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2018 1st Avenue
- (Rated 4/5 based on 25 Reviews)
User Reviews (25)
I've been to Spex several times and so far they're the best salon for curly hair I've found in Seattle.
A little about me: I know a lot about styling my 3B curly hair. With the products and techniques I've learned, I can achieve glossy, well-formed, frizz-free curls on a regular basis. But I'm still on the lookout for a stylist who *styles* well in addition to cutting well...basically, chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
I decided to try a different salon when I saw a woman on a public bus with gorgeous hair. She said she went to Jeanne at Vain. I looked at the other stylists listed and there are several stylists at Vain who claim to cut curly hair, so I decided to give Heike a try. I wanted a cut over the weekend if possible, and Jeanne wasn't available. Heike has Deva Curl methodology training.
I think Heike knows how to cut curly hair and what products to use, but that's about it. She needs a refresher in styling techniques and how to prevent frizz--this is basic stuff that a layperson can learn in the Curly Girl Handbook, which she said she was familiar with.
I first had a feeling that this salon wasn't for me when I saw nearly every stylist in the place had dyed hair in crayon colors. For curly girls, this isn't necessarily a positive; color processing can be really damaging, and these stylists clearly don't care about what wacky chemicals they're using. I appreciate the aesthetic they're going for, but I think it's a little misleading when a salon makes a big deal about treating curly hair well. I also wasn't too impressed with the stylists' own looks. I had a lot of time to check everyone out since I was kept waiting 25 minutes after the start of my appointment. When I finally spotted Heike, I was a little alarmed that her neon yellow hair was bound up in a big poofy bun with frizzy roots. If a curly girl stylist lets her hair look like that, should I really trust them? (Spoiler: no.)
We had a good conversation about what I wanted and she did a fine job dry-cutting my hair. But then the usual styling disappointment followed: poor technique in applying product (esp. conditioner), using a terrycloth towel, squeezing too much water out, combing the hair, riffling the hair with her fingers at the roots to loosen the strands, plucking up hair at the roots with her fingertips while diffuse-drying...just doing pretty much everything possible to prevent good, natural curl formation.
Midway through the styling I asked her if she ever used microfiber towels. She got a deer in the headlights look and then said they have some in the back, but she doesn't always use them. I think she got my point.
From the moment she used the terrycloth towel, I knew what to expect, and I got exactly that: frizzy, unstructured curls.
Overall: if you're in desperate need of a cut Heike's not the worst option, but maybe ask to be put in rollers under the drying hood.
My hair is ruined! I went in requesting just to add a couple of layers and bangs. At her last stage of cutting she cut my ringlets at an angle down the length of the ringlet. When my hair starting frizzing up she said it was because she was handling it so kept putting product on it and drying it with a diffuser - when I cleansed it the next day I found out what she really did. If you read Curly Girl, you will realize that she took all the weight out of my curl and now they will not hold their shape and no matter how much product I put in, I walk around with this huge halo of frizz and I now have many curls that don't even curl at the bottom anymore, they get partially thru a curl and then hang out at weird angles. Some curls have been textured or layered over 2 inches up the ringlet. Because I complained I am going in on Friday to get another cut by Liza Jo who's panel is closed so we'll see if she can fix it without having to cut it all off but I don't think that is possible. I went from hair that when it was dry on my back reached my bra line and now is about 4 inches higher, I can't imagine how short it will end up being. This is one of those cuts that you go home and cry over on almost a daily basis. I have had my hair curly for 20 years and I can handle it very well and it now looks like an 8 year old styled it for me, devastating beyond words.
I went to Alexis with long curly 3b hair. Alexis listened and got it right. I left the salon with a cute hairstyle. She kept the length and gave me suggestions on how to repair my hair after all my keretin treatments. The salon is fun and resonably priced.
Carinn was my stylist for four years until I moved out of Washington. She helped me to finally embrace my curls and saw me through a variety of styles: growing out for a hair donation, having a very short hairstyle after donating my hair, experimenting with bangs, and having my hair highlighted for the first time (Balayage). I always walked out feeling like a million bucks.
I absolutely adore Alexis! First of all she is funny, sweet and she listens. But most importantly, she KNOWS curls and how to cut them. She understands that not every curly girl has the same exact needs, and really takes the time to understand how YOUR curls work. She starts the cut dry, then shampoos and conditions (she used Deva products on me), and finishes the cut wet. She does not pull the hair straight while it's wet. Then she asks you what your styling routine is, and will either replicate it, or ask if you need/want help with a new routine she will help you. She did an amazing job styling my hair, and didn't push any products on me. I have gotten the most compliments on my sassy new cut then I ever have before. The salon has a fun, funky style, and everyone there was really nice.
