I felt the need for change, for giving myself a new look, and for paying homage to my inner Cleopatra.
Big Hair or Blonde Hair?
I wanted to be Sarah Jessica Parker pretty and hair had to be the answer.
There were two paths to prettiness in front of me: the long glorious locks of extensions or the sun-kissed sassy glow of highlights. Sure, I could cut my hair off, but I still want my natural hair to grow.
I had extensions I purchased a while ago, so I would just need them retaped and put in. Still a pricey procedure. And not every stylist will use tape in hair. And with highlights I knew it could get pricey fast. If you have to add toners and pay for styling, it just might cost as much as extensions. I decided I'd feel out the situation at the salon.
LAKEWOOD PROMENADE 1526 University Blvd W, Jacksonville, FL 33217
I got to a point of desperation. I googled salons near me. I looked at my options. I looked at the price of highlights. I looked at the price of extensions. I looked for the instagram of potential stylists. I called a few different salons to find availability, approximate cost per stylist, and information about highlights and extenstions. I found out you could book online through Salon Lofts. That was the big seller.
I saw a stylist their that had affordable highlights AND also put in extensions. Her instagram was full of pics of glorious long hair, clean cuts, glam colors and glowing highlights. Plus partial highlights starting at $75 (a pretty good deal unless you go to hair cuttery or a hair school). I took the risk and made an appointment at Salon Lofts with Ashley Cowart.
Ashley texted me to confirm the appointment and see if I had any questions. I asked if she could re-tape extensions, and if so, how much would it be. She told me she would have to have a consultation before providing a price. I decided to go for highlights and bring my extensions to see if I could get an estimate.
My appointment was early evening and my husband was watching the baby. The salon was nearby (as Google had told me). I realized that it was next door to the sushi place I loved. After lunches, I would peer in the window and think how the salon looked glam and inviting. Now I got to go!
Ashley's station at Salon Lofts was super cute! It was themed white, gold and green. A little like my wedding colors. There were girly mirrors, succulants, wall art with delicate leaves, a funky chalk sign and a big leather plush salon chair. It was clean and welcoming.
She was watching The Goldberg's and jumped up to greet me on my arrival. She had beachy, sophisticated, Amy Winehouse hair. It was long, mostly brown with some subtle blonde. She wore jeans and had a simple black, short apron.
Partial Highlights & Style
We discussed the highlight plan. I showed her about 8 pictures of what I liked. I asked her about my extensions. I included some samples of her work that I liked, from her instagram, @ashleyschairjax. She told me it would be around $150. I made a mental note about returning in the future for my next beauty sesh. And she quickly got to work on my hair.
Sample of Bright Blonde Contrast
We chit-chatted a bit. I learned she was from Jacksonville. I admired her rockstar hair. I found out we were both moms. Her daughter and my pup had the same name. Kismet.
All I needed was the finished result of new hair to come out right. The only thing missing was some chill music and wine. The salon was fairly quiet, but the peace was a pleasant change from my crying 6-month old.
She put in the foils. I waited under the heat. She rinsed the dye and washed my hair. She styled it with just a teeny bit of product at the end. I looked at myself in the mirror...
The Verdict Is In....
I got just what I wanted! I had bright chunky highlights and I could take over the world.
(PS Sorry to berate you with a TON of selfies, but I want you to see the finished result from all angles!)
Sure, it would take about 3 days to know I loved it, but the first impression was pretty good. I got ready to pay. It was only $75. There weren't a bunch of upcharges like my previous salon travesties. I cautiously tipped her (because I had to make sure I really liked it). She said to let her know if I wanted to add toner or do my extensions.
Looks like I might return to a stylist a second time!
You can book online with Ashley Cowart here.