Heaven is a Seat in Aveda

Posted October 20, 2009

Heaven is a Seat in Aveda

I lean backwards into the washbasin and the assistant begins to patiently unfurl strips of foil papers, trying not to snag my hair in the process. I am half way through my regular highlighting session in the Aveda salon at Covent Garden.

From my tilted position I can only see the bottom halves of the women sitting opposite me. My gaze drifts along the row of handbags perched beside their owners’ feet. Taking pride of place is a wonderful, large black tote. The leather, which is intricately woven, looks soft and supple and I’m guessing the brand is Bottega Veneta. It is chic, understated and of the highest quality. The legs that accompany this handsome handbag are dressed in black skinny jeans which are tucked into black leather biker boots. That’s an interesting mix, I think – discreet sophistication but with an edge. I wonder what type of woman could carry off this combination?

“Thenk yeww,” says the owner in her American drawl to the girl who has just shampooed her hair. My own hair is being patted dry with a towel and as I pull myself up into the recovery position, I see her face for the first time and the mystery is revealed. I realise I am looking at Belinda Carlisle and memories of 80s pop come flashing back. She may be a vision of refined elegance and glamour but there’s still an aura of rock chick about her. It’s the boots that give it away, you see.

We are both led into the salon and take our seats, ready to have our hair blown dry. I glance furtively at Belinda Carlisle and recall how much I envied her lifestyle during my college years in Ireland. I so wanted to live in California and front an all female new wave band, just like her. It sounded so cool! Sadly, I didn’t have the looks or the voice, or even the cash for the airfare, but I could still dream. Now, bizarrely, here I am sitting in the same hairdressing salon as my former icon. For one short spell our lives are intersecting.

Later I discover that Belinda Carlisle is taking on the role of Velma Von Tussle this month in the West End musical Hairspray. The reason I’ve run into her today is that the theatre is directly opposite the Aveda salon. Maybe she popped across the road between rehearsals for a bit of a pick me up. And that’s where Belinda and I do actually have something in common. We’ve both come in for a bit of pampering. We both leave the salon with a skip in our step feeling better, fresher, more glamorous versions of ourselves. Although I wonder if, like me, she’s going home to the ironing? I doubt it - she’s probably off to practice her Velma lines.

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