Hair Care

By Dina Fierro

The lure of the drugstore hair aisle is strong for this gal. Sure, my natural deep brown hair with auburn highlights is…nice. But couldn’t it be darker…sexier? I was sure that it could be. So, Feria Espresso was my drug of choice regularly, every six weeks like clockwork. And until I had professional headshots taken, I had absolutely no idea how unfortunate my hair really looked. A bad dye job at Soon Beauty Lab didn’t help matters, instead, I had layered red highlights on the crown while my poor abused ends had accumulated layer after layer of home dye.

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Finally, I decided to do something about it. I booked an appointment for corrective color at Hiro Haraguchi’s uptown salon. For those not in know, Haraguchi trained in Japan and then built his NYC career working with star stylists Oribe and Garren. Today, he’s best known for his work with notable names like Vera Wang and of course, his chic, clean and modern salons uptown and down.

The uptown Haraguchi space has a blessedly relaxed atmosphere with a friendly and helpful staff. My colorist Catalina Penna – named by New York Magazine as one of the city’s best – had a hyperactive charm and her knack for “reading” clients was apparent. I immediately felt confident that she’d restore my gorgeous color (and knowing that she’s worked on icons like Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista didn’t hurt, of course.)

Thankfully, my color process was surprisingly quick though it encompassed a few steps – the drugstore dye was stripped from my ends painlessly, my red highlights were returned to my natural color and a fab gloss applied for moisture and shine.

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While I went into the salon for just (ha!) corrective color, Haraguchi himself insisted on taking a look at my cut. He determined that while the shape was good, the upper layers were too short, leaving my hair imbalanced. After a few artful snips of his scissors and a personally administered blowout, I was ready to depart. Color with Penna or a cut with Haraguchi is a splurge for sure…but a worthy one. I can’t imagine anyone leaving this salon without every hair in place – they’re perfectionists in the finest sense of the word.

Hiro Haraguchi Uptown is located at 41 East 57th Street. Call 212.593.3030 for an appointment. For those who don’t venture above 14th Street, visit the Downtown salon at the Hotel Gansevoort, 18 9th Avenue at 13th Street, 212-660-6733.

Originally published May 2008
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