I have this thing about hairdressers. About finding one that can see the invisible picture I have in my head and taking my faltering words and flapping gestures and transforming them into something I can smile at.
There is such a girl, Auckland-based. I cannot speak for anyone else in the salon and she did not do my cut, but for months, she has successfully transformed my mousy head into comfortably casual tresses, using creamy blonde highights.
What is most remarkable about this young woman is her professionalism and the absolute commitment she has to making you completely happy. She will not let you walk out the door until you are genuinely satisfied. The lengths she went to correct my botched colour job (done by someone else) was incredible. I spent painstaking hours with her, late into the night - while she tweaked and fixed and thoughtfully processed my hair to a point we knew she had at last corrected the greeny mass of stripes.
I had never experienced this before, this tenacious pursuit of making sure the customer gets what they came in for. In a gentle and soft manner that belies her age.
The salon is not the cheapest but I am not listing them here for their prices - every few months or so I get a half head of highlights done (works out at roughly 100) and then get budget-friendly cuts elsewhere when I can. Not having short hair means I can get away with this, and is the reason I grew it out a little. You can also make appointments online, which appeals greatly to a mother at home with Sponge Bob squealing in the background and the inevitable way my children ask for treats as soon as I pick up the phone.
You can imagine my reaction when I found out we were moving to Singapore... the land of the non-blonde, just when I had found this treasure of a colourist in Auckland.
I won't mention how bad my hair looks now... or how ardous my hunt is for a talented colourist that won't send me out with a green or orange mane.... or how $100 now sounds so ridiculously CHEAP in light of the insanely exorbitant prices for expats in Asia, but if you are in Auckland and looking for someone to do your hair - go. Treat yourself and say hello from me (no incentives will ensue I promise, I am geographically beyond the reach of her deft fingers now...)
All images from their website.