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Phyto Universe, Out Of This World


Picture, if you will, a salon without the relentless cacophony of dozens of hairdryers and high-pitched voices exchanging gossip. A place where the only trace of music is of the Deep Forest, not the DJ Sasha, variety and nary a creepy chemical to color or tame hair is in sight. Welcome to Phyto Universe, an oasis of tranquility on a bustling stretch of Lexington Avenue that seems worlds away from Manhattan, thanks to a massive, 3,000-square-foot lush vertical garden inside. More of a hair spa than a hair salon, the focus here is on the nourishment and regeneration of the scalp and hair using solely botanical ingredients—a singular concept that was enough to lure me in for a trial run of the new Summer Bliss Treatment they have on offer through Labor Day. The general goal with this seasonal special is to prep hair for the harsh effects of summer sun, saltwater, and chlorine, although seeing as how each treatment here is designed specifically to suit individual clients’ hair, my technician, Marina, began the service with a thorough scalp analysis using the PhytoScope machine—like a sonogram for your head—to determine my hair type. She then mixed up a personalized cocktail of botanical oils (cashew, pastel, and egg yolk oil, among others) and smoothed them into my scalp and then through the length of my hair. After a long, drool-inducing head massage, and many minutes under a steam hood, my hair was washed, conditioned, and deep-conditioned before being styled. While the immediate effect—silkier and softer strands—is impressive, when you wake up the next morning with what I like to call “hair commercial hair” (freakishly shiny, strong, and bouncy tresses) you will be utterly convinced of the power of nature. For more information or to book an appointment, call (212) 308-0270.

Photo: Courtesy of Phyto Universe