Well, I had my consultation today with Kate at Hairspray and I was pretty impressed. The salon takes up two stories of one end of what looks like an ancient, tiny little strip mall in Hillcrest, with tons of windows and natural light (one of my pet peeves is salons with lousy artificial lighting that end up giving you bad color because of it). There's an equally tiny parking lot that was packed, so I'm going to have to remember to bring loooots of quarters for street parking when I come back. I was scrounging on the floor of the car for them this time.
It did seem to have a cool, modern but relaxed vibe, kind of assuring me I wouldn't be getting any granny cuts or dye jobs there but not making me feel uncomfortably geeky either, hehe. Her station is upstairs and fairly private from the rest of the salon in front of one of the big windows.
Kate herself is friendly and straightforward, and seems to really know her stuff. I pulled out the laptop to show her my pictures of what I wanted in terms of color, and she commented on and discussed each picture, what she saw, and what I liked about them. She was really enthusiastic and immediately pulled out her books of color swatches and started talking about mixing shades and what levels and all the little details. We also talked about my curls (she likes them!) and how she might cut them. She said she tends to cut wet and then finish dry, which is fine with me. She also asked if I'd read Curly Girl, and we talked about cutting out sulfates and silicones and and stuff. She seems to know a lot about it while not being a purist about it, which is also fine with me - as long as I get great cuts and color in the end.
She loves Curls Rock but when I asked how she feels about me bringing in my own products she said she doesn't mind at all and welcomes the opportunity to play with new products. Yay!
Overall this has made me really optimistic about my upcoming appointment with her on Wednesday instead of fearful. I'll post about my cut and color after then. The receptionist was also really nice about rearranging some things to help me schedule the earliest possible appt., so I could have my hair done before a party next weekend, and said an estimate of the cost for the cut and color is around $100. Not bad at all. So far a tentative thumbs up for Kate and Hairspray.