The Stylist: Kylee Nicole Cook, Maple Heights
The Service: Using eyeliner seems so simple, but whenever I attempt to define my eyes with that messy kohl pencil, I end up looking like a raccoon. This makeup stuff is tough, so it was a relief to sit back, relax and let free-lance makeup artist Kylee Nicole Cook worry about everything from my mascara to my lip gloss. She even showed me a few tips along the way.
I always envy women who can pull off a smoky eye with ease. The evening’s event was a restaurant preview party, and for once, I wanted to show up with a look that might get a few lingering stares.
And the best part is, Cook came to me — one less hassle in all the chaos associated with getting ready for a big night out. With her makeup tool belt slung around her hips and a rolling case of products, Cook can whip out a stylish look from bee-stung lips to those smoky eyes I craved with a few precision swipes of her brush. She’s only 22, but already a pro, touring the country as the sole makeup artist for the Budlight/Maxim Magazine Double Exposure Tour and showing off her skills on “What Not to Wear: Wannabes.” She confessed an obsession with blending eye makeup, turned me on to her eyes-before-foundation technique (so flecks of eye shadow aren’t sticking to the makeup) and lined my lips before applying lip gloss, something I’d never thought of doing.
The Special Touch: Cook needs only 24 hours’ notice for house-calls (or office-calls).
The Stats: The hour-long makeup session costs $100-plus, depending on the services. (440) 503-6905; email@example.com
— Kim Schneider
The Salon: La Barberia, Mayfield Height
The Service: I can usually only afford manis and pedis for special occasions (big date, big vacation, etc.). But I’ve discovered a way to sneak them in a little more often: La Barberia.
Everything about my experience conveyed a price range that I was happy not to be paying for:The Mayfield Heights outpost of the local chain features modern decor, professional staff and spa-quality treatments at prices that are unbelievably affordable. And my nail tech, Renee Gardiner, has talent: She’s been “in the biz” for more than 13 years.
It was a cold and rainy day, but Gardiner made sure my experience was relaxing. She was easy to talk to, and from the way she interacted with her co-workers, clearly a good-hearted soul. My pedi included a soak, nail shaping, pumice-stick softener and spa exfoliation lotion. She took her time, a little more than an hour, to make sure the job was just right, and afterward, my feet were baby soft. She used OPI polish (yeah!) and suggested a color I absolutely loved: Pompeii Purple.
The manicure was just as relaxing; she shaped my nails, as I requested, into perfect square-shaped tips, massaged my hands with intense moisture lotions and did a flawless polish job.
The Special Touch: The salon staff is pleasant and close-knit, and they work hard to make every visit enjoyable. I was asked five times if I’d like something to drink.
The Stats: The Rejuvenating Manicure and Top of the Line Pedicure totaled $57; 6645 Mayfield Road, Mayfield Heights; (440) 442-0229
— Lyndsey Walker
The Salon: Hair Innovations, Hudson
The Service: Turning rough, raggedy-nailed hands into soft, supple works of art is the manicurist’s raison d’etre; so maybe I’m just too picky, but I’ve never found a technician who could also apply polish to my satisfaction — that is, until I met nail specialist Holly Ratta. When she asked me to pick a polish color, I resignedly pointed to a pale pink shade, something that would make both my painfully short nails and the expected gaps between cuticle and polish less noticeable. Holly asked me to pick again.
“You have long nail beds, so if you want a real color, it’s OK,” she encouraged.
I selected a more daring shade of frosty lavender, prepared to go home and take the stuff off if the results were anything less than perfect. Holly didn’t disappoint. When the warm mitts came off after my moisturizing wrap, she went to work with ridge filler and base coat, entertaining me with a story about how the people at the manufacturer of the nail polish I’d chosen (Will You Mariachi Me?) actually went drinking to come up with such creative color names. For the first time in my life, I walked out of a salon with 10 glass-smooth little paint jobs, each covering the entire nail from cuticle to tip. More importantly, they survived an entire week that included a marathon house-cleaning without rubber gloves.
The Special Touch: Instead of rushing me out the door, Holly invited me to sit, hands under the nail-dryer, until my polish was impervious to smudging.
