By Ava Mackenzie
While I adore getting my hair cut and styled, the combination of overcrowded stations, overly-loud blow dryers and excessive air kissing can turn a relaxing experience into one that causes a spike in my blood pressure. In short, New York’s “see and be seen” salons intimidate me. I get nostalgic for Cheers-like salons where everybody would know my name. How hard could it be to find a place like that in New York?
It’s harder than you think, but not impossible.
That place, it turns out, is on West 12th Street. A trip to the newly opened Ryan Darius Salon in the West Village was a welcome change for both my lackluster style and hair health when I stepped into the former pizza parlor. Now a whimsical retreat from Manhattan’s hustle and bustle, the salon is decorated in black, cream, and gold vintage Louis Vuitton luggage, and French-inspired desks and armoires. There are only three stations throughout for patrons so it is particularly intimate. It was Ryan’s goal, when opening, to have “no more than two clients in [his] salon at any given time,” and to “create a space where clients can feel totally at home, while experiencing the ultimate luxury of one professional expert catering to their total beauty desires and individual needs,” he said.
Sounds great, but can he cut hair? The answer, as I found out, is an enthusiastic and incredibly stylish “YES!” My hair, a mash-up of split ends and former layers, was in dire need of a style overhaul. Ryan revived my style with fresh fringe and bouncy layers, gradually easing me into a lovely new cut for the spring season.
Armed with fantastic hair do’s and don’ts, Ryan recommended I shake up my style with his signature “Patty Cake” curl, which left me with Lauren Conrad-esque waves and incredible swing. If Lauren Conrad’s an outdated reference for you, think The City’s Olivia Palermo. Now THAT’S a Patty Cake curl.
To recreate the style yourself, heat up a flat iron and take 2-inch sections of hair, roll them into a pin curl and “smoosh” with the flat iron for a few seconds to set the shape.
Celebrating a return to old New York charm, the Ryan Darius Salon truly is a gem in the salon world. I can guarantee that yours will be a face Ryan will never forget.
Ryan Darius Salon
82 West 12th Street, between 5th and 6th