I no longer live in Washington, but I used to drive 65 miles from Olympia just to get my hair cut by Liza (Liza Jo). She is an expert at curls of all lengths, and knows how to deal with different textures, curl levels, and even the cowlicks I didn't know I had. My hair looked edgy but not self-consciously so, wether I had shortish hair or shoulder length cuts, and was always an easy wash and wear. I just noticed Liza is not accepting new clients at the moment, but just in case, keep her in mind. I also enjoyed the Vain Salon and had friends who got great cuts from other stylists there.
Go see Alexis! She is the most adorable thing ever and really knows what she's doing. I went in with a crazy frizzy mess and she completely tamed it. She is the best thing ever. The only downside is it's expensive.
The only thing I miss about living in Seattle is Alexis and her amazing talents! I have 2c hair that is very long and thick and she did an amazing job of cutting and styling without making it look like a lion's mane. She is very sweet, knows all about how to cut curly hair, and really LISTENS to you about what you do and don't want in a haircut. Now if only I could find a good curly-stylist in my new town...
I got a referral to see Alexis from a woman at my gym who had really great curly hair (even at the gym!). Alexis was really sweet and made me feel really comfortable (she has super curly hair herself). She cut my hair both dry and wet. I gave her full permission to "thin" as much of my thick hair as possible and I saw a lot of hair flying. I really like my haircut and the tips I picked up from her about styling. My one critique was that it ended up a bit shorter than I originally wanted because she wasn't expecting my hair to shrink and bounce up as much as it did. However, I still like my sassy new hair and will definitely go back.
I called to set up an appointment with one of the folks mentioned here in the reviews, but they were all busy. They set me up with Zara, who they said was a curly-hair specialist. She was incredibly sweet and fun to talk to, but my haircut was the worst I have ever received. I left the salon looking exactly like the butt of a poodle, and I had to hold back tears until I got home and got in the shower and did what I could to fix it.
I've read about Vain on different review sites and called to make an appointment with one of their top curly stylists. Unfortunately the stylist I asked for is not taking any new clients so the receptionist offered to pair me with another of their curly stylists. They put me with TT and I'm glad they did! She talked with me first about my hair routine, my fears, frustrations, likes & dislikes. She actually listened to everything I had to say. I have a combo of type 3a & 3b hair that really likes to frizz up. TT put me at ease and gave me great tips on how to style and care for my hair. She made my unruly curls look amazing and I felt like everything I told her was emulated in my haircut! I will definitely be going back to see her AND the cut was very affordable.
I've been to Emmett a few times. I have 4a/b hair and he is not afraid. I had my haircut, deep conditioned, roller set and even straightened once with him. I was very happy with the results. He has 15 years of experience with hair and embraces African American hair along with other types of curly hair. I recommend him because he respects that I choose to wear my hair natural and works with what I have. He used to own his own salon and he is very professional. Vain has affordable prices. I usually take the bus downtown so I can't talk about parking.
Betsy rocks!! I have very curly, frizzy bi-racial curls and she always gives me a perfect cut (with no triangle shape). She is the best.
I allowed Liza to cut and color my hair several times, and she screwed it up every time! It was awful!!! I always give extra chances, as my super tight curly hair can be difficult. She turned my hair yellow. It was lopsided- and noticeabley so. She fried off one side once when bleaching out her mistakes. Beware!!!!! I'll never spend another $300 on a bad dye and cut! Liza is not the only "Curly Hair" stylist to ruin my locks! Theresa at Gary Manuel totaly screwed up my hair too at a pricey $300 as well. She is one of the most seniored stylists and actually teaches there, but could never get it right. Go see Ali at Helmet Head she is far superior! I have tried several stylists! Trust me you don't want to go through months of bad hair. Helmet Head is better priced as well! Which with thick hair is important, because you will always need extra product forever driving up the price.
Liza cut my hair for the first time after I went curly. I have to say it was the first time I actually felt at ease about a haircut. I suppose it helps that she has a similar hair-type as me (looser curls, big loops. somewhere in the 2 range, border 3 on some pieces.) I'm growing it out, so I didn't want much off, and I left feeling "cleaner" not shorter. I'll be back, even though I'm waiting as long as I can stand between haircuts.
