Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pardon me whilst I gush...

I went to a salon in Lenoir City this morning to get a haircut. I ended up getting my hair colored, cut, and styled, and my eyebrows colored and groomed. It was *heavenly*. I wrote out the whole experience for a business-review website, but I ended up not posting it because it was so long that I was afraid it would irritate people. Some folks just aren't ready for the full-on patented Bay love-bomb.

Here's the website with the reviews that already exist:

I went to bed early and got up insanely early for this appointment, and I was really just about ready to chop off all my hair. (When is the last time I had really short hair?)

Here's my insanely long review that I didn't post:
Listen, I'll be honest. I was leery of going to a place I'd never been before. And I was due a major change in hair, both cut and color, which can be emotionally trying. *And*, to make matters worse, I'm a reality-TV junkie. Have you ever seen "Split Ends" or "Shear Genius"? I'm tellin' you, going to get your hair done can be scary.

And none of that even addresses my severe eyebrow trauma. Long story. Can't tell it without crying. And that was *years* ago.

Thank heaven I called Beyond Bella and told them how emotionally needy and tress-challenged I am. They gave me an appointment with Karen, and I counted down the minutes 'til it was time for my image consultation.

Beyond Bella is in a new location (near Home Depot) which I found easily, and honestly -- just walking into the place is a breath of fresh air. Sure, I've had my hair done in trailers, strip malls, malls, and even nice salons in some cities -- but I honestly think this is the nicest salon I've ever seen in East Tennessee. It's beautifully decorated and spacious, and the products for sale aren't just clumped up on a plastic-and-faux-chrome shelf unit. Someone really put some thought into comfort and beauty, which can be so soothing to someone who's worried about her hair.

I was offered coffee while I waited, and soon I met Karen, who was really nice and very calm. She took one look at me and seemed to know instinctively what color my hair *ought* to be. She asked -- rather hesitantly -- if I wanted to go blonde, and when I shouted, "NO!" she just immediately went to the right color, a warm chocolatey red-brown.

While she applied the color to my hair, we chatted a bit. Karen is warm and very nice, and again, very soothing and calm. It was just the balm I needed for my jangling nerves.

When it was time to let the color set, she guided me to a seating area -- and just as I was about to sit down, Karen looked at me really hard and said, "Your eyebrows are really pale. We need to color them."

OK, I kinda almost sorta had a heart attack. I'm very sensitive about my terrible eyebrows. I'm scared of letting anyone do ANYTHING to them because of that previously mentioned eyebrow waxing incident. But Karen assured me that I would be pleased, and she mixed up some medium brown dye and stood right there and painted my eyebrows.

Then she went back to her station, and that's when I was able to focus on the seating area, where an aromatic candle was burning, and yes, there was more coffee for the taking. The chairs were comfortable without being so fluffy as to induce sleep, and there were plenty of magazines to read. Every once in a while an assistant would come in and gather up one customer or another for a shampoo, and they were just as nice as the receptionists and the stylists. Everyone seemed really personable and concerned about the clients' level of comfort.

After a while, it was my turn. I am afraid I didn't catch the name of the woman who washed my hair, but man, she was soooo conscientious and careful! My hair grows really far down on the back of my neck and shampoo girls usually leave soap and conditioner and stuff back there. Not this gal! She very carefully checked, and honestly, she was so gentle with the entire shampoo and the water temp that it ended up feeling like a great scalp massage. Heaven! While she washed my hair, she also chatted about her grandchildren and kids, and Easter baskets and such. She was *so* nice, and she also comforted me about my eyebrow dye.

When it was time to cut my hair, Karen very wisely steered me away from the severely short cut to which I was leaning. She expertly cut my hair, and I am still amazed at how fresh and clean and *hip* it looks, without me lookin' like a middle-aged lady trying to reclaim her youth.

By this time, I had been staring at my furry, freshly-brown eyebrows long enough to know I needed someone to pay attention to them. Karen brought over Kim Burr, the aesthetician, who guided me to her little haven of happiness -- the room devoted to just facials. Now, seriously -- this was an experience all by itself. That table feels fabulous. You shouldn't be able to call it a table; the cushion top is so perfectly firm and soft at the same time. I would like to sleep on that "table," and I never once wanted to recline on my dining room table, y'know?

Kim totally understood my fear about eyebrow waxing, and she set me at ease. Then she started the waxing, and then she started plucking. Honestly, just when I was starting to panic ("She's gotta be over-plucking! There can't be anything left!"), she stopped and handed me a mirror so I could check one eyebrow before she moved on to the next. It was PERFECT!!!!! It was gorgeous!!!!! I looked like someone out of a magazine!!!! I swear, I want to take pictures of my eyebrows and put 'em in a scrapbook!

Kim also put some kind of ultra-soothing solution all around my eyes, and it felt so good that I literally exclaimed, "Oh, my gosh! That feels great!"

In the meantime, something in that room smelled yummy -- I don't know if it was another candle, because I had my eyes closed most of the time -- and calm, New-Age-ish music was playing with bird songs and nature sounds mixed in. It was all very relaxing, calming, soothing, and honestly, except for that brief moment when I worried, the whole thing was a magnificent experience.

And ... that was just an ordinary old *eyebrow wax*. Imagine what a full-bore facial must feel like!

Kim tells me she also does facials and massages, and I am definitely going to try one as soon as possible. The Bella Signature Facial sounds like a winner to me.

At the end of the whole fabulous experience, Kim took me out to the cashier and thanked me. She also gave me a brochure and some business cards. I'm keeping the brochure for future reference; I'm definitely passing out the cards to my friends!!!

The cashier then told me how much it cost, and I'm still absolutely in shock at how inexpensive the whole thing was. As I said, I've been to nice salons before. This was by far the best experience I've had, and it was by far the least expensive price.

I will be going back. Without hesitation, I recommend Beyond Bella highly. Everyone I met was professional, courteous, and kind. I know everyone has an off-day, and I'm sure that happens every now and then, but for the overall experience -- I just can't say enough good things about Beyond Bella.

Sorry this is so long -- but I honestly thought y'all should know what to expect!

I had a very good morning.


Now it's after midnight, and I'm packing to leave for Las Vegas. (EEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Las Vegas!!!!!) I'm still very happy with the color of my hair and the shape of my newly-brown eyebrows. I need to do some serious fluffing on my hair before I leave for LV, though -- it is really flat at the moment, and I can't wash it for a while yet. I do not want to risk fading this gorgeous color. Heck, I even stuck my head in a scanner so I could remember my hair color! That's how good it is!

Someday I should write a blog post about my poor eyebrows. We've been through so much together.


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