There’s something major happening at Melrose Place, and it has nothing to do with the Ashlee Simpson-fronted remake of the beloved nineties drama of the same name. (We still can’t bring ourselves to watch the new version. Is nothing sacred?) Frédéric Fekkai’s expanded 2,400-square-foot salon at 8457 Melrose Place reopens today, thus ushering in a new West Coast flagship for his ever-expanding brand. The remodeled location offers two levels of hair luxury, including a ground-floor retail space for all of your Coiff Oceanique Tousled Wave Spray-buying needs. The number of styling stations has also increased to 16, and nail enthusiasts can now enjoy a terrace equipped for outdoor mani/pedis. (Nothing like a little fresh air to diminish those acetone fumes.) For those of you who’ve dreamt of a haircut from Fekkai himself—an indulgence that will typically set you back $1,000—the styling legend has worked out something of a deal to correspond with the reopening of the salon. As a special one-time philanthropic event, Fekkai will be doing haircuts for a mere $200 from October 25 to November 5 and will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the Art of Elysium. It’s still a somewhat hefty price tag, but hey, it’s for charity. (Tip not included.) For more information or to book an appointment, call (323) 655-7800.
I am of the general opinion that the power of a good haircut lies in just how little post-salon maintenance is required. Do I need to use a flat iron? Forget it. A round brush? Nope. The goal is a wash-and-go end game, which I managed to achieve on a recent visit to stylist Kazunori Ueda at the newly opened Kayrunn Hirsch salon in Greenwich Village. He snipped my locks into shape, so all I have to do is shampoo and condition and somehow they just know what to do. Call it “scissor memory” or a miracle; either way, it makes my life way easier. A full-service destination providing cuts, color, Japanese straightening, facials, manicures, and waxing, Kayrunn Hirsch offers all the posh services of a midtown salon without the soul-destroying properties of actually having to get to one. The storefront is a stone’s throw from the NYU campus on LaGuardia Place, but these guys aren’t catering to coeds. Both Warren Tricomi alumni, Ueda brought his snipping skills over from Japan a little over a decade ago, while Stuart Hirsch has spent over 15 years as the master colorist at Upper East Side favorite Pierre Michel. Since opening their new venture this fall, the pair has racked up a clientele of boldfacers including Jessica Stam, Mandy Moore, and Riley Keough. As Hirsch puts it, “My specialty is blondes. Kazunori’s specialty is hair. Period.”
Having worked on this blog for a little over a year now, I have the pleasure of rehashing certain seasonal beauty issues with you and offering up new solutions. Last year, as summer dwindled away and the burnt-orange highlights of a few months spent in the sun became increasingly visible in my dark brown hair, I had an overwhelming desire to go darker. Nothing too severe, just a few shades closer to black for a more chic fall/winter look that didn’t scream heat damage. So I got a full color job that completely fit the bill. This year, I have the same inkling, although I’m a little less ready to commit to a permanent dye. So last night, I settled on a gloss, which deposits a temporary, transparent pigment into the hair shaft for color amplification and increased shine—or “a natural-looking boost,” as my colorist at Williamsburg’s Self Salon explained. Being Brooklyn-based myself, the newly revamped Grand Street space offered the perfect destination for a quick, instantly uplifting treatment. With a menu of services that ranges from dry cuts and peekaboo highlights to eyelash extensions (all of which are 20 percent off through the month of October), owner Maria Barca is out to make the minimalist-designed storefront the outpost for hipsters with a taste for the finer things. And to draw the neighborhood’s increasingly growing number of residents who have crossed the East River to “settle down,” she’s even brought on an expert wedding stylist (the salon’s Web site features a Beautiful Bride planner, which guides you through hair and makeup concerns from six or more months before the event so there are no surprise traumas on your big day). A Devachan-certified stylist who specializes in curly hair textures is also on hand, so even if you’re not after Bedford Avenue’s asymmetrical pixie cut, you’re still in good hands.
Self Salon, 147 Grand Street between Bedford Ave. and Berry St., (718) 599-1449.
The backstage story at Rag & Bone is essentially the same very year. The hair and makeup team of Teddy Charles for Frédéric Fekkai and Revlon’s Gucci Westman are out to create the quintessential Rag & Bone girl: “rock and roll, sexy, laid back,” as Charles put it at yesterday’s show. In beauty terms, that translates to rough and tousled hair, which Charles created using a few spritzes of Fekkai Tousled Wave Spray to make hair piece-y and Fekkai Au Naturel Dry Shampoo for a matte finish, and makeup that “enhances the girls’ natural features,” said Westman, who crafted a matte brown eye and a matte nude lip, which she added to a canvas of “squeaky clean skin.” This season, Westman also incorporated a “British bit” to the overall look, a touch of irreverent London street style to remind designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright of home. Hence the acid yellow nail, a surprising embellishment that seemed to work well with the label’s utilitarian feel. Less surprising was the bottle of neon lacquer used for the effect: that would be Essie’s Funky Limelight, your favorite neon chartreuse and mine.
As readers of this blog know, I am a long-haired girl—the kind of girl who asks for just a trim at the salon and feels out of sorts when a mere inch and a half of length goes missing. Due to some unfortunate traumas in the past, including a childhood spent with a short bowl cut equipped with rattail (my mother insists it was “sooo cute,” but photos suggest otherwise) my raven locks, which have dangled around my mid-back since I was a teenager, have always been a power source and a defining characteristic of who I am as a person. Or so I thought. Recently, I had something of a hair identity crisis. I went to get a routine cut from a self-important stylist who shall remain nameless and he refused my “just a trim” request. “People with long hair are either misinformed about what their hair should look like or simply don’t know themselves as well as they think they do,” he said to me, explaining that in his not-so-humble opinion, hair should “drip” past the collarbone. Somewhat taken aback, I listened to more of his unsolicited suggestions before leaving, with not so much as a hair out of place. It’s unclear whether his words—which lingered in my head for weeks to come—or inspiration images of Ashley Olsen at the CFDA ultimately got to me, but two days ago I took the plunge and cut all my hair off. And strangely, I feel no less powerful, no less myself—in fact, I feel liberated. That is due in large part to the loving and exceedingly talented hands of Thomas Heinz, who has become the “transformative haircut” king in my small circle of editor and publicist friends, all of whom have had equal success at his Meatpacking salon. A small, unassuming space lined with Moroccan Oil and Davines products, Heinz listened to me go on about my sordid past, my current fears, and my future ambitions and somehow managed to make complete sense out of the emotional ramblings. I had way more than an inch and a half cut off—probably about ten inches total—and haven’t for a second mourned the loss. And for the record, I know exactly who I am: a long-haired girl who needed a little time to figure out that her hair looks better short.
Thomas Heinz NY, 308 W. 13th St., NYC, (212) 414-1500.