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I’m sitting in a chair in an airy, bright salon, with a cup of tea in my just massaged hand. Things are calm. But that’s all about to change when a flurry of energy by the name of Hasblady enters. The salon is Bokaos Aveda in Old Town Pasadena and that flurry of energy is the salon owner, Hasblady Guzman (Has to her friends). And she’s about to give me the best highlights I’ve ever received…
Hasblady has been a celebrity stylist and beauty expert for over two decades, with an approach described as “gentle, yet confident.” It’s a spot on description. From the moment I met her I felt like I was in skilled hands. These hands were also very busy. She seemed to have at least three activities happening at all times, but somehow managed to juggle very well. (Hence, the flurry of energy.) We had a brief talk about what I was hoping for, which she instantly understood. And with that, the appointment was on its way.
Just what was I hoping for? Blonde hair with a bit more life. Over the past couple of years my hair seemed to be getting lighter with each coloring. It looked washed out and was doing no favors for my skin tone. But I have an extreme fear of drab color and didn’t want to go too much darker. I just wanted dimension. And wow, was I was going to get it.
First, my existing hair color is matched to swatches. “How can we know where you’re going if we don’t know where you’ve been?” asks Hasblady. Well, apparently my hair has gotten around! Three shades are found in my hair. Hasblady’s task for the day is to take the orange out of my base shade, add highlights, a toner, then lowlights. It’s no small feat.
Throughout the daylong process I am offered snacks, plenty of that fabulous Aveda tea, and the stylists even offer to pick up lunch for me (Sushi Roku is steps away.) I decline lunch, but happily accept a hefty pile of British magazines to occupy my time. I also eavesdrop on stylists and learn that the proper terms are fringe and regrowth, not bangs and roots. So much classier, right?
Speaking of classy, what a gorgeous salon. Designed by a German architect, the space is a mixture of juxtaposing styles. Romantic chandeliers hang from the modern high ceilings, with numerous windows capturing glimpses of traditional Old Town Pasadena buildings in a way that looks like large-scale paintings.
But the real beauty came in the outcome of my hair. Hasblady artfully painted highlights and lowlights so finely that every bad memory I had of chunky, skunk stripe highlights was erased. My hair was transformed with subtle depth and was neither too dark nor too light. She said it best “It looks like real hair again.”
Looking to transform your over-dyed locks into real hair again? Or perhaps a facial, massage or an amazing haircut? Check out their promotions page where you can get 20% off your first visit. You’ll be in good hands.
photos: we heart this
Stef is many things. Amongst them: co-editor of we heart this, photographer, condiment connoisseur, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie.
skin tone: NC 25/30
skin type: oily with a fear of rosacea
favorite beauty product: high end skincare and lip products