A Hero's Journey

As the age old saying goes, "It's not the destination, but the journey." My journey, or at least this little blog, begins with a break-up. My girlfriend and I, after three and a half years, recently broke up. As everyone knows, break-ups are hard and they are painful, especially when you live together. However, when you are the one being broken up with, well, that just takes it all to a whole other level of pain and difficulty. So, I'm doing all the things one is supposed to do after a break-up. I'm staying busy, focusing on work, hanging out more, and i'm trying "new" things. As fate would have it, I was recently given the opportunity to try something I have never done before. Honestly, it's not even something I've ever really thought about doing. The good people at Launchpad, and the equally good people at Eufora, offered me the chance to have a complete makeover!

Now, as surprising as this may sound, my initial reaction, my first thought, was no. No way, not my thing, not interested, no thanks. Change, was the last thing I wanted. Change was all that was happening. My relationship, my living situation, my future, all that was already changing and all I wanted was to go back to how it was. Of course, that is impossible. So, after putting some more thought into it, and realizing how incredible an opportunity this really was, I said yes.

Now, it's important to mention, I've never had a makeover, never thought about having a makeover, never wanted one. To be honest, most of my haircuts have either been given to me by friends, or have been at those fast food-type shops where they butcher your hair for ten bucks. I've had little experience with actual, trained and talented stylists. I vaguely recall getting a facial back when I was entering my teens, and the only memory I have of that experience was how much I never wanted another one.

I  was excited, but a bit nervous as I drove down to South Pasadena last Tuesday. The salon in which I was to embark from on this new adventure is called Mission Ten Eleven. First off, for those of you unfamiliar with the lovely city of Pasadena, it is truly a lovely city. Mission Ten Eleven is located on this cool little block, right next to a used book store. Entering the salon, I was impressed by the ambiance, hip and modern without being too hipster or too modern. Still feeling a bit intimidated, remember I'm not the kind of fellow who spends a lot of time in salons, I was very relieved to suddenly hear one of my favorite bands, Radiohead, playing softly in the background.

I met the friendly owner of the salon, Ernie and was then immediately surrounded by a group of four, very welcoming, very lovely ladies. They all worked for Eufora, and had made the long trek out to Pasadena just to accompany me on my "hero's journey" with the brand's Hero for Men line. They all were so nice, so supportive, and made me feel instantly comfortable. I had worried a bit on the drive over that I would feel kinda like the weird, socially awkward misfit kid at the cool party knowing this is not where I belonged. The ladies of Eufora, and my personal stylist Michele Laxson, made me feel not only like I belonged, but that I was the special guest of honor!

Michele made some recommendations, told me about the products they would be using, told me what to expect, and then, most importantly, actually listened to what I had to say. I had gone into this "makeover" thinking I was ready for a drastic change. Why not, I thought, everything else in my life had just changed, may as well keep it going. However, when I got there, when I really thought about it, I just wasn't ready yet. I asked her to just take a few inches off the length. I guess my journey will begin in inches, not miles. Baby steps instead of huge leaps. But, what is most important, is that at least the journey has begun. Slow and catious as it is, at least I'm doing it, I'm moving forward. I'm trying "new" things, and big surprise, it's fun!

Michele was totally receptive to what I asked for, and in adhering to my strict parameters, still managed to spice it up a bit. She gave my hair more body and shape, all of which was something I'd never put much thought into. She styled it in a way that gave it more, well, more style! Go figure, a talented stylist can actually give you more style. She didn't really change anything, she just made what was there look and feel better.

In addition to the haircut, the hero experience included numerous other experiences that were totally foreign to me. For example, I've never had a hair wash and shampoo that included a gentle neck massage. I would go again for the massage alone! In addition to all that, they use their amazing products to clean your face, concluding the hero experience with a warm towel delicately pressed against your now tingling face. There is a shave, which was unlike any shave I've ever given myself. The product used was not the foamy white Santa Clause-beard stuff I always use, but a soft lotion with an enchanting aroma (Hero Exceptional Shave) that actually helps and invigorates your skin. They then used a different product for my hands. There was another massage as she applied her magic lotion, and fellas, once again, I would go just for that as well!

All in all, the whole experience lasted maybe an hour. In and out and feeling refreshed, clean, and ready to begin the next phase of my journey. That's really what the hero experience was all about for me. The "makeover," the shave, the lotions, the products, the haircut, the warmth and kindness Michele and all the ladies showed me, that's not the destination, that's part of the journey. That's them helping you pack, giving you some useful tools, making you feel healthy and happy as they bid you a fond bon voyage. The Hero Experience is the perfect way to start your day, again. Many thanks to everyone at Eufora, Mission Ten Eleven and Launchpad!


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