Hair Care

By Kathryn Holl

There’s always a certain thrill associated with discovering an untapped entity — especially when it relates to beauty. This is how I felt when I experienced Le Mino Salon which only opened its doors this past June. Like most things, I heard about Le Mino from a friend who insisted that I give it a try. When I found out that the salon’s owner Mino and his staff all previously worked at Ted Gibson I needed little convincing and immediate directions to this NYC salon newbie (at 28 W. 8th Street).

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Le Mino is easy to miss so look for the lovely wine bar below as a landmark (and hit it up after your cut!). I was scheduled for a partial highlight with Allyn and couldn’t wait to return to my natural state of blonde. Like all customers who get a cut and color I received the salon’s exclusive conditioning treatment straight from Japan. The seven-step process that compliments all hair types is called NanoAmino and is unlike any process I’ve undergone. All stylist and colorists administering this treatment need to be specially trained as the instructions are in Japanese and few stylists in New York know exactly how it works.

The NanoAmino pre-treatment is applied to dry hair and creates an even canvas to prepare hair for color. After color is applied, the shampoo and conditioner follow. Before your cut and blowdry a fourth product is sprayed and saturates the hair to stop all active processes and lock in the new color. An additional deep conditioning step is available for hair that is extremely damaged and lacks the moisture necessary for a healthy hair cuticle. Before blowdrying, the repair treatment is applied followed by the final “heat up” step to protect and lock in color.

The color was incredible but the shine and texture of my hair was like nothing I’ve ever seen. My hair was silky without being weighed down, visibly soft and smooth to the touch. I would highly recommend this process for those who have severely damaged hair, use an excessive amount of heat when styling or process hair on a regular basis.

I had discovered a chic new salon as well as a remarkable treatment process but one burning question still remained before I was ready to head down to the wine bar for a nice glass of Pino Noir; why am I losing an extremely vast amount of hair after shampooing and combing? This may seem like an arbitrary question to some but the amount of hair left in my drain was enough to rouse substantial concern. Alleyn was able to abate my fears and told me that like all animals we shed – especially in the warmer months. I wasn’t satisfied with this answer so I probed a bit more. According to Allyn, unless hair is soft and mushy due to over-processing, there is nothing wrong with shedding. She also informed me that every seven years hair changes texture as cells regenerate. Her recommendation is to brush hair with a wooden paddle brush before shampooing and to massage the scalp when applying shampoo to stimulate growth and circulation.

With my questions answered and satisfied with my entire experience at the salon I enjoyed sipping my glass of Pino Noir all while looking fabulous thanks to Le Mino.

Originally published October 2007
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