Highlights at Aveda

I got my highlights done at the Aveda Institute in Atlanta in November 2012 and I decided to get my roots done and also to get full head highlights this time. I was super excited and walked into the salon with a kick-ass twist out that got everyone ooh-ing and aah-ing

I was told that in order to make the highlights look more natural, I would need to get microfoil highlights which was a bit more expensive than the normal full head highlights, but I went with it. I also got a treatment for my hair which was to help my retain shine and full-strength colour for longer. It was $15 on top of the microfoils so I went with it again ha!

There was a lot of chat about the colours they would use and how they would tone the colour afterwards. I kind of zoned out to be honest as I knew I was in good hands and just drank my sweet tea and let the stylist do her magic.

The stylist and her supervisor (it was the Aveda school so my stylist was, well still is a student) mentioned that my hair took the colour very quickly and therefore the foils had to be taken off probably about 15 – 20 minutes after being put on rather than hours later because of the speed at which my hair took the colour. Having said that, it took about 3 hours to put the colour in because apparently I have a lot of hair haha!

My Mom walked into the salon at one point to see how it was all going and had a bit of a panic attack when she saw my hair. I forgot to mention that because of my prior henna experiences (the regret never stops!) the stylist had to bleach my hair in order to penetrate the henna for the colour. What that translates to in terms of what my mom saw was that my hair was white with orange tips. That isn’t a typo. My hair was WHITE with ORANGE tips! To be fair to my mom, I freaked out the first time I got the highlights when that happened and I saw my reflection resembling Krusty the Clown from the Simpsons:

Think this guy but the majority of the hair was white and then just the tips were orange – that was me baby!
I tried to zoom in on the tips so you could see the orange though you can’t see the white roots.

I calmed myself down with the thought that if they weren’t able to successfully tone the colour, I could always just shave my head again. My Mom, who wasn’t with me in November when I got the highlights the first time, was understandably nervous about the outcome of my hair adventure. I assured her that Grace was in safe hands and asked her if she wanted some sweet tea to calm her nerves.

After the highlights were put in, I went for a wash, condition and a toning sess. This was the most important part of the experience in my opinion because this was where the colour was rescued. I had a treatment and head massage afterwards and then we journeyed back to the chair. 

With hindsight, this was the point where I should have just thanked my stylist, hugged her, paid and walked out and everyone would have been happy. But that’s not how the story ends.

At the beginning of this experience, I told you, I walked in with a kick-ass twist out. My stylist asked me what I wanted to do to my hair once the highlights were done. I asked what she could do but made it known I didn’t want to straighten my hair. She said she could do a twist out like the one I currently had and I won’t lie, I was a bit shocked but impressed she knew the terminology (particularly because she’s white, no offence but even some black stylists don’t know what a twist out is) and foolishly agreed to have that done.

Post-wash, she started twisting my hair. I started feeling nervous because her twisting technique left a lot to be desired. When she would twist, she would twist halfway down the length of my hair, then perform some maneouver which I can only imagine she saw in a youtube video which was to wind the rest of my hair round her finger and then let go. Which would have been fine if my hair then coiled and lay flat…which it did not. No, no, Grace huffed and puffed (literally!) and unravelled herself. The stylist was consciously or unconsciously ignorant of this fact as she proceeded to continue twisting employing that same technique. When it became clear having done at least a third of my head that she wasn’t planning on doing something else, I tried to helpfully suggest she use perm-rods to secure the ends of the twists. At this point, she re-twisted the other twists (thank God!) and put in the permrods at the end. She was also using a gel on my hair which I wasn’t too keen on but I was told it was a humectant and would be good for my hair. As you will know from my previous post, it just made Grace hard and crunchy and sad.

The icing on the cake was when the supervisor asked the stylist whether she would dry the twists or just unravel them when done. Her response – “Well we could dry them..or not. To be honest, I haven’t quite thought that far yet.” Dear God! I jumped in at that point and said “We’re drying the twists”.

Long story short, I sat under the dryer and fried poor Grace. Came out and when the stylist was unravelling the twists, Grace was…shock, gasp…crunchy! Grace puffed out once again and there was little to no definition in sight. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the stylist then picked up a comb and started to comb out what miniscule definition there was. At that point, I gasped, asked her to stop and requested some bobby pins. I refused to let her do anything else to my hair. I started pinning up my hair and another stylist came over and said that I should leave Grace unpinned because rocking undefined, unstyled hair was “the look”. I continued pinning and explained that there was no way on earth I was walking out of the salon without my hair pinned. When I finished, I shook the stylist’s hand and thanked her for my highlights. I paid and tipped her (after all, I do love the highlights, and I wasn’t charged for the shambolic styling) and she apologised profusely for the failed twistout.

I don’t have any pictures of the failed twistout because my pride would not allow me to display such hahaha! but I did go home and twist my hair as seen in this post.

The moral of this story is I love my highlights and I will be returning to Aveda to get them redone when the time is right; however, I will not allow them to style my hair afterwards. I will take a beanie with me and once the highlights are done, I will slap that bad boy on my head and walk out joyously. I refuse to let anyone use Grace as their toy for experiments, no sirree. Sounds harsh but I am sick and tired of stylists pretending to know how to style natural hair and then trying to pass off their shambolic efforts as “trendy” and “the look”.

Any thoughts? Feel free to drop a comment below! Laters!


  • less Krusty the Klown, more Sideshow Bob. hehe! I kid, I kid! tres cute! and the colour totally suits you!!

  • less Krusty the Klown, more Sideshow Bob. hehe! I kid, I kid! tres cute! and the colour totally suits you!!

  • Hahahahaha! Thanks love!

  • Hahahahaha! Thanks love!

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