I got to New York City yesterday afternoon and already got swept up into fashion week fabulousness! Last night’s first stop – a hair, makeup and pampering session at the Aveda Advanced Academy.
First – the BEFORE picture.
So many of my favorite beauty bloggers were in the house – it was like a fabulous class reunion! Kristin Booker and Reese of FashionStyleBeauty, Andrea Arterbery of The Glamazons (and Glamour, heyyyyy!), Amber AKA Glambr, Krasey Beauty, Eileen of Miss Whoever You Are, Felicia Sullivan, Dina of Eye 4 Style and Felicia of This That Beauty were all getting their dose of pampering. Mojitos and rojitos (made with pureed strawberries and agave!) were flowing freely, and organic hors d’oeuvres were there for the taking.
After a few moments of mingling, we were ushered over to the stylists where – we were informed – they’d be doing our hair. I felt a twinge of panic. My past Aveda experiences (which were before I even started blogging!) were not the best. But the Aveda stylists all smiled welcomingly and many of them complimented my hair. None of that feeling of oh-no-what-will-we-do-with-THIS. Everyone was down with the kinky coily naturalness of me. I had no idea that TWO award winning stylists were about to work their magic on me!
Aveda lead stylist – the award winning Allen Ruiz – sat me down in his chair and ran his fingers through my hair. “Well we can do a blow out, some smoothing…” he started out saying.
“Well, my blog is called Afrobella. So I don’t…”
“Gotcha! We’ll give you a scalp massage, shampoo, twist, and fluff it out.”
Allan got me right away!
A lovely gentleman at Aveda (whose name I unfortunately do not have, but we had a great conversation!) let me choose my favorite scented oil – that’d be the peppermint and camomile blue oil. Then he gave me a scalp, neck and shoulder massage to DIE for, before leading me to the shampoo sink.
Please note – before this all I’d tried was Aveda Rosemary Mint shampoo. I learned that is WAY too drying of a formulation for my hair type. Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo and Damage Remedy Restructuring Conditioner are the way to go for naturalistas wanting moist, lush coils.
After that I was led back to Allan, and BOTH guys got to work on me. As it should be! Hayyyyyy **snaps in a z**
Allan’s technique can only be described as deft. He twisted my hair neatly and perfectly. At first I was like – I could do this at home! Then I noticed the precision and neatness of his technique and was like….some things are better left to the professionals!
Completed twists! And a concerned expression.
After my hair was twisted, they put me to dry under the craziest hair dryer I’d ever seen. It orbited around my head like the rings around a planet, emitting heat and drying my coils without overwhelming them with blasts of air. After my hair was completely dry… Aveda’s Creative Director, Antoinette Beenders, British Hairdresser of the Year 2004, styled my hair herself. YES.
The mastermind behind the hairstyles for shows such as Christian Siriano, who has worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen (and was wearing his signature skull scarf) – styled my hair and LOVED my hair. She made me feel like a princess, honestly.
Antoinette lovingly unfurled and unspiralled every twist, leaving me with a perfectly tousled head of ringlets.
From left to right – that’s Antoinette, me, the lovely man who gave me a massage to remember forever, and Allan. My new Aveda friends!
AND my AFTER pic!
(These pics were taken by so many different cameras! My camera, my phone, Felicia’s phone, Reese’s phone…thanks everyone!!)
I definitely let my new friends at Aveda know, I don’t think natural haired women of color realize that Aveda can work for US. And they wanted me to let my readers know it can! My Aveda experience last night was utterly amazing and changed my thoughts completely – they turned it OUT and I’m gonna do my best to keep this style flawless for the rest of New York Fashion Week! Thanks to Antoinette, Allan and the whole team for being so wonderful!