Style Secret: Aveda Institute Vancouver


I received the best colour and cut of my life when I was in Lisbon, Portugal. Despite the language barrier, we were able to communicate and I received exactly what I asked for.

It made me realize that my hairdresser at home maybe wasn’t all I thought she was. Maybe I had become complacent going to her for so long that I never even realized how unsatisfied I was until I was forced to try someone new and it made me remove my rose coloured glasses.




When I got back to Vancouver I knew it was time to find someone new, but after months of travelling my funds were depleted. I started going around to various salons around town and was getting quotes for $200 plus, and that wasn’t including a tip. I remembered that a friend told me about the budget-friendly prices at a teaching school downtown so I thought I’d check it out.

The Aveda Institute in Vancouver is a lively salon in Gastown that is full of hustle and bustle where students are mastering their craft under the supervision of educators on guinea pigs like me.

The atmosphere is a lot of fun, the customer service was excellent and the prices are hard to beat. I’m really happy I gave the salon and the experience a try, but will I be going back?  Continue reading to find out…

Here is an overview of my experience at the Aveda Institute in Vancouver:

Who was my hairdresser?

I had my hair done by a lovely girl who was an Aveda Academy Level Stylist, meaning that she’s a newly accredited stylist who is in a graduate program and is supervised throughout the appointment by their educator.

What did I ask for?

I wanted a full head of highlights to hide my roots and to brighten my blonde overall. I originally asked for “cooler” tones but was informed that because of my root growth and current colour I wouldn’t be able to achieve the look I wanted in one visit, so we compromised for somewhere in between. Essentially, I said if I left “blonder” with no roots, I’d be happy.

How long did it take?

A long time, but that’s really no surprise because my hair usually takes a long time. My first appointment was approx. 4.5 hours and my second was 2.5 hours for a grand total of 7 hours.

How much was it?

I paid approx. $120 for a full head of highlights, $20 for a toner and $20 for a style for a grand total of $160 + tip. For the second visit, my re-do/ fix was complementary. Check out the price list here.

Were you happy?

Originally, no. I went home and after shelling out almost $200 felt there was very little change. Here are the before and after shots, I almost look blonder in the before photos, but it might just be the lighting (none of the images were altered).

Before & After
Before & After

I also noticed that my root line was still distinct and the top of my hair was no bueno.



The next day, I made an appointment to fix the problem and headed back to receive a set of partial highlights which I haven’t taken a picture of yet, so stay posted on Twitter and Instagram for a photo later today.

Would I go back?

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t.

Despite the fact that my hairdresser was great fun, I didn’t originally get what I asked for, causing me the inconvenience of booking another appointment which was 2.5 hours long. However, I do understand that it is a teaching institute, so I was mentally prepared that I might have to go back but I overall I just don’t “love it” so I doubt I’ll be going back.

Have you ever been to the Aveda Institute? What was your experience like?



    • wanderbeforewhat
      September 28, 2015 / 9:44 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Jenessa!

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