Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Venus Allure Salon & Spa (811 SE Belmont Street, Portland, Oregon 97214) to try out any of their services. They offer an array of services as they are a full service Spa. Salon services include haircuts, texture, styling, color, hair extensions, eyelash extensions, and nail services (spa manicure, gel polish manicure, you name it, they offer it!). Their full spa services include skin care, face and body waxing, skin care resurfacing, facial upgrades, body treatments, cosmetics, bioactive facial peel, and massages!
Since my grays were coming in and I wanted to do something new with my hair, I chose to have highlights (also called a color weave) plus a cut – it was more like a trim. Side note – I’m pretty sure I’m the only woman in the United States to have finally get highlights done. I’m not sure how I skated through the 1990’s without any highlights, but I did!
I had my appointment with Shauna, a cute petite hairstylist and a great conversationalist. That day she had on a sort of stylish black floppy hat with her dark hair tucked under. She had mentioned she was feeling a bit under the weather, but she was still charming, no less.
I explained to Shauna the hairstyle that I wanted and showed her a picture of Claire Marshall (a popular YouTube personality and makeup artist). She then asked if I wanted to maintain the current color of my hair before adding the highlights, which is dark brown color and she thought it was a really pretty shade. I told her yes, that it would be great, so long as she can get rid of my grays.
She went straight to work in matching my hair and touching up my roots. She then expertly applied highlights to sections of my hair. While she was working, I had the chance to ask her a few personal questions as well as some advice:
Where are you from and how long have you been in Portland?
S: I’m from Chicago and moved here about a year and half to two years ago.
Okay, so what is the one Brand you cannot live without?
S: Kevin Murphy shampoo and conditioner. It’s just a great brand.
What made you choose to apply and work for Venus Allure Salon & Spa?
S: Honestly? The brand of hair care products they carry. I only want to work for a salon that carries Kevin Murphy products. There were other smaller salons that carried Kevin Murphy, but this place seemed to be a better fit for me. The owner, Ann, she tries really hard to find talented people to work here who will provide great quality services, plus create a family environment for everyone.
How long have you been a hairstylist?
S: About eight years specializing in color, cut, extensions, relaxing straightening, and smoothing services.
So what motivated you to move to Portland?
S: My partner. We met through our music. I’m in a punk group and soul, rock n’ roll band.
Oh! How often do you perform?
S: About once a week.
Since you’ve been in Portland, which is your favorite restaurant?
S: It would have to be Blossoming Lotus. It’s the best place for vegan food. Actually, Portland is a great place for vegans.
So back to hair! What is one product that you see people misuse constantly?
S: Dry Shampoo! I see people misuse this all the time. Plus, you can tell if it is a drugstore brand vs. a higher end brand.
I don’t really like dry shampoo, but how can you tell that they’re misusing dry shampoo?
S: You can usually tell they’re misusing it, because there’s a huge white powdery halo on the top of their heads. They’re overusing it. Instead of using dry shampoo to create volume, it’s better to use a volumizing mouse or another volumizing styling product that isn’t going to leave a white powdery halo or make your hair feel grimy.
So my hair isn’t like the stereotypical Asian. It’s not naturally straight. It’s course and gets extremely frizzy and wavy. I’m also a person who is always in a hurry, so everything has to be low maintenance. What is the best treatment for my type of hair?
S: A Brazilian blowout. It will smooth out frizzes and cuts down time when you’re getting ready. It’s a longer, lasting treatment.
And there you have it! A little bit about Venus Allure Salon & Spa and a little bit about Shauna. We continued to finish my hair. I went under the heater for a bit, before having my hair rinsed out. So the hair color we were trying to go for was a more light brownish with hints of blonde color. Shauna noticed that the highlights were looking a bit coppery so she applied some toner to calm down the color.
We then headed back to her station where she trimmed my hair a just little bit because I like my hair length, but the ends looked damaged. She only trimmed off the damaged ends. And I am so appreciative of this because in the past, at different salons, I’ve requested to have the damaged ends trimmed off and somehow I end up with inches off! Sure hair grows back, but still…
I really enjoyed my time at Venus Allure Salon & Spa. The atmosphere is inviting, yet posh. Everyone was very friendly and they went above and beyond. Shauna was great, easy going, and funny to boot. Most importantly, she listened to my requests and executed her expertise to accomplish the desired hairstyle. The result? I absolutely love, love, love my new hairdo.