By Eva Whalen
Beginning with a genuinely warm welcome and the drink of your choice, Alma Qeraxhiu and her staff are intent to please at her namesake Alma Salon on 21st Street. Full-service and situated in the heart of the Flatiron district since 2000, Alma has low-key, simple and festive décor, low lighting, great music and an easygoing atmosphere. This well-established salon (we first visited her almost three years ago and she’s been forging successfully ahead ever since) has attracted celebs Keri Russell, Rosario Dawson, Steven Tyler, Ashton Kutcher, Wilson Phillips and Jamie Lynn Sigler. Various modeling agencies and magazines flock to Alma for color consultations and photo-shoot styling. Needless to say, your hair will be in experienced hands at the Alma Salon.
So what’s new at Alma? I went in for a color fix – my hair seemed too brassy and uneven – so I wanted something more elegant and professional for business meetings. I was pleasantly surprised to find that after my color, I would experience her new essential oils in an incredibly relaxing scalp massage during my shampoo. Alma works quickly and knows exactly what she’s doing. When I left, in far less time than I had imagined, my hair color was exactly as I had hoped it would be. I was officially content.
One of Alma’s specialties is Almatized, her own proprietary conditioning blend of high-quality essential oils, which major companies have tried to purchase in vain. The reason she can’t mass produce her blend is because it would lose its integrity and quality if preservatives were added to extend its shelf life. She sells the Alma Vitamin Treatment for $49, which conditions the scalp, revitalizes dull hair, smoothes over split ends and promotes new growth with olive oil, rosemary, rose petals, tea tree oil, avocado oil and much more. Not only does it smell wonderful, but it also adds a healthy luster and sheen to hair that’s not quite a halo, but close.
Alma hails from Albania, where she knew even as a child that she wanted to style hair. She has lots of sisters, and came to New York at the young age of 17. She chooses her staff carefully, making sure to hire employees who eschew attitude. And Alma’s staff certainly deserves kudos for being so naturally friendly, open and efficient.
In addition to her oils, you can also find Redken, Oribe, L’Oreal, It’s a 10 Miracle, and Ecru products at this salon, as well as relaxing body treatments, facials, makeup, waxing, mani/pedis, deep conditioning or straightening treatments, up-dos, and bridal services — the full spectrum.
The Alma Salon NYC
38 East 21st Street (between Park and Broadway)
New York, NY 10010