Hair Care

By Amy O'Connor

Booking an appointment for a cut or color during New York Fashion Week could be either the smartest or most asinine move a girl could make. When I booked one for color at the Serge Normant at John Frieda downtown location one evening during the infamous week of glam, I wasn’t sure which way my luck would go – hectic, panicked, pre-runway hubbub or complete ghost town.

Fortunately for me, it was more like the latter. Many of the salon’s stylists were out at the shows, which meant my fellow customers and I had a peaceful, unhurried atmosphere in which to be beautified. The collective sigh of relief in getting away from the clamor of the city was noticeable upon entry as we all relaxed in preparation for our own little fashion updates.

My appointment was with lovely, affable, Garmon Ng who has been a colorist for about 10 years and was part of the team that opened the downtown location in May 2007.

The salon is conveniently situated in the heart of the Meatpacking District across from the Standard Hotel and the High Line. While Serge Normant is famous for his super chic editorial work and styling the hair of celebrity clients like Sarah Jessica Parker and Julia Roberts, the downtown salon is welcoming to all. It’s an intimate, stylish, yet comfortable environment of cowhide-covered ottomans, exposed brick walls and oxidized metal finishes mixed with gleaming chrome tables and an elegant chandelier. While many clients were dressed in business suits and red-soled Louboutins, I was casual and never felt out of place. The staff was welcoming and the environment all-around comfy.

Garmon explained that the summer trend started by Alexa Chung of bleached-out tresses framing the face is on the wane as clients request more tone on tone color in the fall and winter months. I arrived with somewhat multi-toned, overly-darkened color since I’d haphazardly applied a variety of colors on a whim over the summer. To help me attain the “luxury hair” look (sleek, healthy, pulled together, shiny and natural) Garmon applied a clear gloss which, if applied every other appointment, helps push out the overly dark tones without ammonia or too much stress on fine hair. Garmon also painted on a few highlights around my face – a method she prefers to using foils since she can get a softer, more natural result. Garmon recommends re-applying color every three to five weeks for gray coverage and every seven to 10 weeks for highlights.

I was happy to see my hair returned to a shiny, rich brown brightened with a few highlights and have resolved not to play colorist from here on out. I’ve also resolved to continue making appointments for color at high-end salons whenever Fashion Week rolls around. What better way to get out of the madness and into the pretty (other than being in the front row, of course)?

The Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon
825 Washington Street, 2nd Floor
212-675-0001

Originally published October 2010
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