I posted a few days ago about my impending salon appointment at Madora Madison Avenue
and wanted to update, now that I've had a chance to assess everything.
I thought that the experience, overall, was a fantastic one-time thing that everyone should try. "One-time" because it is really
expensive, and I've concluded that I could probably get the benefits of a similar treatment at home since I've got all the supplies. BUT, as we all know, it is lovely to be pampered every so often!! Rundown of the visit
I can't say enough about how relaxing the salon was and attentive the staff were. I went in the morning, and for awhile I was the only one there except for a really cute little girl getting her hair set for a wedding.
First, the shampooer/duster (as in, "hair dusting") lady (what to call her?), "Carla," smoothed and detangled my hair using a wide toothed comb, then twisted the strands and snipped split ends all over my head. She was really complimentary about my hair, as was my main stylist, "Valerie," who came over to introduce herself while the first stylist was working. They really appreciate long hair that's all one length.
Valerie had me stand up and did a dry trim of around one inch-- she promised not to cut more than this but it looks a bit shorter than that to me. Then I had a (very rough-- see "negatives" below) triple clarifying shampoo, after which Carla packed on the treatment masque very thick and wrapped my head in paper. After that I was put under a heat cap for an hour, then rinsed (she used a creme rinse as well) and combed out. My hair felt very soft and happy.
After this, Valerie rolled my hair in large rollers-- she was VERY good at this. I couldn't believe how far she could reach to get my three feet of hair in a roller-- she pulled the top parts straight over my head! I sat with the rollers in a dryer for over an hour, then she removed them and combed through my hair. I must say, my hair looked amazing after being set. Lots of volume at the crown, which is something I miss having all-one-length hair.
I remarked how wonderful my hair looked, and how happy I was because my boyfriend and I were having a fancy night out for our one year anniversary that evening. She decided, because I told her this, to go the extra mile and put my hair in a pretty half-up style, kind of retro-60's. I got compliments on it all day and will try to post a pic.
I also met Maria Matarazzo, the grand dame of the salon herself, after I'd been showing Valerie my Ficcare Maximas clip. She borrowed it to show Maria. (I was surprised they hadn't even seen one of these before!) I shilled for Ficcare, as usual, and promised to e-mail them the catalogue website and phone number in case they wanted to sell them at the salon. Then Maria gave me a white "Madora" detangler comb, compliments of the salon!! She was so lovely.
One of the best things about the four hours I spent there was all the compliments. I received praise on the color, strength and thickness of my hair. Both Valerie and Carla remarked on how much hair I had, which surprised me because a ton of it fell out last year. Valerie explained that at age 26 most people have one of their major sheds, which was a great relief to me.
Anyway, after the triple shampoo and no-cone treatment, my hair is looking ten times thicker than it does normally (I'm a conehead). It's quite fluffy and stands out a couple of inches from my back. Positives
Truly a relaxing and positive experience, for the most part. I feel great about having plain, long, all-one-length hair now-- they really make you feel beautiful. I came away with freebies: a Madora detangler comb and a sample of creme rinse. My hair looked amazing for my special night out, and the trim was a good one. I will probably shell out for trims every six months (not TWO months as they suggest... that's too often and we al know it!) simply because they are so careful with the scissors. In short, if I have to go to a salon, I will go to this one. Negatives
It was really
expensive: $240 plus 20% tips!!!
I had calculated it to be about $170 before I went in ($110 treatment, $60 trim) so I had some sticker shock. I didn't say anything at the time-- just paid it-- but I didn't realize that they tack on an initial "consultation" fee ($40?) along with everything else. I suppose the consultation was my main stylist talking to me about the products and how to brush my hair, which I already knew. I did buy a $15 creme shampoo, but I'm not sure what the other fees were. In any case, I didn't complain about anything. I am very chicken at hair salons.
They really push the products there, and have the nerve to tell you to throw out all your current products and buy the whole line of theirs. Also, I felt like I knew more about long hair care just by virtue of being on LHC for a year. There is a lot of dubious science in the George Michael brochure, not the least of which is the "hundred-strokes-a-day" thing. Yeah right, like I'm going to brush my hair that much!!
The shampooer was extremely
rough with my hair, and I was shocked by this. All the Madora brochures (which my boyfriend remarked looked pretty crappy for the amount of money they have you spend!) emphasize gentle shampooing. Well, I have never had such a rough shampooer. I bore it until it started really hurting, then I asked if she could be more gentle. She refused (!), saying she had to scrub this hard to keep my hair clean for the next three days. As we all know, this isn't true. I'm sure she ripped some of my hair out. I still didn't say anything, and tipped her well, but I'm thinking about e-mailing the salon. Conclusions
For a salon experience, it was one of the better times I've had, but in the future I'll be going back for trims only and maybe not getting shampooed-- it wasn't very pleasurable. I loved having my hair set on big rollers, but I still feel like the hood dryers were damaging, so I probably wouldn't do it again. I will definitely keep the salon in mind for fancy updos, though, since it's hard to find someone that can deal with long hair updos at other salons.
Overall, just like any salon experience, there were positives and negatives, but I feel like choosing to have the type of hair I do limits my salon choices-- so this is it. They do care about long hair there, and they are very complimentary ladies who work to have a relaxing environment in their salon, which I appreciate. And a note on the Creme Shampoo
: I like it! It seems gentle and feels very thick in my hands, but lathers really well. My hair isn't as flyaway as when using other shampoos. Time will tell, but I'm happy to find a shampoo that seems to work after searching for a replacement for COing (which was leaving my hair limp).