected and did a victory dance until my husband informed me that I was not hand picked and this was not a lottery. Nonetheless, I went to the salon for an epic day of hair care treatment and left the Chelsea area trimmed, rootless, and smiling.
When it came to round two, I entered the event with much more confidence. This time I shopped around and waited as I saw deals hit for 59 pounds, 49 pounds, and finally, I snagged the one for 43. Victory was mine!!! I should have known this was too good to be true when I google-mapped the location the day of my appointment and found the salon to be an hour away. But, with my positive experience the last time, I viewed my excursion as an opportunity to read. In my mind, I pictured Groupon scouts traveling to all of these wondrous deal-bearing salons and getting their hair done to see if they were worthy of being on Groupon. This approach was seemingly a concoction of my mind.
As I exited the tube (yes, at least the tubes went out this far) I called the salon to get their location. Earlier, when I tried to find it, google-maps couldn't pull it up and the receptionist told me to call when I got in the neighborhood...clue #1 to turn and run in the other direction. The receptionist answered and I was greeted with a latino accent that just kept yelling into the phone:
Receptionist: "Where are you?"
Me: "Well, I am looking at..."
Receptionist: "OH - do you see bus number 43? Follow that bus!"
Me: "Wait what? A bus? I don't see a bus!"
Receptionist: "SHOOT - I don't know where you ARE! (Panic was starting to take her over the edge)"
Me: "Calm down, I am right in front of a ...."
Receptionist: "AN AMBULANCE! Do you hear that? Follow that ambulance!!!"
Me: "STOP GIVING ME MOVING LANDMARKS!"
Finally, I did locate the salon, was placed in a chair, and was greeted by a frenchman. He told me that my deal did not include highlights and I assured him that it did. I pulled out the voucher and pointed to the package. He needed to ask someone else to read the details of the deal....clue #2. As I was describing to him what I wanted done to my hair he kept saying, "Yes, yes," before I was done and I didn't know if he understood. When he said, "Blonde," I knew I would be ok.
I did, however, become concerned when he whipped out the lavender color dye that I associate with salons in the mid-90's. You know the one. Thick, purple, and probably used by Madonna in this photo:
But, in an effort to be rootless, I proceeded. Halfway through the color processing, I noticed the hair on the top of my head turning kind of a whitish-pink color and asked about it. The frenchman said, "Blonde!" When he washed out the dye, he was right. The entire top half of my hair was WHITE and the bottom was still my normal brownish color. I looked like a skunk...with really long hair.
I told myself not to freak out and called the manager over. I explained the problem and she said, "You didn't ask for the top of your hair to bleached?"
The solution was to weave some low-lights into the top to tone it down. I left feeling a bit better and my amazing husband comforted me in my time of need.
"Just wear your hair down," he said, "That way you can't see the splotchy blocks of whiteness."
I got through our anniversary weekend with white polka-dots and immediately purchased another Groupon. When I got to the next salon (in a much nicer part of town), the colorist said she had never seen anything like it. "Green," she said, "I see green in your hair!"
All I could say was, "Please, please fix it!"
I know she did what she could and tried to clean-up the mess created by someone else. However, when the toner was washed out I could plainly see that my hair was eggplant purple and cut to my chin. That night, Jake and I had a memorial service for my hair. There were tears, anger, and bit of regret as we grieved the loss of my dirty blonde locks. All I could think was that the Braunds were arriving the next day and I was going to look like Jem the Rocker in all of the photos.
My solution was round 3. I arrived back at the same salon at 9:30AM when the doors opened. My colorist took one look at my hair and knew something needed to be done. She explained that, with bleached hair, it sometimes takes a few times for the new color to lock in. I asked if my hair was going to fall out and she said that it shouldn't...comforting.
So, back to the sink I went! I left the salon with wet hair so that I could fly to the airport to meet our visitors at the gate. When I embraced Kristyn in a huge hug and she didn't laugh and point at a purple head of hair, I knew that the third time was the charm.
Curious about my new dew? Check out our photos of Scotland in the next blog or two.
Lessons Learned: Read above.