Carinn rocks! I came in with a disaster on my head and she turned it into a fabulous storm of curly hair. The cut is fantastic. She gave me volume without cutting length and listened to all of my concerns (which many a stylist had ignored before, jacking up my hair royally). Carinn also styled my hair at the end and didn't turn it into a frizzy mess like every other hairstylist in history. I would definitely recommend her. I'll be going to her again for sure!
I went to the amazing, curl-specialized Devachan Salon in New York City (while there on a trip) and got the best haircut of my life! They told me when I got back to Seattle I should look up their Devachan trained stylists on their national registry to find one in Seattle. The only salon listed in all of WA. was Vain. Based on this and several positive recommendations about Carinn on this site, I went with much hope to finally find a stylist here who could handle my curly hair. Well, I was sorely disappointed by Carinn's haircut. All she had to do was trim the overgrown cut I had received at Devachan--the easiest kind of haircut. But she just cut here and there and left me with a completely different, very random haircut with a terrible shape. I will say she did know how to style curly hair and used good products--but I'd rather have a good haircut!!
I've been going to Betsy for over three years and I love her. She gets it right every time. I have very thick ringlet style curls which get can be very temperamental but she can always give me a cut that gives them life and room to move, and makes styling easy.
I went to Liza because I'd heard a couple of people say good things about her. I told her I just wanted a little more shape, and very little taken off the length. So she started immediately cutting six inches off of my layers. I kept saying that she was taking too much off, but she was talking so much that sometimes she didn't hear me, and then she said 'but it's not off the length, see?' I went in there with thick, beautiful long hair that just needed some shape, and left with overly layered, thinned out hair that looked terrible. It's the first haircut I've had where I actually cried, a lot--for a week. It took me three years to get my hair to that length, and in a half hour, she screwed it up royally. I would never, ever go back.
I moved to Seattle from New York in September. I was very nervous about finding a new stylist for my very curly hair, as I loved my stylist in NYC. I decided to try out Vain after reading the good reviews on this site, and I am so happy with my haircut. Carinn made sure that I felt comfortable with my hairstyle throughout the cut, listened to my concerns about my curl pattern, encouraged me to tell her about the way that I want my hair to look, and made great suggestions for a new look. I LOVED the way she cut and styled my hair. Vain even offers (and encourages) a free touch-up trim 4-6 weeks after the initial cut to make sure that your cut is exactly what you wanted. I am incredibly impressed with both the salon and Carinn, and I highly recommend her. I will definitely be back!
I have naturally curly hair that is very thick. I have always worn it long, one length and generally pulled back in a braid or pony tail. I was convinced that due to the thickness of my hair and my unending issues with frizziness, any other hair style could not work for me. I nervously got my hair cut last week at Vain from Alexis. She was fabulous, helped me to feel comfortable and not only provided me with a great hair cut but also easy styling tips that have been very easy to duplicate each day! I love my new hair style/cut and highly recommend Alexis at Vain (especially if you have thick, naturally curly hair)!!
great with long, curly hair! mine is waist-length and thanks to her it's still full of body and curl...I've also never left a salon with my hair looking so good - somehow she gets it good and curly after spending 30 minutes combing it!
It is true what a difference a great cut makes! Carinn is awesome at curls and such a fabulous gal, too! I always have fun sitting in her chair! Over half of her clients have curly hair and there are a number of other stylists there who specialize in curls. And, they offer a complementary 4-week touch-up trim with each haircut. Andrea
My whole life I've had one hair disaster after another. I've had multiple colors, chemical straightening, 3in short hair, shaved head, terrible layering jobs etc. So I came on here and saw all the recommendations for VAIN, so I got on their website and loved the description of the place, (I fit right in)and then made an appointment with Betsy (she had the most experience). So when I finally got down there I loved the place and the people were so friendly. So for my cut, I walked in with some pretty wild curly hair a few inches past my shoulders, and walked out with the most awesome big, curly, wild a-line. It's VERY low maintenence and not hard to style at all so I'm very happy. It also fits more with my style. So I highly recommend this place so check it out!
I had no idea my hair was this curly! Carinn introduced me to a world I never knew existed. I'm a guy with long hair. I have been growing it out for two years and would just wash it, brush it and out the door. Carinn listed to me, gave me suggestions and gave me an amazing cut. She also showed me how to use the right products (yes I now use hair product) to enhance my cut and make my curls look great. I would recommend Carinn to anyone who is looking for someone to cut and style curly hair. I have been seeing her for a year now. Did I mention that she recently gave me BLUE hair? I love it. Whatever your style, go see Carinn!