In the few years I've lived in Paris, I cannot believe I had never given myself a French hair salon experience until yesterday. Cue gasp.
Don't underestimate the transformative power and psychology of a haircut. I feel completely renewed (especially after a rocky start to 2018) and am thrilled to share my experience with you.
Two days ago, Gregory and I were walking down Rue de Buci after a monumentally disappointing lunch at our usual Thai restaurant hang (another story for another blog). He took me by complete surprise when he stopped at SALON FRANCK AVOGADRI and booked an appointment with Laurent, who is like a French Jeff Bridges (calm down, ladies). About a year ago, I had my eye on this salon given how frequently I passed it. Gregory and I are very much "feeling" people and prefer not to read reviews of any places. I mean, you do create your own experiences. We literally waltz into hotels, restaurants, etc because it just feels right. I initially made an appointment with Laurent simply because he gave off such lovely energy. His conviviality, his lust for life... The moment I first walked into the salon, I pointed at Laurent and said "I want him to style/cut my hair." That was a year ago and for whatever reason, I cancelled the appointment then but have been thinking of him on and off since then. Now here we are in January 2018, running into Laurent himself at FRANCK AVOGADRI. Kismet; there are no private thoughts. Gregory immediately booked an appointment for me on the spot et voila! I was booked for the next day.
...and what a divine experience it was. Truly. My appointment was at 3 pm. I arrived 15 minutes early. A spunky Parisian lady took me to the back of the salon to wash my hair as Laurent was finishing up on the client before me. So this part of my experience was just sensational. I don't have a sugarcoating bone in my body so you best believe me. I am so used to slapdash treatments in America... this woman (I regret not asking for her name) made hair washing and conditioning a fucking art. The head/scalp massages pushed it over the edge, leading to an ultimate sensual experience for me (we are in Paree, after all). It must have been 30 minutes of sheer heaven. It was as if she gave me a spiritual release. The music floating through the salon was fun and energizing. Let's just say I left the salon with a reinvigorated mind.
After this elevating experience, she brought me an espresso as I waited for Laurent to arrive. Now here's the best part. The moment Laurent asked how I wanted my hair to be styled... I quickly learned he doesn't speak a word of English. I loved this simply because I like the challenge and it forced me to own my French (haha). Obviously I was hoping he spoke a tiny bit of English because it's only natural that an American like me would be concerned giving him confusing or worse... wrong instructions on my hair. I soon realized that was silliness on my part. My French is sufficient and Gregory knows better than everyone that I'm extremely hard on myself and don't give enough myself credit on my French fluency. I'm a better writer; Gregory is a better speaker. The fact Laurent knew no English whatsoever was a blessing in disguise because this hair salon experience allowed me to flex my French speaking muscle. Basically, I told Laurent I've had several perms in my life (straight hair bores me from time to time and then I miss it!) and I was looking to trim a couple inches, to texturize, to lighten, to eliminate split ends, all polished off by a blow dry. My hair was feeling tired, heavy, and uninspired. How I was able to articulate this in French and have him 100% understand was my proud moment of the day. We became fast friends and spoke about everything from Rose McGowan (who is a regular!) to my work as luxury lifestyle influencer in the sector of luxury travel to our work with Gerard Depardieu. As he snipped away, I felt my load (emotionally, mentally, physically) getting lighter. He commented how beautiful my hair and natural hair color was and how easy it was to style (trés faćile!). I pride myself on having virgin hair. I used to be self-conscious about how THICK my hair was, resembling that of a broom. By the end of my haircut, my hair felt like satin as I ran my fingers through it. I gave a deep bow of gratitude and thanks to him to which he beautifully replied, "C'est moi que je dit merci!" (It is me who says thanks!) We both left feeling delighted and inspired.
On a side note, I've never understood the awful stereotype of the French being downright rude to Americans or to anyone who does not speak their language. Nonsense. They are the most hospitable, charming, and beautiful people I have ever met in my life. In fact, my closest friends are French. Did it ever occur to others that by simply trying their language, saying a thoughtful "bonjour" can effect a totally different experience? I mean, when the French visit America, we expect them to speak English. Why should it be any different on the other foot? Ahh I digress...
For me, one thing about about being a blogger who doesn't really behave like a blogger is that I purposefully take little to no photos as I don't want the mere act of taking photos taking away from the magic of the experience - unless I'm reviewing a luxury hotel stay. That being said, I did not take pictures of the salon, Laurent, etc. However, my words speak volumes and I trust this glowing experience encourages you to look Laurent up if you ever find yourself in the City of Light and want to invest in your self-care. The damage was 106 Euros and worth every damn cent if you truly understand that your self care is paramount. Don't be nervous learning a little French on the side too ;)
On my walk back home, I took a detour through one of my favorite parks in the world, Jardin du Luxembourg. The perfect photo opportunity presented itself.
La vie est belle.
To make an appointment with the incomparable Laurent Tavernier, please email me and I would be overjoyed to make an introduction.
FRANCK AVOGADRI SALON
29 Rue De Buci 75006 Paris
+33 01 43 26 18 03
Laurent has provided me pictures of the modern, floral and sleek salon featured in the slideshow below.
Franck Avogadri is a renowned hairdresser worldwide; he made his debut in Japan by opening a salon in Osaka then proceeded to work with high fashion houses like Thierry Mugler and Dior.