I have a new favorite hair stylist. Zeus is the mastermind colorist at Antoine du Chez - the Belleview Promenade location - and he's as much a god among stylists as his name would suggest. I went in yesterday looking for a change. Like most women, I get fidgety if my hair remains the same for too long, and last year's decision to quit coloring it and go back to my natural color had long since lost it's newness, if not its practicality (only-cuts-no-color is way less maintenance, I'll admit). But I wanted a change, and he came highly recommended as the sort of stylist you can plan to fall in love with on the first date. Not only was my friend right on the money about his talents, but he pulled out all the stops, making it a fun, entertaining, and totally pampering experience. First, he sits you down for the consultation. For 15 minutes or so, he goes over the latest hair trends and techniques, and breaks out plenty of hair color samples to look at. I had a vague idea of what I wanted; honey-colored highlights around my face, and maybe a little touch of burgundy for punch. I also wanted something low-maintenance, and didn't want to go too far from my natural color. What I wanted, essentially, was his advice and vision. So he got to work, zipping around like a true artiste. He whipped out Pale Vanilla hair strands, and Natural Honey hair strands. He showed me the warm versus the cool blondes, and held them over my natural shade and over the other colors I had liked. He showed me the highlights next to a deep Bordeaux auburn, and against a glossy mahogany shade called Coffee. We were mixing, matching, and blending things that seemed to me to be a little wild and a definite change. Then he got to work, using his own take on the trendy coloring technique called color blocking to add huge chunks of different base colors under the crown of my head, leaving the top my natural color. That way, when you add little streaks of highlights all over, you get great depth and movement, and your hair actually changes subtly every time it moves. It took forever since he used three colors, while leaving plenty of my natural color, but Zeus is a talker, and an entertaining and gracious host. In fact, I had a fleet of people taking care of me. I was offered tea, coffee, or water, foot soaks, paraffin dips for my hands, and a makeup touchup when I was done since I was heading straight to an event last night. I felt like Aphrodite in her temple. And the result? It's awesome. I love the colors, the highlights, the change, and the fact that it looks like something new and unique. Of course the best part was later that night, at the event, when several women -- and one very stylish man - noticed and complimented me on my new color. That's the clincher that makes a good stylist into a solid favorite.
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