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Lather, Rinse, Repeat

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If you arrive early for your appointment you get served coffee brewed to perfection in the morning, a refreshing juice or bottled water. While waiting a supple brown leather couch beckons you to sit and relax. Up to date magazines with all the latest Hollywood gossip and hair style magazines to browse through if you are considering a style change are artfully arranged on the table. Flashy signs for shampoo, conditioner and hair products are all aligned on glass shelves. A black and white picture in the window is showcasing an eye catching hair style. Chatter amongst the clients and their stylist is a buzz in your ear. You can just breathe, relax and have an aaahhh moment.

As I’m sipping my coffee I notice that Kerri Hartwell the owner of the Bradley Salon is just finishing up the style of her client before me and I wonder how she knows what’s going to complement each person. We are all so different: our facial features, texture and color of hair, and our personal lives all play a role in what’s going to be the right style for each of us. It has to be considered art.

Now sitting in the chair, she wraps the cape around my neck asking me if I have any ideas about what we should do with my hair this time. We talk about what she feels would be good for the season and how much “change” I am willing to try. While my head is being covered in tin foil and what looks like purple paste and has a smell that tingles the nose as I start to ask questions. Kerri has been a hair stylist for 29 years and she has owned the Bradley Salon for 16 years. Just last year she moved from her downtown location on Jefferson St to her own, free standing building on Plainfield Ave. She graduated from Chic University after completing some business classes at Davenport University. I asked Kerri what made her decide to attend Chic University; she actually laughed and said “I realized how long it was going to take me to graduate from Davenport so I decided to drop classes and the same day I was drawn into Chic because of the shorter time length to complete.” She did say she took art classes throughout high school and she feels this has contributed to her success in the business. Kerri said at Chic University they teach you the basics with style techniques and color combos but Kerri says “It takes natural artistic vision and practice to become a highly successful hair stylist.” At her salon she has 3 other licensed stylists. They are each self employed but must maintain their certification to work at The Bradley Salon. Kerri says “I encourage each stylist to attend hair shows and typically will pay for one per year. We also keep up on the latest trends on the runway.”

Thinking about the runway and the ever changing styles I gaze at myself in the mirror and can only think that it looks like I just finished an alien film. We are waiting for the color to set. During this time we talk about all the stuff going on in our lives. I visit Kerri every 8-12 weeks so there’s much to catch up on. I talk about my husband, my kids, school or even my job and she reciprocates.

Time to rinse! My favorite part of any visit is when I get my hair washed. Kerri has magic hands. The shampoo smells so good that I know I will buy some before I leave. As she lathers the shampoo on my head, I get to have the best scalp massage. This gets rinsed out and it’s time for the conditioner. She uses a deep conditioner to give me the silkiest hair. Time to head back to the chair for the style and more chatter. I see the color and can’t wait for Kerri to define the cut and make me look great. Snip, snip and the hair drops off. The blow dryer comes on and after a spritz and an extra squirt of hair spray and I’m done and look great.

It’s all over in about one and half hours and with a quick exchange of money and a hug I leave styling and feeling refreshed.
The Bradley Salon -A modern beauty shop (616)776-7050

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