Le Cheveu Salon and Spa – Review
So, a few weeks ago Bucket was sweet enough to surprise me with a Living Social special for a facial, body wrap and aromatherapy session at Le Cheveu Spa and Salon in Yorba Linda, California. I was lucky enough that my nagging resulted in us scheduling my visit within the next month (i’ll tell you why later.) Anyway – I went last week but I just now managed to write up my review. For those of you that have never had either of the two treatments, i’ll try to make this post as informative as possible.
The living social included basic forms of all the above treatments for a total of $19 (regularly priced at $120 according to the advertisement.) When I got there I upgraded my wrap to the Slimming Compression Body Wrap with infrared blanket for $38, normally who-knows-how-much because their website isn’t very complete. I had planned to add on several extras but a week from the day of my appointment they changed around their “upgrades” page, upping the prices of all the upgrades and removing some altogether. At the spa itself they only had the information for 2-3 of the upgrades advertised on the website. So I stuck to the one upgrade and left it at that.
The whole experience took a little bit under an hour and 30 minutes. It felt much shorter, but relaxing things often do.
We called two days after the purchase and were able to get our appointment in for three weeks later. The appointment was for a Sunday, a day they had to make available because of the response to their offer.
There was a chance I’d have to reschedule so we attempted calling them about a week later only to find that they’d essentially set their number to voice mail because they were being overwhelmed with calls. They never called Bucket back and we were never able to get through directly to a human being again. My tech later told me that Living Social had told them to expect 200 orders…they received 4000!
On the day of we showed up about 15 minutes before my appointment to find the door locked, though the sign was switched to open! After getting out of my fetal position and ending my sobbing session I gave them a call only to hear no ringing coming from inside. We waited outside the salon and 15-25 minutes later a young woman drove up and opened the spa. We gave her a moment to settle in before walking through the door. It turns out someone had scheduled my appointment 30 minutes later than we’d discussed. The woman who showed up didn’t even know she was scheduled for a job!
Still, Laura (her name) was quite friendly once she shook off the morning sleepiness. It took her a minute to get everything together for my treatment but once she had Bucket took off and the experience began!
Throughout, Laura was amiable. She didn’t really ask me many questions about my skin outside of what I was looking to purchase. I did ask her about some skin problems of mine but she didn’t respond. During the wrap she was kind enough to make sure that it wasn’t too tight. She even noticed when the heat began to get to my heels and placed a towel under them to prevent burn. In short: lots of small talk, not much skincare advice.
The Tuesday after my treatment I received a call back from the spa regarding my calling them at the time no one was there. They left a voicemail asking if the problem had been resolved. Needless to say, I didn’t bother to call back.
The place was neatly settled between a music store and other non-beauty related locations. It didn’t look much like a spa from the outside: there were a few whiteboards advertising colonics and weight loss supplements but they resembled high school presentation projects rather than professional advertisements. See below:
Once inside, I felt like I was at a small beauty boutique rather than a spa. The lobby was less than 5′x5′ and there was a beauty station inside of it. The salon section was completely open to the lobby, which only had 3 chairs. They had some old strawberry water in front of the desk, a cork-board with advertisements for oil changes and bra bedazzling.
The attendant/technician set all her personal stuff on the beauty station pictured above. The whole place seemed disheveled and unorganized. It did smell quite nice though! The room where my wrap, facial and aromatherapy was to take place wasn’t much better. There was a cart with all their products, it was quite small and dirty and there were clearly “stale” candles lit.
There are two types of body wraps. The old school kind involve being wrapped like a mummy several ave bandages that have been soaked in liquids made of herbs and other products. The new kind involve being slathered in mud-like products and being “wrapped” in a regular, thermal or infrared blanket for several minutes. Both claim to help smooth skin, moisturize, treat cellulite, increase circulation, rid your body of toxins, improve metabolism and rid the body of excess fat. Most body wraps reduce water weight by moving it to your bloodstream and helping you to rid it through your body’s regular waste-ridding mechanisms. They do not and should not be used as a weight loss tool. There’s also no scientific evidence that they rid your body of toxins, reduce cellulite or aid circulation and metabolism long term. They can be great for your skin – and everyone knows moisturized skin is happy skin. So while they may not be the magic diet wand you hoped for, they do have their benefits.
