Hair Care

By Kelly Hushin

I’m big on multi-tasking. Maybe it just comes with being female. Maybe I’m especially resourceful. Maybe I just get bored too easily. I think it’s a little of all three – which is why I decided to explore new territory for my latest salon excursion.

As many of you faithful BN readers may know, I’m on an endless search for the perfect hair salon. It’s endless because almost every encounter I’ve had has been a good one…well mostly good. I’ve been to Westchester, Manhattan, Brooklyn and beyond and fortunately for me, NYC never fails to disappoint in its sizable assortment of salons. But lately, I’ve been looking for more than that when I seek out a hot new hair spot. A trip to the salon is not only about getting my hair done. It’s also about what else I can do while “on the town,” as they say.

Thus I arrived in Chelsea. I admit, I don’t typically spend much time in that hood – I’m more an LES girl at heart. But it was time to explore something different – to find a chic salon in just the right spot where I could get a quality color and cut and also enjoy strolling the streets.

If you’re looking for such an experience on your next day off, I suggest a visit to the Chris Chase Salon. It’s located on 9th Ave. amid a healthy handful of cafes and restaurants – one being particularly worth a stop. I arrived to the area well before I had to get to the salon with hopes of exploring, and that I did. First stop was a small health food store on 23rd St., which I perused for a few minutes admiring the vast array of soy milks and organic dried fruits. But that wasn’t really what I was craving. I continued walking and came upon a New York must – Billy’s Bakery. This tiny cupcake shop packs a lot of punch in its heavenly frosted mini desserts. I indulged on a red velvet variety before hopping over to Chris Chase. It was exactly what I needed to prepare me for a sedentary two hours or more of pampering.

Feeling fulfilled, I walked into the salon and was further pleased by what a beautiful presentation lay before me. The waiting room, outfitted with extra long sofas and a plush cowhide rug, gives way to a dramatic black and white interior accented by one of the largest and most stunning chandeliers I’ve ever seen. Waiting here for my appointment was no trouble at all.

After sitting with my stylist Kristine, I learned that Chris Chase actually bears no meaning on the owners of the salon. I had actually assumed that I would be getting my hair done by “Chris” as in “Chris Chase.” I learned that the salon is in fact owned by two people who are not named Chris or Chase, but know what they’re doing in the world of hair. The two friends, Mitch Slabach and Kree Perkins, formerly ran the Robert Kree salon which opened in 1995. The salon’s creative director, Paul Cucinello, leads the hair team in chopping the cutest cuts and painting the prettiest shades.

While in the chair, Kristine and I discussed what direction to take my ever-evolving hair. I knew I wanted a color change, but as usual, wasn’t sure exactly what that change would or should be. We settled on a reddish-brown mixture for high/lowlights. Kristine did a fabulous job on the color, but when I got home I realized I really wanted the whole thing to be lighter – my fault of course for being so indecisive, and for telling her I had basically become frightened of bleach due to a recent bout of extreme split ends and dryness. BUT, despite my after-the-fact decision to go lighter than Kristine had made me, Chris Chase came to the rescue in making sure they got me back into a chair only a few days later to lighten the look and make sure I was fully satisfied.

For the touch-up I had Yoonski, also an awesome colorist. She added a few streaks of blonde to the top and cut me some bangs and finally, I had what I hadn’t realized I wanted. Plus, this gave me a chance to revisit the Chelsea area the salon was in and after meandering through the streets once again, I realized maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to live there. Craigslist apartment listings: here I come.

Chris Chase Salon
182 Ninth Ave
New York, NY 10011
T: 212.206.7991

Originally published February 2009
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