Eastside Salon Rouge Makeover: Autreen

Autreen Rahbari ('10)/ Eastside Radio Manager and Autreen Rahbari ('10)/ Eastside Radio Manager

I didn’t know that a joke could become so damn real.

What started out as a laugh and a nudge with the rest of the Eastside board snowballed into me sheepishly scraping into Salon Rouge for a “hair treatment”. What had I done?

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with salons or their customers, and I acknowledge the fact that their staff probably has better backgrounds for working with hair than, say, a barber. I’m just not comfortable there.

Maybe it’s the atmosphere. In a small, unnamed, Philadelphia barber shop, there are barbers and customers engrossed in unrestrained and, quite frankly, ridiculous debates about music, culture, women and politics. Even if I don’t partake in the heated debates or racy exchanges, I still can sit back and quietly listen to all of the dirt, comedy, contests and philosophy that whirls around me. Believe me when I say Nietzsche and Kafka don’t know what they’re missing.

In a salon, it’s much different. The conversations usually revolve around the staff or their regular customers and it’s never as interesting as barber shop discussion. I occasionally get asked about school, college applications, my family and all of the other forced, brisk topics that you would hear around your generic office complex. It may not seem that significant and I may have seemed indifferent on the outside, but the soccer mom banters, gossip and coffee talk were melting my insides.

Salons, in general, seem like plastic warehouses lined with the rosiest pampered robots you could ever imagine. For some it’s an efficient paradise, but it’s not quite my cup of tea.

Despite the plastic exterior, there is no doubt that the salon staff did a great job with their assigned tasks. I remember the colorist, in particular, who was very helpful in guiding me to which color I should dye my hair.

It was “suggested” by certain persons in Eastside that I should color my hair, which I would have had no problem doing if I had a clue about hair or color. I don’t know what color looks good with my complexion—certainly not blonde. Purple and green don’t seem like good choices either. Maybe a dark brown? Oh right, my hair is already dark brown.

Amidst my quiet, nervous frenzy, the colorist, whose name unfortunately escapes me, suggested that I dye the tips of my hair red. Why not? She is the professional, after all, and I don’t have any idea about pigment alteration, so let’s do it.

As I stepped through East’s main entrance the very next day, I was greeted with rushes of “Oh my God, it’s red!” and “That looks great, Autreen!” and, of course, “You should keep it like that!”. Should I? Should I really? That’s something that I’d have to think on for some time—but man, oh man, people were pointing and laughing and shaking my hand like I had just carried the Phillies to a second consecutive World Series.

I don’t think that my new hair changed the way anybody though about me, personally, but it inspire a fresh new wave of attention, which is always a good thing. So with that in mind, I can confidently say Thank You Salon Rouge and kudos for your great work!

My mother seems excited to try Salon Rouge out; however, I will, unfortunately, be returning to my noisy, corner barber shop because, despite getting the better treatment at the salon, my heart can never replace the eccentric and bona fide environment of the noisy and fiery philosopher’s temple.