Happy Memorial Day!
Summer is upon us, which means it's time to talk summer hair.
Your hair is kind of a big deal. Cut and color can mean everything, and a good cut and color can change everything - your mood, level of confidence, outlook on life... the list goes on. (So can a bad one, in a bad way, so let's focus on the positive.)
The other thing that matters, like, a lot? The experience of having your hair cut and colored (and the dent that it makes in your wallet).
I was a loyal client of my friend and stylist Carol Clock in Kansas City for YEARS. She saw me at 14 when I wanted the Joey Potter haircut (yes, a simple, blunt cut, and yes, I brought a photo of Katie Holmes that I'd ripped out of Seventeen Magazine just to be crystal clear). She saw me through high school and college when I wanted Jennifer Aniston hair. And she saw me at 23 when I wanted Reese Witherspoon bangs and highlights (obviously, yes, I brought a picture - this time ripped out from Elle). Carol owns Moxie Studio in Kansas City, and if you live there, you should go see her immediately because she will make you very happy. Not only will the experience be super fun, but your hair will look great.
Now that I live in New York and am unable to get back to Kansas City every two to three months (as would be required to keep my naturally blonde hair looking, you know, natural), I have had to find a stylist here. Let me tell you, it has been stressful - but it has also been a super great learning experience! I am a hair stylist monogamist, but I've had to play the field for, like, years here, and it's terribly uncomfortable. Since moving to New York eight years ago, I've been a la recherche de the perfect stylist and have been to a distressing number of places (please don't judge): starting with Frederic Fekkai Soho (an awesome, horrendously hip, money hemorrhaging experience), I followed that colorist (Alex Safdari, who is phenomenal) to Pierre Michel (a much less pleasant, less cool and even more expensive experience), jumped ship to a mix of Mark Garrison (a rough go), Laicale (lovely and super hip, but my guy Jesse left so I too panicked and left), Vidal Sassoon (a standard upscale salon experience), John Barrett (ditto but with a smattering of celeb), and the Upper West Side Aveda (a truly horrendous color experience), finally settling on Frederic Fekkai Uptown for a year where I saw Brooklyn (who lived in Brooklyn) for color and the amazing Roz (who's married to my original colorist Alex - go figure!) for cut before coming to terms with the fact that I simply couldn't afford to be a Fekkai blonde. At that point, I followed a Gilt deal to Bumble and Bumble (where I attempted to do color at Bumble and maintain cuts with Roz at Fekkai because I loved her, but eventually I gave up), to then Oscar Blandi, Fekkai Soho once again and John Freida (a pleasant, hip experience, but too far for me to travel and too expensive post-Gilt deal). One of the hard things about finding the right salon is finding both a colorist and a stylist that are at the same place at of equally awesome caliber and enjoyable to talk to.
This brings us to last summer, when I found myself in a boot/crutches and unable to get around town. And so I made a switch to a sweet little local salon near my apartment... and I finally found The One. (That was long-winded and I probably could have just jumped right to this part, but no great love story -- that doesn't leave you sobbing -- starts at the moment that you fall in love, does it?)
Enter Alice Hair Care. It had amazing reviews on NYMag, promising uptown hair at downtown prices, and it did not disappoint. I made an appointment with Alice -- who gloriously does both cut and color and also charges the same as all of her stylists, which is fabulous -- and hobbled my way over to 70th & 2nd Ave. The salon is tucked behind some pretty horrendous temporary buildings that have been erected to support the Second Avenue subway construction, so you could actually walk past the salon without noticing it. As residents of the Far East Side, Matt and I make an effort to give business to Second Avenue stores when possible (e.g. , dry cleaning, and even then our sweet little dry cleaners just went out of business) so this felt like a perfect match!
You walk in the salon and are greeted by friendliness all around. Alice and a number of her staff are Irish, and I could just listen to them talk for hours. They are all so lovely. Alice sat down with me and went through my "Hair" board on Pinterest. I explained that I wanted blonde -- but not too blonde, more like bronde (I find that term both hilarious and grating) -- and a cut that could easily air dry because 1) I am eternally lazy and 2) I couldn't stand for very long periods of time to blow my hair dry. She listed, said, "I totally get it," then mixed up my hair concoction, which involved both highlights and lowlights and included -- in her words -- a "signature" color! I would get to have my very own signature color? Why, yes please, that sounds lovely! Fast forward a few hours, and I was released into the world with exactly the hair I'd requested. I was so happy. Even with my boot on, I had a skip to my step. And the rest is history. I've been back maybe six times now, and I am now delighted to be a "regular." People remember me, they remember my foot plight, they are all just so nice and wonderful, and I look forward to going every time.
Why do I bring this up now? Because Alice just brought me back to life last Friday, and I am once again reminded of how important a cut and color -- and the experience of having that cut and color -- are. What's even better? I can get a cut and color for something like $250 plus tip, and at the bigger, "fancy" salons, that wouldn't even cover color! She also gives 10% off for first timers and during ur birthday month (she loves birthdays)! We went blonder this time -- for summer and for my sanity -- and when Alice said this would require more upkeep -- "try to come back in six weeks" -- I didn't cringe with (much) pain. Full disclosure: Alice saw me cringe, said, "Don't worry, we'll just do it every six weeks for the next one or two and then I'll bring you back to something a little darker and more manageable for the fall" (all said in that charming Irish accent). "Ok Alice! Six weeks it is." I already can't wait to go back.
Alice Hair Care
1324 Second Ave., New York, NY, 10021
at 70th St.
Happy hair care!
I am an artist/designer and former financial professional with a background in comparative literature, business and design. I live in New York with my overworked lawyer husband and my two boys Michael and Theo and spend much of my free time dreaming about how to enhance the aesthetics of our little world. I am endlessly inspired and always in search of something new. This is a blog about my search, my inspiration and things I just really, really like or want.