By Kelly Hushin
By now any self-respecting, hair-attentive New Yorker has heard of, or maybe even been seen by (about $600 ago) the infamous Rita Hazan. But she’s almost too big now. We love you Rita, but with a product line, constant glossy mag and online coverage, and who knows what else in the works – girl we’re lucky to catch a fast flash of you in your own digs! That just means she’s got to bring us more reasons to continue frequenting her midtown salon, and guess what – she is doing just that.
The latest treatment offering at her flagship comes from miles of land and ocean away, but thanks to its luxury quality and promise, it feels right at home at Rita’s. Hailing from Japan, Milbon’s Linkage Meu is a deep conditioning treatment that brings hair through three levels of treatment specific to hair type. Its roots lie in a treatment system that Milbon introduced in 2005 in response to a growing trend of hair coloring in Japan and a simultaneous growth in hair damage. The first treatment was successful but too heavy for some hair types, prompting a reformulation in 2008 that worked well but was not cost effective and was easy for client’s to overuse at home. Finally, Milbon seems to have got it right with Linkage Meu.
The conditioning treatment was developed in coordination with Japanese stylist Koga. In Japan, in-salon conditioning treatments are very popular, and according to research by Milbon, about 20 to 30 percent of salon customers purchase such treatments while in the US, that number is only around two percent. Milbon hopes to increase that number in the US and has chosen a great outpost to spread their word.
There are three levels of treatment that are applied according to the client’s hair type from fine to normal to coarse. Each variation has its own special ingredient like aqua collagen or olive oil. Step one in the treatment is a moisturizing shampoo, step two a deep conditioner and step three a final sealing treatment that locks in the conditioning to protect it from everyday damage. The 10 to 15 minute process is meant to complement a salon’s normal offerings and leaves hair feeling instantly silky, smooth, shiny and strong while also making it smell deliciously fresh and fruity. The three-step in-salon system gets followed up with a home treatment that should be applied once a week.
We left the salon with hair feeling softer than ever and surprisingly that softness lasted through several washings. A take-home kit with shampoo, conditioner and four ampoules of the weekly treatment helped to lock in the softness, even after we got highlights, which typically dry our hair out like straw. That’s enough to turn us into believers.