Measuring Life – Part 2
After a beautiful family meal, I couldn’t believe what was in store for me next. Something like this had never happened before. Exquisite food followed by an extraordinary salon appointment was too much for me to handle. And we didn’t even have a reason to celebrate. I was so excited to visit Toni & Guy Essensuals. It is a British international chain of hairdressing salons first started in the UK in the early 1960s. I couldn’t believe the fact that I was visiting a professional salon of international repute. The last time I had got such pampering were during the days leading up to my wedding. After my first baby, my hair became a little frizzy, a bit dull and wavy towards the ends. Hair fall was another issue that plagued me. This was my first time at Toni & Guy and the excitement was palpable!
As I sat on the salon chair, I was amazed at the ambience. Big mirrors, surrounded by focused mirror lights, shiny equipment and hairdressers who looked so professional, the salon looked like straight out of one of the sets on Fashion TV. The only difference being that I wasn’t the supermodel they were catering to. My husband softly whispered into my ear that he had already instructed them on what needed to be done, and my heart skipped a beat. I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or not, because I didn’t know how much his knowledge on the subject was. But I decided to play along, and boy was I in for a treat!
So first up came my hair smoothening treatment. I had heard that the treatment can cost roughly around 10k and I couldn’t believe that the treatment was starting. I had always wanted my hair smoothened and remember mentioning to my husband at our anniversary about a year ago, but I didn’t think that he would’ve remembered. I prefer smoothening over straightening because straightened hair can sometimes not look real and I am always for the natural look. The smoothening process is also said to involve less chemicals and heat as compared to straightening. Two back to back pregnancies had already taken a toll on my hair, and I was not ready to subject to more risks. Any sort of hair treatment has the risk of damaging your hair and I was so glad that I was getting it done by the best.
This is how the smoothening process came about at Toni & Guy. First the hair & scalp is washed with a gentle shampoo to get off all the dust and grime hidden within. This makes the hair and its follicles more receptive to the treatment. Next, the hair is dried with a blower followed by application of a hair cream. The cream contains a straightening chemical and is applied from the hair roots outward to its end making sure that all the hair is targeted very systematically in small portions. This application process itself takes about 30-45 minutes. The cream is left on for about 30 minutes and a staff checks on it from time to time to keep a tab on its progress. The hair is then washed once more with water and dried. This is followed by straightening with a flat iron and then a neutralizer is applied in small portions all over the hair. This took quite some time as it depends on hair volume and length. This neutralizer is then rinsed off with a shampoo a short while later. My hair was then blow dried, following which a serum was applied. Application of a flat iron is the final step which finishes this process. The entire process took approximately 5 hours but was worth the wait. I was so happy with the new look – shiny, smooth and silky hair! I felt like a supermodel!! Smoothening does give the hair a healthy shiny look, while still maintaining its natural texture. Suddenly, my hair began to feel so much more manageable.
DO’s & DONT’s
One of the important points to note is that post treatment hair maintenance is of utmost importance. I was advised to keep my hair away from water and not to tie or pin it up behind my ears for the next 48 hours. On the third day, I would have to do my first hair wash at the salon for better results with a conditioner which would have to be kept on for longer than usual. I was also advised to avoid hot water to wash my hair. For maintenance, I was recommended the System Professional Shampoo & Masque or the Loreal Extenso Care Shampoo for hair washing at home. The Luxe Oil Serum post hair wash helps maintain the sheen. I was also asked to do a hair spa once a month to maintain the smoothening. This was the first time I have had any sort of professional hair care (of international repute) and had no idea that it involved such a list of do’s & don’ts. Other pointers I got included trimming my hair once in three months to prevent split ends and eating healthy, especially fruits and veggies. The important “Don’ts” that follow this kind of treatment include:
- Avoiding use of the hair dryer and flat iron as much as possible.
- Avoiding exposure to water and tying or tucking your hair behind your ears post-treatment for a minimum of 48hours for better results especially while sleeping.
- Avoid any further chemical treatments on your hair for atleast a year after the first treatment.
- Never skip the serum, conditioner or spa for maintaining your hair.
- Avoid summers for choosing any chemical hair smoothening or straightening treatment.
Another important thing to remember is that if you have any underlying medical issues, consult with your doctor (dermatologist) first before starting the treatment. If you are trying to conceive/are pregnant, avoid chemical treatments by all means. Also, only get chemical treatments done by professional hairdressers – like Toni & Guy! Perfect chemical treatments are all about the timing of product application.
After the hair treatment, I was given a manicure and pedicure, and even got my eyebrows threading done. This is possibly the most I have got done in any salon all together and I have my husband to thank for this. I was so happy with the outcome, I felt fantastic!
Here is a video of me enjoying my hair post the treatment.
My husband got the System Professional Anti-Dandruff treatment done. This involved the use of a clear scalp shampoo, shampeeling followed by a lotion. Although he had not planned for it, I got a Vitamin C enriched facial treatment done for him. This targets fine facial lines & wrinkles, like an anti-ageing treatment and lasted about 45 minutes. SeaSoul products were used during his process. The SeaSoul Spa Experience is inspired by the spirit of the Dead Sea. It consists of products made from ancient mystical salts and minerals found only in the Dead Sea. The treatment is known to have medicinal properties that clean and replenish the skin with essential minerals and oils.
After the facial spa, he got a trendy haircut and beard trim. He hates going to the parlour, but somehow he didn’t seem to be grumbling about being there today. This was followed by haircuts for both my boys. The older one was very cooperative and got the haircut the way he wanted. The younger one is very possessive about his hair and hates haircuts. It was a task to get it done, but the guys at Toni & Guy were so careful and gentle, it got done without having to hold him down or make him cry. The staff at Toni & Guy are very efficient and friendly and hats off to them on such great professional work! Here are some more pics of us during the treatments.
I am overall very happy with the service I received at Toni & Guy Nungambakkam, Chennai. Their staff is very experienced, and they know how to take care of your hair and skin in the best possible way. What I appreciated the most was that they did not try to sell things to me, which is something that puts me off at most salons. They also maintain very high standards of hygiene & care. Highly recommended!
It was pretty late in the evening by the time all four of us were done at the salon. As we head home in our cab, I gave my husband a tight hug and kiss and thanked him for a very wonderful day. I felt pampered, and he was the reason it happened. It is true that the family that does things together stays together, and that is how I know I will measure life. It is the memories, big or small that keep us together, and it is by these memories that I will be able to measure my life’s worth! Thank you hubby dear and a BIG THANK YOU to Toni & Guy for a memorable family time!
A very special thank you to the Paulson Group for making this happen. I learned later that my husband got a cool discount on the combination of the food and spa treatment. I love the concept of being able to have a day dedicated to pampering yourself and having the place to get it done. It can be difficult to organize multiple activities especially when they are on the same day and run back to back. With Sarah’s Soul Kitchen, Häagen-Dazs ice cream and Toni & Guy Essensuals all under one roof, it is very easy to organize a day of pampering, not only for yourself but also for the whole family. I just had mine, and I have now started measuring my life with the time I spend doing things with my family. Making memories! Living life!