My body wrap was of the old school variety. I was wrapped around the legs, torso and arms with ace bandages soaked in Jadience Herbal Slimming Soak. The soak contained ginseng, bladderwack (a type of seaweed) and licorice root – which Jadience claims will stimulate metabolism, firm and tone the body and improve the appearance of cellulite.
Because this was a compression wrap, my bandages were a bit tight. Shortly after being wrapped I was placed on my table Laura wrapped me in the infrared blanket. This combination caused quite a bit of sweating (part of the treatment). I didn’t actually realize how much I was sweating until I got up from the table and felt all the extra moisture that had soaked into my bandages, bathing suit and the plastic liner beneath me. Luckily the spa provided towels for me to dry off with! The whole wrap took about an hour and was quite relaxing. There was your typical spa music playing, the old candles lit and the lights were dimmed. I didn’t quite fall asleep but I got quite close!
Although this was meant to be a slimming body wrap, I didn’t lose any inches or water weight. My skin did feel nice and soft afterwards though!
Facials typically include a number of treatments. They usually involve but are not limited to: skin evaluation, skin typing, cleansing, exfoliation and the application of several masks. There’s typically some talk about your skin and skincare advice. Some facials use extractions: a special method of squeezing the pores to force them to give up all the gunk inside. Dermatologists and aestheticians (facial technicians) debate this procedure all the time. Some claim it’s great (though usually involves a few days of REALLY sensitive and achey skin) and others claim it creates long term damage to the skin. I’m somewhere in the middle and will leave it up to you guys to decide where you fall.
My facial didn’t involve much typing, no cleansing (she left my makeup on!) no exfoliation or extractions and two masks. It took place during the heated-blanket portion of my wrap. The masks were not discussed with me outside of my being told one of them was a mixture of two masks to prevent over drying my skin. The masks were applied with a tongue depressor. After the application of each mask the tech left the room, a practice which I’ve never seen before. She came back twice to remove each mask with a warm, moist towel. Both were applied to my face, neck, upper chest and parts of my shoulder. Like with most facials, there was a light massage of these areas as well.
At some point some cool cucumbers were placed on my eyes: they felt very nice when paired with the heated blanket.
After most facials it’s recommended that you avoid heavy sun exposure, makeup use and touching your face. I followed the first two bits of this advice and boy did I regret it! I did have a bit of a breakout after the facial (it’s still ongoing.) Some people think this is part of the facial experience but everything i’ve ever heard or experienced says otherwise. It really depends on your skin, the cleanliness of the tech (mine forgot to use gloves!).
A big part of your skin’s reaction to your facial involves using the right products. This is why typing is so important: my facial didn’t involve typing and as such resulted in both excess dryness around my mouth and breakouts along my jaw and chin.
What is part of the facial experience is the slightly increased sensitivity afterwards. You should never get a facial the day before or the day of a huge event. I’d give it a week’s buffering time to allow yourself to recuperate. When Bucket picked me up he quickly commented on the redness and shine to my skin – the former has yet to go away.
One sentence: An old, single candle does not an aromatherapy treatment make.
Customer Service: 3/10
The Wrap: 7/10
The Facial: 5/10
The Aromatherapy: 1/10
Never judge a spa by it’s cover. Some smaller spas can have great services! Unfortunately, Le Cheveu falls short. Their prices are only slightly cheaper than the more professional spas in the area but the drop in cost doesn’t make up for it. Reviews on this place are mixed, with most of the positive ones coming from customers who don’t seem to have been to other places. I’d say save your money for a few weeks and go somewhere with a little more experience under their belt.