The Stats: Manicure with a moisturizing wrap, $21. 1315A Corporate Drive, Hudson; (330) 655-2239
— Lynne Thompson
The Salon: Head Quarters Salon & Spa, Westlake
The Service: Pampering your hands, feet and nails for three hours may seem a touch decadent, but it’s a lot less expensive than the Caribbean vacation you probably deserve.
From the moment I shook Lauren Mitchell’s hand, she focused on making my mani/pedi experience relaxing and invigorating: a luxurious Caribbean manicure and pedicure with all the perks, including a Caribbean bath soak, flower-water mist and hand and foot massages. I’d barely received my mug of herbal tea in the stylishly petite Aveda salon when Mitchell came to escort me into a private room where the footbath was already bubbling. The Caribbean experience included a purifying breathing session and the choice of a “singular note” scent (I chose vanilla oil) to be used in all of the products throughout.
Mitchell carefully trimmed, filed and buffed my nails and patted on the Caribbean therapy flower-water mist. She followed with a massage using Aveda hand and foot relief and then smoothed on two separate exfoliating scrubs followed by steamed towel wraps. Finally, she expertly applied the clear nail gloss that I had chosen and finished with perfect French tips.
A Special Touch: This wasn’t just your typical mani-and-pedi, in-and-out experience. This was truly a spa treatment that enveloped the senses and allowed me to throw all worries and cares aside for three hours of luxury.
The Stats: The manicure was $35 and the pedicure was $60. 189 Main St., Crocker Park, Westlake; 1-800-338-6511
— Renee Rall
The Salon: Cory’s Hair Studio & Day Spa, Middleburg Heights
The Service: No self-respecting chocoholic can pass up the promise of guilt-free gluttony. “We give you chocolate, minus the calories,” tempted stylist and nail technician Wendy Quesenberry, introducing me to the Chocolate Spa Pedicure, a treatment that blends the confection’s soothing qualities with its flavorful aroma for a decadent morning at the day spa.
As my feet soaked in a chocolate mineral bath, Quesenberry couldn’t help but chuckle at the expression on my face: The treatment’s additional luxuries –– the massage chair kneading my back, the paraffin wax warming my hands –– had left me practically comatose with bliss. She followed the foot soak with a chocolate scrub exfoliant, then brushed on a hydrating, dark-chocolate mousse mask, its texture as creamy as pudding.
After washing off the dried mask, Quesenberry slathered my feet with a chocolate butter cream that smelled good enough to eat (alas, none of this is edible), and then topped off my toenails with a cherry-red polish, ending an hour-long indulgence that felt sinfully good.
The Special Touch: Between the mugs of hot cocoa served at the day spa and the container of chocolate butter cream I got to take home, Cory’s left me with a sugar high and a sweet scent that lingered well into the night.
The Stats: Chocolate Spa Pedicure: $60. 7216 Pearl Road, Middleburg Heights; (440) 888-8864, www.coryshairstudio.biz
— Jennifer Haliburton
The Salon: Spa West, Westlake
The Service: Using the word “French” to describe a beauty process usually denotes simple, sophisticated results. Sadly though, I’ve seen many French manicures go horribly awry. So, although I was well aware of Spa West’s stellar reputation, I was thinking skeptical thoughts as I sat down with Amanda Barty for the pristine white tips I coveted.
“I love doing Frenches,” Amanda said as she began soaking, lotioning and filing. It turned out she was sincere — even after more than two years at Spa West, she maintained a refreshing enthusiasm. I immediately liked her; she was attentive and friendly — the kind of person you’d want to try to fix your brother up with.
She made sure the size of the white tips was what I’d had in mind before finishing my left hand and, as she moved on to my right, I realized that my fears of a tacky, unnatural-looking paint job were gone. This could be the beginning of an expensive addiction.
The Special Touch: Always the impatient customer, I expected a French mani to take longer than the regular manicures I’ve had. But Amanda wielded those tiny brushes swiftly and with impressive attention to detail.
The Stats: French manicure: $30. Spa West Day Spa and Salon, 29109 Center Ridge Road, Westlake; (440) 899-SPAW, www.spawest.com
— Clare DeCapua
The Salon: Michael Stefan Salon, Willoughby
The Service: I’ve been told that I have “amazingly wild and sexy hair.” It’s thick, coarse and very curly — a gift from my Lebanese heritage — and the thought of parting with even an inch of one strand makes me cringe. So when I do succumb to my once-a-year cut (just to banish the split ends), I need someone who won’t be intimidated.
