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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Bad hair be gone!



Reader question:

I just relocated back to the Tampa Bay area about a year ago. I am in desperate need of a good hair salon. I have done extensive research on hair salons, and I have also read the hair salon reviews on city search, local yahoo and etc. I have even tried several of the salons. My hair has highlights and lowlights. Any suggestions you may have will greatly be appreciated.

Kelly from Tampa

We aim to please. And because the four of us live all over the map, we thought we'd combine our suggestions to give you lots of places to choose from. Here are our picks:

Letitia: Anyone without stick-straight hair knows the horror that can be wrought by a few bad snips. I once left the Aveda training school in downtown St. Pete with an unfortunate look straight out of the Lion King. And that was after tipping the instructor twice as much as the entire cut was supposed to cost for cleaning up what the student had gotten wrong.

But I haven't been disappointed since finding Salon Salvatore Christian in south Tampa. I'm on my fourth stylist there -- first two moved on, last got preggo on me -- but someone's always been up to the job. Right now, I'm loving the curly hair cut that Andrea has unleashed on me -- a weave technique that really brings out the ringlets, but still looks good when you blow it straight. Call (813) 875-3501.

Stephanie: I'm not too attached too hair. I've let random people hack it for the past few years. I've been growing it out, looking to Dolly Parton/Playboy/Barbie for inspiration, natch.

Victoriabeckham_2But recently, another cartoonish female caught my eye - Victoria Beckham, baby! I started craving her angled bob. And her tan. And her shoes. And her husband.

I decided to go for it (minus the husband). I chose J.Con, a pretty Aveda salon on 4th Street in St. Petersburg. I had been there for a massage/facial, and knew the stylists were cute and trendy. I was paired with a young lady named Aleisha. She's been a stylist for 6 years, and she's worn everything from a pixie cut to long layers.

Aleisha rocked! She took on my monster head with no fear. She cut 11-INCHES off the back. She stacked it like a pro. She asked me questions the whole time to make sure it was exactly right.

I appreciated her lack of snobbery. Little things. She didn't scold me for bleaching my hair with a box at home. She didn't require weird stylist bull like standing or Exorcist head tilting. She laughed when I said the Aveda pomade smelled like a pine-hacking, maple syrup swilling lumberjack. (Really, it's manly, dude).

The whole cut and style only cost $35, pre-tip. And I walked out feeling awesome - like Posh Spice, minus the scary alien boob job. I'll be going back to Aleisha, fo sho.  Call the salon at (727) 525-9199.

Nicole: M Salon 1 is Tampa's go-to spot for girls looking for a fierce razor cut or color. Owner and stylist Micheline Barber specializes in healthy hair and is known for funky and chic looks. The clientele is mostly African Americans and products are top of the line.

M Salon 1 is located at 1501 W. Sligh Ave. Call (813) 932-0088.

Colleen: My strategy for finding a kick-butt stylist? I looked around my office, spotted a colleague with kick-butt hair and went to get my mane cut at the same place.

That place is Level Salon. They use Aveda products, so it smells good the minute you walk in. I go to the one in Hyde Park Village, which offers an excuse to shop at Pottery Barn and Anthropologie on the same trip.

My hairstylist is the sweet and beautiful Adriana. In my three visits so far, she's never let me down. She recently got promoted, which means her cut price rose from $35 to $55, but it's worth it. Good news is there are other stylists there who still charge only $35, so you can request someone at that price level. Call (813) 254-0404 for an appointment. (There is also a Level at 2832 E Bearss Ave. Number is (813) 972-0404.)

P.S. I don't get any color, but my colleague does at the Bearss Ave. Level, and her hair looks fabulous.

Photo: AP

[Last modified: Thursday, May 20, 2010 5:09pm]


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