One of my biggest qualms about going to Paris for 4 months was having to find a new hair salon.  When you've finally found someone that has transformed your hair from a stringy damaged mess to long flowing healthy locks over the last 2 years, letting them go without separation anxiety is an impossible feat.

 Trusting a hair stylist is a new concept for me.  I have been going to salons since I was 13 and I've been let down by almost every stylist in the form of botched bangs, damaged hair, or unpolished roller sets.  It was only when I started seeing Jasellynne at my NY salon, Antonio Prieto, that I was finally able to relax in that black leather salon chair and trust someone to give me exactly what I wanted.

When I began desperately searching online for a Paris hair salon I felt like I was back at square one except this time proved to be more difficult. Many salon websites had limited information or pictures and Google France lacked the myriad rave reviews that are found on websites like Yelp or City Search.  Offline searching wasn't much more successful. Most of the black women I've seen here wear weaves and the black owned salons seem to cater to that market.  I continued my search online and after wading through the millions of Jean Louis Davids I finally came across Herbert Bauer Coiffure. The website looked professional, it had press clips, high quality products, and I was able to find more than 5 good reviews. I was sold.

Before making an appointment I went in person to check out the salon. I loved the relaxing vibe and the modern decor. The owner, Herbert, was very friendly and he spoke English which made it easier to explain what I was looking for. I made an appointment for a blow dry using Shu Uemera products (the salon also uses Bumble and Bumble products).
When Saturday arrived I was extremely nervous for my appointment. I arrived early and Herbert greeted me with a warm "Bonjour" and took my coat.  A few minutes later the appointment started with a quick consultation. I showed him a picture of how I normally wear my hair and he summed up my wishes in 3 seconds: Straight towards the top, volume, and waves towards the bottom.

We headed towards the sink and he began shampooing my hair with Shu Uemera Full Shimmer Shampoo. I was excited to try this line of products because my NY hairstylist told me the products are great and I have never seen them in the United States.

While I enjoyed a relaxing scalp massage, Herbert told me about his hair styling career. He is from Austria, and started styling hair when he was 15. He worked in the Canary Islands for some time and  3 years ago he moved to Paris and opened his own salon.   Herbert and I also spent a lot of time discussing the differences between Paris and New York. As he put a Shu Uemera mask on my hair I was surprised how much time had past already. "Here, we take time to do the hair," he said.
After the mask was applied I sat under a hooded dryer that sprayed hot steam onto my hair. A cup of hot tea, a piece of chocolate, and a few page turns of a French Vogue and I was ready to be rinsed out. Herbert blew out my hair with a round brush and used a curling iron to create loose waves throughout my hair. When he was finished I was left with beautiful voluminous waves that quickly dissolved any anxiety I had when I walked in.  My hair felt very moisturized and soft to touch. It was a little less silky than normal because no flat iron was used (I didn't want to be too demanding on the first visit!) but Herbert was very flexible and I know he wouldn't mind using one to create the waves next time.  
Was going to Herbert Bauer worth coming out of my comfort zone? Definitely. He exceeded my expectations, his products were high quality, and his friendly demeanor was very refreshing. I am excited to come back in a few weeks.

My friends are excited as well. One scheduled a blow dry and another is coming in for a haircut! I know they will absolutely love it.


Erica said...

Fantastic! Your description of your experience makes me want to get on the next flight to Paris just to go to his salon.

Michelle. said...

Thanks!! you should you definitely would like it's very peaceful and my hair came out really good.

Erica S said...

Reading your blog gives me chills every time! So happy for you and so excited about your experience thus far!

Margaux said...

Hi Michelle!
I go next Saturday to Herbert Bauer!
I just want to know how many time did you stay there? Because i only have 2 hours and a half... Is it enough?

Kisses from Paris!

Michelle. said...

Hi Margaux,

What service are you having done? My blowout took about an hour and a half.

margaux said...

I want to do a scanning a blow-dry and a cutting

The result on you was faboulus!

Michelle. said...

that should be enough time, good luck! I'm sure it will be great :-)