City Pulse

By P.J. Gach

Tuesday I became a grape. I have nothing against fruit; love grapes, love purple, just not on my head. I went to a salon recommended by a friend and came home with other-worldly colored hair. Can we say, “Loathsome?” I knew we could. I cried, I screamed and I hid. I spent hours in the shower and watched the color run down the drain. No change in hue, but now my tub is two-toned. Of course this happens the day before I am supposed to accompany my Editor- In-Chief to a few events, meet PR people and represent BN. Isn’t it funny how disaster always strikes when you’re going to do something important? I wanted to look sleek and sophisticated. Instead, I looked like my name was “Death Child.” I just needed to throw on black lipstick and look morose.

I spent the day listening to people say what an interesting color I had on my head. As upset as I was, I knew that there was a solution on the horizon. I had an appointment at Ouidad for corrective color.

Ouidad is a curly haired goddess who has not only created the Ouidad salon; it’s the hair cut haven for curly haired men and women, she also created the most incredible hair care line for curly haired people. Her salon is staffed with colorists who truly understand the wacky nature of hair and how emotional people get when their color goes wrong.

Yesterday, I ran into the salon on the verge (yes, again) of tears. I caught my reflection in a few windows and saw flying purplish hair flopping over my black coat. Yeah, it was definitely one of those days. Anyway, I was a bit scared that I’ll be told that I have to “live” with the purple-ness, yet I was also very relieved that I was on my way to a salon where the colorists know color. Ouidad is a warm welcoming salon; newcomers are treated like old friends. It’s a calm, serene and happy place. If I could figure out a way just to visit once a week and soak in their happiness I would. It is a slice of hair heaven.

Ouidad met me at the door, “PJ! What happened to you? Wow. That’s an interesting color.”

“Yes, I know. I’m a grape.”

“Now that you mention it, looking at you, I am a bit hungry.”

Ouidad is the first person who made me laugh since Tuesday. She asked me what happened. I told her the whole gory story, and that I had a dream where I blew up the salon. She introduced me to Ana, my saviour. Not just a colorist; she is an expert on the ins and outs of color, corrective color, highlights and could probably run any chemistry lab in the world. Ana is a master educator. She understands what “processing” means. After I switched into a robe, I met her in the back room and sat in a chair that (sigh) faced a long mirror. We talked about the condition and color of my hair. Ouidad came into the room, looked at us, and discussed the ramifications of treatment. They both thought that it might take a treatment or two for my hair to return to a human (as found in nature) color, but were going to try their best to make me look like my old self. The problem was the color. It was so dark and lifeless looking. Before the incident, I had very natural looking red hair. I started crying again. Quickly tissues appeared. That happened frequently throughout the day. Ouidad made a few jokes on what I’d be like when I got pregnant. I have to find a normal guy first. Wait, I live in New York City – that may never happen.

Virginia washed my hair with Ouidad’s Clear and Gentle shampoo, then conditioned with Ouidad’s Balancing Rinse. Her incredible deep treatment is applied to my head. After a cap was placed on my head, I was escorted to a dryer. The heat of the dryer aided the magic of the deep treatment. When my head was “cooked” I was rinsed out again.

Ouidad, Ana and Anaya were thrilled with the progress my hair had undergone. The deep treatment actually assisted in removal of some of the dreaded color. Then, the treatment that would really change the color of my hair was applied to my head. It was an antioxidant citrus based toner. The acid content would aid in removing the color, but not damage my hair or scalp. Once again, I sat under a dryer while the toner went to work.

It worked! I had red hair again! I had another deep conditioning treatment applied to my hair. This was done to ensure that my hair would be undamaged and healthy. After all, any coloring process will dry your hair. If you have curly hair, you’re hair is naturally a bit drier and more porous than un-curly hair.

After that treatment was completed and I was rinsed out, Ouidad visited me in the shampoo room. She wanted to talk to me about the original color. When Ana and Ouidad originally looked at my hair, they noticed that the original colorist had missed a chunk of my hair. Not only was the original colorist going to let me walk around with color that aged me and made me look green, I was going to be multicolored in the back to boot! I was positioned by the long back mirror and shown what was done to me. You may have noticed that tissue stock went up Thursday.

Ana came in and said that making the rest of my head match would be a snap. And it was. I swear that woman must have a color chart in her head. She just “knew” on some level the precise formula to use and it was a breeze.

After my final rinse, my hair was styled and I was able to re-join the human race. They really saved me. Not only did they give me back my red hair, it’s shiny, healthy looking, and feels wonderful. I cannot truly begin to tell you how miserable I felt or looked before. I’ve got my confidence back.

If you, or someone you know turns into a colorist’s victim, run; do not walk to Ouidad immediately. It doesn’t matter if your hair is curly or not, they understand color, and have the wisdom and compassion to assist you in looking your best.

If you have been thinking about color, be it a single, double process or highlights, do go and make an appointment with Ana or any of the colorists at Ouidad. You’ll be putting your hair in the hands of master colorists. Your color or highlights will be exactly as you dreamed they’d look like.

Color – One Process $100.00*, Double Process $150.00

Highlights – Hairline $125.00*, Hairline & Crown $185.00, Half of Head $225.00, Full Head $285.00*

Deep Treatment Conditioning – $90.00*

* – Prices may vary depending on hair length, thickness or other factors to be determined by your Ouidad Stylist

Who: Ouidad – The Curl Experts
Where: 37 West 57th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10019
Contact: 212-888-3288
Hours: Tues, Wed., Fri. 9:30 to 6:30, Thurs. 10:00 to 7:00, Sat 9:00 to 5:00

Not too long ago, I wrote about a skin care line that’s on the cutting edge of science. Dr. Michael Danielov uses the principles of nano-technology to create a line that delivers ingredients into the skin. It combats acne, scarring, oiliness and is anti-aging. It helps the skin to heal itself. This skin care line and the technology behind it are revolutionizing skin care and its technology.

You can read about Bionova here. On January 19th, you can experience a complimentary Bionova facial and skin diagnostic performed by dermatologist Alla Fyda when you purchase one Bionova N1Custom treatment plus one Bio1Act product. It’s all happening on the beauty level at Barneys.

Who: Bionova’s complimentary facial and skin diagnostic performed by dermatologist Alla Fyda when you purchase one Bionova N1Custom treatment plus one Bio1Act product.
When: January 19, 2005
Where: Barneys – at the Bionova Skin Care Center on the beauty level, 660 Madison Avenue @ 60th Street
Contact: 212-826-8900

Originally published January 2005
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