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Hair Recovery Step 1

December 19, 2015

I wanted to write a follow up to my Graeber review to update you all on the hair situation. As a reminder, I was a redhead for 28 years, I had a terrible experience at a salon in downtown Boise and walked out a very, very dark brunette. Check out this post for the specifics of that nightmare.

The co-owner of Graeber Salon, Shelby, reached out to me after reading about my last experience and wanted to try and make it right. I very much appreciated her reaching out, but was very hesitant to go back in, for a variety of reasons. Shelby was extremely kind and refunded me in full for my last appointment, sent a gift certificate to replace my ruined jeans and offered me a complimentary hair fix as well as an additional $100 on my account to spend at Graeber on future hair appointments. I was very grateful for the length that she went to in order to rectify my previous experience. She even sent a handwritten card on Graeber stationary! I’m a sucker for hand-written cards, so I decided to give the salon another chance. Shelby set up my appointment with one of their veteran stylists, Amy, for a Saturday afternoon.

I was equal parts dreading the appointment and ecstatic for it. Dreading it because I didn’t want a similar experience as last time, or worse, awkward because of my last experience. Ecstatic because I was absolutely desperate to fix my hair. I hated it.

The Saturday of my appointment I arrived to another bustling day at Graeber; the front room was just as crowded as the last time I was there. The front desk girls were just as kind and bubbly, even apologizing that there was no room on the waiting bench. The first pleasant surprise of the day was when a super happy girl, Hailey, came out to introduce herself as Amy’s assistant. That’s right-an assistant! I felt relieved as soon as I met her, because I assumed this meant I wouldn’t be sitting on a wall somewhere with color in my hair for over an hour as my stylist did another guest’s hair. Plus, she was so bubbly and happy to be there that it was hard not to be happy around her.

The second pleasant surprise was when Hailey took me over to Amy’s station. Her chair is in the very front corner of the salon and is MUCH more private and a little larger than the other stations. It has the feel of a one-on-one appointment, rather than sitting in the middle of a giant warehouse. I’m sure everyone has their preferences, and mine is NOT to be in the middle of a giant, busy room so everyone can see you. I absolutely loved that Amy’s station was private-it almost felt like she had her own mini-salon. After my first appointment at Graeber I thought I had decided I wasn’t a “hair salon” type girl, but sitting in Amy’s station didn’t feel near as much like I was in a salon, even with how busy it was that day.

Once sitting down in Amy’s chair and talking about what our options/next steps were for my hair, I felt much more at ease. I was immediately drawn to Amy and Hailey and felt our personalities meshed well. The pleasant surprises continued when, before starting on my hair, Amy had Hailey take me into a room to change out of the sweater that I was wearing. I changed into a cape-shirt. That’s not actually the name of what I changed into I’m sure, but that’s what I call it because it was a cross between a stylist’s cape and a shirt. I didn’t even know this was an option, but I’m sure glad they let me wear it! I was much more comfortable wearing the cape-shirt and I knew my sweater was safe from getting dye on it hanging up in the closest.

I went back and sat down at Amy’s station where she then put on an actual cape-double protection from the scary dye! Hailey was very attentive throughout the entire appointment readjusting the cape to ensure it was always covering my pants. Probably one of my most favorite things about the appointment (other than getting to spend several hours getting to know two amazing ladies) was Hailey offering to give me a hand massage while Amy was putting the lifter in my hair! It was SUCH a nice addition to the appointment. Plus-it’s a great way for them to advertise different Aveda lotions. 🙂

Since my hair was so dark from my last appointment (even though it had lightened quite a bit from our Cabo trip) we didn’t have a lot of options. Plus my hair was already damaged from the last dye job, so Amy had to be careful and limit breakage around my face, since that’s where the hair was darkest. In four hours they applied a color lifter, washed the lifter out, dried my hair, applied some lighter red/caramel blonde color, washed that out, applied a gloss, and each time using nourishing shampoo and conditioner. Amy also had to cut about three inches of length off, which I was sad about, but my hair feels healthier now. The color is still a little more brown in places than I would like, but it’s SO much better and in most lights I look like a redhead again! I’m impressed with what she did in just one appointment, but I’m also anxious for my next appointment and to continue to get rid of all traces of the brown color. The darkest spots are right around my face and underneath, so you can mostly only see this when I wear my hair back.

In summary, Amy and Hailey were both so wonderful, I can’t say enough good things about them. And I especially loved Amy’s station. Perhaps I could be a “salon type” girl. 😉


I apologize for the poor quality and lighting, but here is a little reminder of the drastic change my poor hair went through the last time at Graeber.


Current hair!


Graeber | DitchingNormal




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  • Heidabelle December 19, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    The color looks so much more like what you were originally looking for. So glad to hear they tried to make it right for you!

    • ditchingnormal December 24, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Thanks Heidy! I was definitely impressed with their response after finally hearing about my experience.