Michael Stefan is my man. The 10-year owner of his salon, Stefan is a second-generation hair stylist and a former Toni & Guy who traveled the country working for the internationally known hair pros.
The salon has a chic atmosphere, with dim lighting and local artists’ work for sale on the walls. Stefan is delightfully unpretentious.
We looked through hair books, and he gave me great tips (my cherished bottle of mousse is, apparently, not always the ideal route to soft, uncrunchy curls — for that, he advocates less washing and more leave-in conditioner).
I wanted to keep the length but create a new style. So he angled the curls around my face. With super-fast cuts he created shortened layers in the back and a face frame.
The Special Touch: Stefan took off the length that I love so much, but my hair’s so bouncy and healthy now, I want it to stay this length — and I never thought I’d want hair this short! I will not wait a whole year ever again.
The Stats: Conditioning and haircut: $38. 4082 Erie St., Willoughby; (440) 946-6644
— Tina Shaerban
The Salon: Lipstick and Razorblades, Cleveland
The Service: Over the years, I’ve cultivated a deep frustration with my fine, pin-straight hair. The routine goes like this: I sit down in the chair of a stylist with lustrous, curly locks who solves my hair conundrums by making me look like one of the mid-’60s Beatles. And since my favorite stylist moved out of town more than a year ago, I’ve been floating around, coupon in hand, to cheap walk-in chain salons, just to avoid shelling out $50 for a cut my mother can do.
Then I found Lipstick and Razorblades, an eclectic salon tucked away in a warehouse on the Superior Viaduct, overlooking the Flats, staffed by three stylists known for their thin-hair specialty. Alyson Moss sat me down in the lounge area to talk about my hair. I provided samples of indie rockers with edgy yet business-appropriate hair — styles I wasn’t sure my hair was capable of handling.
Moss painted black lowlights on my medium brown hair, creating more definition, shine and texture. The layering in her cut helped provide more body, while the blunt, nonsymmetrical ends made it trendier and a little more rockin’.
The Special Touch: Filled with trendy retro furniture and painted in deep reds and purples, the salon even includes a rack of vintage clothes so you can pick up a hip new outfit to complement your new do.
The Stats: Whole-head lowlights are $85, the cut and style is $45. 2206 Superior Viaduct, No. 202, Cleveland; (216) 687-8115
— Missy Abel
The Salon: J Romer Salon, Cleveland
The Service: Whether it’s the dreaded “triangle bangs,” a stylist who casually lops off an extra couple of inches or the time we cut our own (big mistake), we all have a bangs horror story. That strip of prime real estate sings a dangerous siren song.
When I railed against my one-length do recently, I decided not to take any chances; nothing but a 100-percent vote of confidence would persuade me to let a stylist near my forehead.
“Michelle Smith,” a friend whispered to me, promising “she understands, she listens, she will give you awesome bangs!” Tempting.
J Romer Salon is a smallish studio tucked into a tiny storefront near Lakewood. With well-appointed stylists’ chairs taking up the bulk of the space, its focus is clearly on hair. And my friend was right — Michelle understood my need for seriously fashionable bangs and listened to me explain how extreme I wanted to go.
She cut them on an angle, working with my cowlick to shape the style. Her approach was meticulous and choosy: The 20-minute process was a symphony of tiny snips, consultation, contemplation and giggling (we were both getting really excited about how my new bangs were fitting in with the hair cut she’d just given me). I ended up with a milder version of the sultry, piecy California-style swoop across the forehead that I never thought I could pull off. My best friend is soo jealous.
The Special Touch: Michelle didn’t even flinch when I described the look I was going for as “a Japanese schoolgirl cut as seen through the eyes of the French.” Now that’s professional.
The Stats: My visit included a wash, blowout, haircut and bang cut and cost $50. 10904 Clifton Blvd., Cleveland; (216) 961-3000
— Amber Matheson
The Salon: Cheveux Salon, Parma
The Service: The older I get, the darker my hair seems to grow in. Gone are the days of natural highlights from the sun. These days, Bobbie Vespoli is my ray of sunshine. She does natural-looking highlights (people are always surprised when they find out I get them) with a weave comb and foil — and she does them for less than the price most stylists charge for a simple cut.
