Hair Expressions

Discount cuts by cosmetology students.
1 p.m.-7 p.m. Monday; 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday; 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; Closed on Sunday
(Rockville)
301-984-8182
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Editorial Review

Hair Expressions, just off migraine-inducing Rockville Pike, has the hushed and excited buzz of a happy learning environment. Capable-looking students with funky dos snip, curl and color the tresses of a spectrum of clients. Seated in my chair, I pull out a picture and explanation I found online of a take on highlights called paneling. My stylist consults with her supervisor, and together they piece together a three-part process that includes foil highlights, a darker color in back and an overall toner. The result: While it's not the hair I envisioned, I'm now rocking an updated color that flatters my skin tone.

The Bargain: Relaxing atmosphere; solid communication and execution; huge savings.

Hidden Cost: Ice-cold water at one of the shampoo stations; more than three hours of my time. (Patience is key, owner Ed Ruiz says. Working with students can take "twice as long, sometimes two and a half times as long.")

Return?: Yes, for highlights and to try out the $10 cuts.

$45 (add $5 to $10 for blow-dry). 301-984-8182.

-- Rachel Machacek (Sunday Source, April 8, 2007)