Thank you, Aveda
I remember very well when I started using Aveda products: I was living in Austin, TX and wearing my hair very, very long then. Someone suggested using Aveda’s shampoo, saying that the natural, plant-based product would be easier on my hair than the harsh chemicals of other products — it would keep my very long (and very fine) hair healthy while minimizing any split ends and breakage. That was more than fifteen years ago, and Aveda’s Camomile Shampoo is still my fave. I’ve chopped my hair off more than once since the Austin days, and now I’m back to wearing it longer again, which is always when I seem to make the greatest efforts to be kind to my hair. In addition to shampoos and conditioners, there’s also the issue of color. After visiting Aveda shops for years to purchase my Camomile, I finally came around to making an appointment for highlights. And, just like any other girl when it comes to hair, I had an immediate sense of loyalty to my hair stylist/colorist at the Aveda salon. This loyalty has transferred to Aveda salons in multiple cities, as I’ve moved around.
As many of you are aware, I’m in Washington DC this summer for a legal internship, which means I get to revisit my old Aveda salon in the Georgetown neighborhood. A throwback to the graduate-school days! After my appointment at the salon this past week, I was thinking how Aveda got me on the cruelty-free track long before it became a main focus for me. And for that I have to say thank you, Aveda: l love that you keep my hair luminous; I like it even more that here’s been no animal testing or animal products involved.
Over the years, I also have enjoyed my visits to Aveda as opportunities to browse around and try other products that all seem to have “pampering” as their middle name. An Aveda salon is bound to be a treasure-trove of hair products, skincare products, cosmetics, essential oils, candles, body mists, and more. They also carry travel sizes of many of their products — which is a fantastic way to sample new things without spending megabucks before getting out the door!
Last week, my little treat to myself was a travel-sized tube of the “Foot Relief” cream to revitalize overstressed feet (a bargain-splurge, at only $7.50). Although I’m an urban girl at heart, my feet are getting a bit of a wake-up call this month, with all the walking around they’ve been asked to do since I landed in DC. I always say that walking feet (or tapping feet) are happy feet. My feet, however, might not totally agree… they’re a little sore and tired. They deserve some TLC. Actually, I’d tried for a reflexology appointment at the salon along with my hair appointment, but the person who does the reflexology massages is on vacation until August. Bummer.
Speaking of reflexology, many Aveda salons offer spa. Reflexology, full body or hot stone massages, and a variety of facials. The Elemental Nature facials restore balance to your skin with a wonderful blend of facial techniques and essential oil aromas… all customized according to your skin’s “nature.” Isn’t it nice to think about having an all-natural, cruelty-free facial rather than having a heap of chemicals slapped on your face?
And if aromatherapy is your thing, Aveda has two types of products that I love. First, they have the Chakra body mists. Each mist is based on a chakra, an energy center of the body — you might have heard about chakras in a yoga class. (Trivia: I have the symbol for the heart chakra, associated with compassion, tattooed on the back of my left shoulder.) This last visit, I misted myself with the scent for the throat chakra, associated with self-expression. I also like Aveda’s selection of essential oils, a sure-fire way to bring some of that salon serenity home with me. If you’re not a fan of using essential oils, soy candles are another Aveda treat-yourself.
With all these wonderful products, I think it would be impossible to leave an Aveda salon without feeling like a million bucks. The experience, like the products themselves, has a gentleness about it, a nurturing feeling. A brief stop into the store reminds me of the softness of life, and it can be just the little lift I need on a day when life is playing hardball with me. Most of all, Aveda is gentle on the animals we love. Without testing on animals, without using animal products, they have created a product line and a salon space that both say: we can be kind to the animals and to the planet while we are kind to ourselves.
Check out the Aveda web site for products and to find your local salon.