Vespoli divides my hair into sections and weaves out about half the hair in each section to highlight, so the light and dark strands blend together seamlessly. Whether it’s the middle of summer or the dead of winter, I always feel like my hair has been sun-kissed after my visits — just like when I was a little girl.
The Special Touch: After enduring the harsh chemical highlighting process for more than a decade, my hair remains healthy; it’s a tribute to Vespoli’s expertise and experience (she’s been doing hair for 27 years).
The Stats: Included in my 2 1/2 hour visit: a partial highlight (top and sides), wash, cut and blow dry for $47. 6066 Broadview Road, Parma; (216) 661-1200
— Jennifer Dugan
The Salon: Enchantress: The Long Hair Salon, Olmsted Falls
The Service: I love my waist-length hair, but finding a stylist who is willing to listen when I ask for “no more than an inch off the ends” is almost impossible. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been to salons for a trim and wound up looking like a hedgehog with bangs. Thanks to owner-stylists Lance Melin and Jody Nisula, those hatchet jobs are ancient history. Enchantress, a small salon across from Grand Pacific Junction in Olmsted Falls, is Cleveland’s long hair expert: Melin and Nisula have studied with international long hair master Dr. George Michael.
I wanted to grow my hair out as long as possible, so Melin assessed its condition (pretty good, but with some split ends) and showed me that about 3 inches needed to be trimmed in order to even out the ends. It would preserve the overall length while eliminating the weak spots that make hair appear straggly and less full. On subsequent salon visits, only “dusting” trims — which remove small amounts of split, dry ends — are needed, helping the hair grow longer and healthier. In all, Melin didn’t cut off more hair than I agreed on. Finally, a stylist who works with me in my quest for ever-longer hair!
The Special Touch: For the finishing touch, I sat under a bright light and Melin, wearing glasses with magnified lenses, twisted sections of my hair and trimmed any split ends up and down the length of the section, which left my hair tangle-free, glossy and full.
The Stats: Haircut with split-end cut: $45. 8061 Columbia Road, Olmsted Falls; (440) 235-8550, www.enchantress.com
— Geli Valli
The Salon: Dante Lucci Salon, Rocky River
The Service: I am one of those women “blessed” with naturally curly hair; add a hint of moisture, and I’m cursed with the frizzes. How I long for smooth, sleek locks. Lately I’ve tried straightening it myself; now my hair is damaged, rough and … still frizzy.
That’s where Nora Swift at Dante Lucci Salon comes in. She’s lived my pain: Swift was also blessed with a full head of ringlets. So when I arrived at the trendy, full-service Rocky River salon for a blowout and style, I was delighted to have a well-educated stylist on my side.
Dante Lucci prides itself on being the only Bumble & bumble concept salon on the West Side. Though other salons in the area carry some B&b products, only Dante Lucci carries the full line.
All Dante Lucci clients get the full B&b treatment: a consultation, cleansing, conditioning and the special ProComplex, a potent dose of nutritive ingredients for your scalp and hair. Swift used the Damage Therapy line of products, which, she explained, actually repairs the hair. She talked me through each step and provided lots of helpful hints specific to my hair type. After she blew my hair dry and gave me chunky ringlets, I was a Bumble & bumble believer.
The Special Touch: My hair stayed soft, supple and frizz-less during an entire night of dancing in the Warehouse District and walking from bar to bar in the rain!
The Stats: My wash, optional deep conditioning masque treatment, blowout and style cost $45. 19365 Detroit Road, Rocky River; (440) 331-7222
— Sara Lepro
The Salon: Dawn Nicole Salon & Spa, Bainbridge
The Service: We all remember that horrible cut and color that had our friends staring at us with pity in their eyes and a secret thought in their minds: “thank God that’s her hair, not mine.” My bad hair experience occurred back in ’99, and ever since I’ve kept an eagle eye on my stylists. Recently, though, I looked in the mirror and realized my hair is so 1999. What’s a girl to do when she needs an overhaul? Head to Dawn DeVincentis for her innovative approach to styling.
The salon breathes bold, vibrant colors with splashes of leopard print. Upbeat music pumps from the speakers. This place has energy.
DeVincentis looked into my eyes as I sat in her chair — and I mean right into my eyes. “Your eyes are cool,” she said. “You have so many colors, we can go almost anywhere with your color.” She asked me what type of clothes I wear, what I do for fun, whose hair I would have if I could have anyone’s hair … then she went to work.
