I am a former journalist and editor, currently writing fiction for adults and children. Visit my website at www.karengrikitis.wordpress.com.
Published May 26th 2015
Great hair cuts from professionally-supervised trainees
Where do you go if you need a hair trim and don't want to pay the earth at some fancy salon? The Aveda Institute Salon, of course! Drop into Calgary's internationally recognised hair school and you will have your hair cut, styled or coloured by a student under the watchful eye of a seasoned hairstyling educator at a fraction of the cost you'd pay in any other salon.
I didn't book in advance although judging by how busy the Salon was on a Monday afternoon, it might be advisable to do so. On arrival I was asked to sign a waiver, which included accepting that I might be in the chair for one hour or two as the students are training and take longer to do your hair than experienced hairdressers. After a five minute wait upstairs, where I was offered tea, coffee or water, I was assigned my student hairdresser.
She went through all the steps a fully qualified hairdresser would go through, asking me how much hair to cut off, if I wanted layers, and so on. I selected a massage oil for my scalp and she gently applied this using her finger tips, which I found very relaxing. Her supervisor then appeared and checked she had been through the preliminaries and that I was happy with the student's assessment of my needs.
Student hairdressers in action at the Aveda Institute & Academy Salon
The Aveda student hairdresser was very chatty as she washed my hair – I imagine they are taught how to small-talk customers too – but went very quiet when actually cutting my hair, probably because she was concentrating on the task in hand. She referred to her supervisor on several occasions, although she clearly knew what she was doing, and I was very pleased with the end result. The supervisor gave my hair a final check at the end and declared it 'a super cut'. The blow drying wasn't great, but then I never like the way professional hairdressers blow dry my hair either, and it was nothing a quick re-style at home couldn't fix.
I walked out a very happy customer, having received a discount on the CN$22 fee originally suggested, so that I paid only CN$8.
If you're not brave enough to allow a student to cut or colour your hair, you can ask for one of the experienced Aveda Institute hairdressers instead, which will cost a little more and will require advance booking.
The Aveda Institute has hairdressing schools in five major cities in Canada and trains hundreds of students a year. It claims to be the only major manufacturer of hair and skin care products that has dedicated programmes for all levels of salon skills development. The student who cut my hair said that she is part way through a one- year programme, which will be followed by a one-year apprenticeship before she becomes a fully qualified hairdresser.
The Aveda Institute & Academy Salon in Downtown Calgary is located on Stephen Avenue, the pedestrianised area along 8th Avenue and is easy to access by public transport.