19 Aug Salon by InStyle- Not Your Abuela’s Salon
Contributed by Elizabeth Lopetegui
When I received the email inviting me for a complimentary service at the Salon by InStyle inside JCPenney, I thought, “A mid-week trip to the salon? Sign me up!” I am always up for a visit to the salon – for anything, cut, blowout, I mean just wash my hair and I’m happy (don’t forget the scalp massage, though). Still, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, my experience with JCPenney salon, was limited to the times I went with my Abuela for her haircuts when I was a little girl. Not exactly confidence inspiring stuff. On the other hand, I must admit that my interest was piqued at the mention of InStyle.
Upon arrival, I was greeted and welcomed immediately by Dana who introduced me to my style consultant for the afternoon, Michelle. Maybe it was her amazingly wild curly hair, or her daring red lipstick (actually, it was probably her pleated leather skirt), but I could tell by her style, that she could help me with mine. We spent a few minutes discussing my hair. We talked about my hair-story (I think I just invented a word), my personal style, and what I wanted the end result to be. I’m sure she could sense my uncertainty. I think it went something like, “Yes, I want it cut. Cut all the dead ends. Not too much, but definitely cut enough. I mean, I want it to be different, but look pretty much the same.” So, she handed me the InStyle Fall/Winter TRENDBOOK to help me make a final decision. I found many modern looks to choose from, but ultimately, I decided on a long layered wavy style. We used the term “lived-in”, but in a good way, as in comfortable, not stiff or harsh at all – and off to wash we went.
After quite possibly the best scalp massage wash I have ever had, I was back in the chair and ready for my cut. While she snipped the dry, unattractive ends of my hair, we talked about everything from rebranding the Salon at JCPenney to blogging to the trials and tribulation, I mean joy, of raising our boys. I was very interested to learn about how the partnership with InStyle magazine had led to many important and positive changes in all of the JCPenney salons.
In addition to reminding me of the importance of proper usage of shampoo and conditioner (shampoo is for your scalp, conditioner is for your ends), as well as other helpful styling tools, Michelle went on to explain that her work as Artistic Regional Manager has allowed her to travel often to Dallas and other wonderful cities in the U.S. to collaborate with other artists as they come up with new ideas for salon décor, decide on the best ways to train stylists in the art of interviewing clients before beginning the cut, and other ways to rebrand and revamp what has traditionally been the Salon at JCP. Rebrand. Rebrand. Rebrand. Message received. I really got the sense that the intended outcome was a new, contemporary salon where clients would feel comfortable in the knowledge that they would leave looking better and more modern than when they arrived – not your Abuela’s salon. The changes were well underway in the nearly 850 salons nationwide and the updates were obvious.
Once she was done, my hair looked healthier and my style was definitely fresher with lots of movement and soft waves. The outcome was better than I’d hoped. I absolutely loved what she’d done. She reminded me that the style would set with time and look even more “lived-in” (I am really starting to enjoy that term).
So…I didn’t exactly venture into the currently “in” world of pastel colored hair, but my hair and I are now very happy together. It feels soft, looks lived-in comfortable and gorgeous. Now, I just need to buy a Beyonce fan to carry around with me so I can look amazingly wind-blown in all my photo ops; I’m sure my friends would love that!
Natalie also tried out a fresh look and here’s a peek at her final outcome.