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Last week I was lucky to be invited to experience a few treatments over at the Aveda Institute Salon & Spa in Covent Garden whilst on my trip down to the capital. The institute is triangulated by Covent Garden, Holborn and Tottenham Court Rode Tube stations, each within easy-peasy walking distance.
On my arrival to the institute, I was blown away with how bustling the place was. There were stylists and clients everywhere being subject to a whole manor of exciting and beautifully fragranced treatments, the smell in the air was gorgeous.
After checking in, I was invited to site down where I was to be met by my therapist Amy for my Elements Nature Full Body Massage. I was escorted downstairs through the back of the hair salon to a noiseless and ethereally lit room. The treatment room was cosy, spacious, beautifully furnished and most importantly, just the right temperature. Over by the treatment table was a stool and intriguing large metal bowl of soapy water placed on a towel. This was where I was told to sit and place my feet once I’d changed.
Element Nature Full Body Massage
Stripped down and in my robe, my therapist Amy entered and my treatment began with a foot cleanse and scrub which after the minor procedures I’d had a few weeks before, was just heaven! Now I’m always hesitant to give you the ins and outs of the treatment because I really want to share with you my experience but at the same time I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you either!
Before the massage you’ll undergo a stress analysis to discover which one of your elements is lacking/imbalanced due to a possible area of stress in your life. My unbalanced element was ‘wind’ due to constantly rushing around and moving about. Then you’re asked to select one of three presented fragrances of which I won’t tell you what they are, but they’re beautifully and unusual choices of essential oils.
The treatment lasts for around 75 minutes. The first part is more of an intense muscle relief, targeting areas of built up knots and toxins all designed to kick the lymph system into shape to drain away all that nastiness. The treatment then becomes a little softer (if that’s what you prefer, which I did) and I’ll be honest, during the last 20 minutes, there was a minute or two where, and here I can’t decide, I either became so zoned out because of the intense relaxation or… I fell asleep.
Once over, my skin felt silky to the touch and there was no risk of spreading oils to my clothes. I was seated outside in ample time and very leisurely to take a drink and a rest. Ten I was returned upstairs to get ready for my hair treatment.
Botanical Therapy Express Hair Rescue Treatment
The difference between the institute and a local hair salon is that you can be certain the people here are constantly learning and progressing. Joon, my stylist, had just returned from a year out working as a session stylist and she’d worked with Aveda for around 6 years. I felt in very safe hands indeed.
The treatment was for scalp hydration and to rebuild the hair protein. To give a bit of an explanation of why I was having the treatment, bear with me as I describe the hair as a Pringles can, with the protein being the tube on the outside. Over time through wear and tear, the tube gets battered, chipped, ripped and burnt, so to rebuild the hair to its former condition, the protein treatment forcibly repairs all the gaps leaving your hair shiny, sleek and strong.
The treatment was express lasting around 15 minutes so perfect to grab on your lunch break if you’re fairly local. An oil concoction designed for your scalp type is massaged in deeply, you then are left to wait for it to get to work for a couple of minutes. Then I was taken over to the basins for a deep shampoo and condition with Invati, hair care products I refuse to live without! The actual protein treatment, technologically adapted into a spray by Aveda, is applied right into the hair and massaged through. You’re left for 5 minutes before having it rinsed out and then being taken back over to the chair.
Your hair will be styled again but, and don’t laugh at me, I asked if it would be ok to restyle it myself. Not that I on any level questioned Joon’s abilities, but I had other meetings that day and knew I’d be more confident if I styled it myself, maybe you can sympathise with that. Or maybe I just sound mad?
Leaving the institute was a massive come down as you feel so cocooned once inside. The treatment prices and options are all available to read here in the treatment menu. There are specific treatments for guys and my massage was one of them. They also do a back facial which I’m desperate to have someone with a problemed skin on their back try out and report back to me! If you’re local to the city centre of London, or you know something, even if your not, it’s worth getting yourself down here just for the experience. Whether you’re an Aveda newbie or a die hard, life long lover like myself, you’ll have a wonderful time.
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