Over the next 2 1/2 hours, color went everywhere: DeVincentis matched some highlights to the colors in my eyes, and used tons of different hues. The cut fits the shape of my face and I’ve found I can really work with it. I feel 25 again, but not stuck in the ’90s.
The Special Touch: She never even picked up a pair of scissors. The entire cut was done with a razor.
The Stats: Color placement analysis, wash, deep condition, scalp massage, blow dry and UV protectant mask: $120. 17800 Chillicothe Road, Bainbridge; (440) 543-9854
— Michelle Lawson
Men’s Cut, Color and Style
The Salon: Laura Lee Salon, Cleveland Heights
The Service: I’m an active, on-the-go professional. Back in my days as an active, on-the-go college student, Hackin’ Harry’s, in Waynesburg, Pa., was good enough for me. But now I need a cut that complements my suit-and-tie lifestyle. For that, I turned to a real salon.
After my visit with Heidi Salkin, a 11-year industry veteran, I felt like a distinguished gentleman walking a red carpet. The successful haircut and highlighting had everything to do with Salkin’s confidence, experienced power of suggestion and her talent for listening. If only our elected officials were so competent. As a conservative Republican, the thought of introducing dark blond highlights into my light brown hair is kind of like inviting Ralph Nader to a GOP fund-raiser. But Salkin painted the highlights as if she were building a bridge between the red states and the blue states. The haircut gave me a suggestion of bipartisanship, a blend of my current look with a touch of open-minded new ideas. The cut was razor sharp, the highlights subtle and the overall look presidential.
The Special Touch: The charming and witty banter in the halls of the salon made me feel right at home. If I closed my eyes I could have been back home at the family table. And for a guy from a big family, I felt as if I had just been adopted into theirs.
The Stats: A wash and haircut were $35 and highlights were $42. 1797 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights; (216) 371-9607, www.lauraleesalon.com
— Mike Maleski
Stylist to the Stars
Ahh, the glamour and style of Hollywood stars. How do they always look so good? Better yet, where can I get my hair done like that?
I found my spot for the “I want that look” style right here in Cleveland, with Edwin Fontanez — he’s styled the coifs of the guys from Maroon 5 and models who walked the catwalk at New York Fashion Week.
I stepped into his trendy Flats studio and felt as if I were in a Greenwich Village space shut down just for me. A comfy couch, track lighting and the single sink placed right in the center of the open, airy studio gave this space a cool feel.
Fontanez is calm, the picture of sophistication: He was undaunted when I showed him a picture of Reese Witherspoon torn right from the pages of People. He showered me — and my hair — with compliments throughout the cut and dished the kind of gossip you can only get when you’re a fixture on the industry circuit. (Sorry, but what’s said in the salon, stays in the salon. You’ll have to sit in the chair yourself to get the good stuff.)
He cut my hair with layers that allow my naturally straight hair to get that full-volume look Reese has at a movie premiere or that edgy, blunt look for a fun night out. Overall, my new look can be elegant and stylish.
What really matters is that he has the skills to draw celebs. If you were wondering, my hair turned out just like the photo.
The Stats: He styles hair in two private studios by appointment only; his fees range depending on your personal needs. (216) 926-8287 (West Side), (216) 765-1088 (East Side)
— Michelle Berry
The Salon: Ladies & Gentlemen Salon and Spa, Legacy Village, Lyndhurst
The Service: I made my appointment for a salon-caliber hairstyle with one caveat: I did not want to look like a prom queen. Enter Ken Novak, a master stylist and Aveda Hair Designer of the Year Finalist. “I’m turning 30, and I’m going out,” I told him. “I’m thinking sultry, sexy waves,” he responded. I was sold.
Novak skillfully maneuvered the blow-dryer to give my locks volume. He wrapped chunky sections around a wide-barrel curling iron for modern waves. After shaking out the curls, he teased the crown for runway-ready glamour. It was Farrah Fawcett meets Brooke Shields meets 2006. During dinner that night on the town, I caught the appreciative glances from patrons passing; my date pretended he didn’t. I was 30, and I was hot.
