By Kelly Hushin
Highlights are getting boring. Almost everyone who walks down the streets – be they New York, California or Kentucky streets – has taken to getting frosted…and on a pretty regular basis, no less. It seems rare to find women with color treated hair and no highlights. Most of the time they’re the subtle, natural, ordinary kind; which is exactly why BN decided to see what happened if we went against the grain. I sought out a different kind of highlight with color that is bold, distinctive, and yes, funky.
While popular belief might categorize thick, streaky highlights as tacky, when done correctly, such color can be both youthful and also classy. I was a bit skeptical myself; until the salon chosen for the experiment proved to me that anyone could be turned onto this idea.
I knew the stylist had to be young, hip and cutting-edge, while also having a sense of what works when it comes to progressive looks. I imagined that a city like New York would surely have a place like this to offer – but the best way to find it would be word of mouth.
That’s how I found Salon 2b and freelance hair stylist Kerrie Urban.
Way downtown, tucked in a second floor apartment is 2b, the salon started by Daniel Rechelbacker. Rechelbacker started working for his family business, which just so happened to be Aveda, about 25 years ago. Today, his apartment is both his home and his work place, where he, wife Zhauna Franks and Urban (who also attended the Aveda Institute) work. By my standards, the space is a luxury apartment. With its high ceilings, wood floors and an ever-changing array of art, I immediately wished my place looked more like this. The room where hair is done is simple and modest; there are only two stations and one sink for hair washing. Not much more is necessary since the salon takes clients by appointment only, but has no trouble keeping those seats full. The chalkboard encourages clients to try a passion fruit cosmo, and the girl next to me who indulged in one told me it was fantastic.
After talking to Urban about the hair concept for just a few minutes, I knew she and Salon 2b were right for this job. Urban’s young and trend-savvy, and works in an environment that encourages nothing less than high-class style.
I told her what the idea was and she loved it, but with hesitation. She told me a few things she would do to make sure I didn’t look ridiculous. First off, I said that “funk” was the driving scheme, and blonde, red and black were all fair game. She said right off the bat, “I’ll do it, but I’m going to tone down the red so it’s more of a copper. You don’t want a bright blonde against a bright red. The last thing you want to look like is Ronald McDonald.”
But I wanted to make sure that we didn’t lose the funky, chunky element. She assured me, I would not be leaving there with yawn-worthy color.
As she was pulling and combing strands into the many foils on my head, I took note of how meticulous her process was. “You’re very particular with those foils,” I said. “Yes, I guess you could say I’m type ‘A,’” she replied, explaining that she’s a bit of a perfectionist with her foiling tactics. In the end, that extra time and care with each strand of colored hair paid off. I was more than happy with the result; a mix of blonde, copper-red and dark brown undertones through the back. But we both admitted that the job was not complete. I needed a funk-i-fied cut to go with the loud new color.
As usual, I was open to anything the stylist suggested. I had been told by a previous hair stylist that “texturizing” would be a nightmare for my thin hair. But after an extreme length-altering cut at my last salon visit, Urban told me that some serious layering and razoring wouldn’t hurt my short, blunt-cut hair. I decided to go for it. I’d wanted something sharper after the very young-looking bob I’d been sporting for a few months.
After all tools were placed back on the tray table and the job was done, I was truly excited. I felt rejuvenated, fresh and impelled to play with and show off the new fashionable look. It was young, but not juvenile. Bold, but not oppressive or tacky. I was proud it was, and still is – funky.
Salon 2b is located at 80 Nassau Street, between John & Fulton. Check out www.salon2b.com.