Hair Care

By Allison Beck

For many women, remaining chaste for their regular hairstylist is virtually a religious experience. I know scores of them who won’t let anyone but their steady, long-time hairstylist get near their hair; but not me. I am a hair-styling hussie. I consider myself a serial “new client” – I’m constantly going to new stylists. Seeing someone different almost every time I get my hair cut. I can never make up my mind who I like best, who does the best job on my hair…I find myself wondering, “Is there someone better out there? Who’s the new hot person to go to?” I clearly have commitment issues when it comes to hairstylists. But like one of those guys with a roving eye, the moment I’ve found one I like, I am already trying to better deal them- and that has left me stylist-less, once again.

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That all changed when I visited Sally Hershberger Downtown. This posh salon isn’t showy or over the top. The space is the epitome of “urban chic” minimalism, filled with natural light, simple, clean lines (inspired from a photo studio), and comfy chocolate brown leather seats lining the wall. For Sally, “it’s all about the talent,” and that is clearly evident in her carefully selected entourage of well-known editorial, runway, and celebrity hair gurus, many of whom tend the tresses of big-name starlets like Heather Graham, Hilary Swank, and Nicole Kidman.

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Sally’s great reputation in the industry came about through a lot of hard work and devotion. “At age 18 I began doing hair, landing an apprenticeship with Arthur Johns while still in beauty school. It was at this Hollywood salon that I first began working with celebrities and establishing relationships which would help lead me to success (such as the one I share with Herb Ritts, whom I have worked steadily with on some of the biggest names in Hollywood). I got to where I am today one haircut at a time.”

After sitting my down in front of the mirror, stylist James Vitas inspected my hair, noting how it grows, where it lies, and its texture. He asked me what I do with it (and I didn’t have much to say, unfortunately!). But after telling him I wanted to cut it shorter, he quickly decided on a plan of action for my long blonde strands that would transform my blunt cut into something beautiful. I expected to feel apprehensive, yet something told me this cut would be different than all the rest – and boy, was I right.

When James had finished working his magic, he whirled me around to show off his work, and all I could do was smile. I had gone from a look that screamed plain-Jane, recent-college grad to a hip, hot, and decidedly more mature-looking New York woman (yes, three friends noted that!), and I felt that way, too. This is the happiest I have ever been with a haircut, and even two months later, my hair still cooperates. I can’t recommend James or Sally Hershberger Downtown enough, so go see it all for yourself and spend the afternoon feeling like a celeb.

Sally Hershberger Downtown is located at 423 West 14th Street. In addition to cuts, the menu of services also includes coloring and extensions. Prices vary according to the service. For more information call the salon at 212-206-8700.

Originally published June 2006
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