The Special Touch: Expect more than the standard quick shampoo and towel-dry. Hair-care patrons also receive a scalp, hand and arm massage, plus a mini-facial. As part of the regular service, they also provided full Aveda makeup application before I debuted my look. Bonus: This spa does not accept tips — if you like your service, they just ask that you tell a friend.
The Stats: A Ken Novak hair transformation starts at $85, Legacy Village, Lyndhurst; 1-877-888-9670, www.ladiesgentlemen.com
Cut From a Local Celeb
The Salon: Charles Scott Salons & Spas, Rocky River
The Service: Like many people who find their way to Chaz Henline’s chair, I wanted a haircut that was “something different.” (After all, he’s a one-name celebrity in these parts thanks to his amazing cuts.) Other big-name stylists might have taken that as carte blanche and left me looking like a hair model for the day, never caring whether I could duplicate it. But not Chaz. The words “something different” opened the door to a barrage of questions and comments instead.
Henline declared my shoulder-length hair an “OK cut” for me, with the caveat that I could do better if I went for a shorter, face-framing cut to show off my long neck — something easy to care for so I wouldn’t be tempted to pull it back in a ponytail while chasing after my toddler.
He thinks like an artist but works like an architect: He expresses his vision but only builds something you’ll like and be able to care for. And he taught me how to take care of my new do as he styled it. (Wait until it’s almost completely dry to style it with a curling iron, because hair is more vulnerable when it’s wet and easier to damage.) And he urged me to call him if I had any trouble making it look that way.
I didn’t. It’s the easiest, most versatile haircut I’ve ever had. It can be serious and sophisticated or messy and fun. Just like my life right now.
The Special Touch: Chaz calls you about a week after your visit to make sure you’re not having any problems. He’ll bring you back in if you’re unhappy with something or need a styling lesson.
The Stats: The first visit with Chaz includes a consultation and costs $70. Subsequent visits are less depending on several factors. 19025 Old Lake Road, Rocky River; (440) 333-7994,
— Jacqueline Marino
I’m jealous, I admit it. Celebs’ long, luxurious locks taunt me every time I open a magazine or turn on the TV. I want that hair! I’m sick of looking in the mirror and facing my mediocre, shoulder-length cut.
Then I discovered Sandi Donafee of Reve Salon in Strongsville. As the education director for the Midwest branch of SO.CAP Hair Extensions, Sandi has been working with SO.CAP for two years and teaching other stylists how to apply hair extensions for six. She meets with me first for a consultation. Discussing why I want extensions, my hair color and what kind I should get — straight, wavy or curly. She explains that she likes SO.CAP because the hair is real (it comes courtesy of India and Europe) and the keratin bond (a protein already found in hair) doesn’t damage the hair like welding, waxing, gluing or knotting can. She mentions that Jennifer Aniston wears the same extensions I’m getting. There are a lot of rules to follow — no towel turbans, no combs, no salt water — but, she warns me, I will become addicted.
The four-to-six-hour application begins at the nape of my neck. Donafee uses a small heating tool to bond the keratin to my hair. When she is done attaching the extensions, she trims off the extra length and gives me some long layers. I look in the mirror and my heart skips a beat: My hair looks amazing. And I am instantly addicted.
The Stats: The hair, application, cut and style can run $1,000 to $1,500 depending on the amount of hair, and the extensions last four to six months. Reve Salon, 17578 Pearl Road, Strongsville; (440) 878-5077
Growing Out a Short Cut
The Salon: Frizz Hair Experience, Cuyahoga Falls
The Service: Hello. My name is Kelly, and I have a short and funky haircut: platinum-chunked front sections, ultra-short mod bob with long wisps and thick, jagged bangs. I also have a new job complete with a computer, deadlines and an office adjacent to the boss, so I’m not really feeling this punked-out do any more. My mission is to grow out my mop; I need someone who will hold my hand until I get there.
Melissa Lisuch is my guru. A masterful foiler, Lisuch loves taking risks and excels at creating choppy, brightly contrasted and strikingly unique styles. A punk rocker-esque hippie chick herself, Lisuch is trendy and cool. She expertly thinned out the weight of my hair and razored off all the poofy, dead weight, trimming the ends without hacking off all the progress I’d made in growing it out thus far. The result was a style so striking, I was asked to pose for the salon’s portfolio. How fabulous!
The Special Touch: I can count on her for the long haul. She listens patiently to my opposing demands — “I’m growing it out … but look at this ad