Sitting in stylist Magen Young's chair, 17-year-old Maddy Aldave was getting her hair ready to attend the Calvert Hall senior prom at M&T Bank Stadium that evening.

Aldave, a Catonsville resident, attends St. Paul's School for Girls in Brooklandville.

Her style of choice for her long red hair, selected out of a book of hair styles, was a half-up, half-down do, with looser curls.

She estimated her floor-length tan dress cost about $245, plus $35 for a "mani" and "pedi," $30 for a spray tan, $20 for shoes.


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Young said up hair styles start at $65 and can take 45 minutes to an hour.

But it's time well spent. As much as Aldave enjoyed seeing her new look being created, Young was enjoying creating it.

"This is a great time of year for us. You get to be creative, instead of just cutting hair and coloring," Young said, as she sprayed Aldave's hair with a thermal heat protective spray that helps the curls to hold. "You are a part of making someone's last year of high school special."

At Hair M in Edmondson Junction, owner Kathie Nilsen used a curling iron to make "beachy waves" for a girl attending the Catonsville junior prom who did not want to be identified.

She was one of three "prom girls" the shop saw that day, where transformations took place for $35.

"I really enjoy this time of year," said Nilsen. "That is, as long as the girls know what they want, I enjoy it."

Nilsen's daughter, Bridget, 16, was excited to be a client that day as she got her hair "prom ready."

The 16-year-old Catonsville High sophomore opted for tight spiral curls and a side braid before attending the dance with her boyfriend, junior Shannun Gaines.

After her mom gave her a good dose of Freeze N Shine spray, "It's like super glue," Kathie Nilsen said, she was good to go.

At nearby Bertamini's Hair Studio on Edmondson Avenue, 17-year-old Rachel Lepsom beamed a bright smile as she looked into the mirror after stylist Rebecca Gravoski had completed her work.

Gravoski had created countless ringlets of dark brown curls that were swept to one side to cascade down her left shoulder.

The Catonsville High School junior's inspiration came from a photo she saw online.

"It looks beautiful," she said.

Her mom, Tammy Beck, agreed.

From tips to tails

She estimated she'd spent about $400 on prom preparations for her daughter.