By Patricia Wersinger
Lovella Salon, as it names suggests, is a lovely neighborhood spot. The Upper West Side salon offers hair services and spa treatments in a brightly lit, modern and unpretentious setting. Owner Oded Gabay, an Israeli expatriate, made me a cappuccino while I settled into my chair. If the cappuccino was to be any indication of his talent as a stylist, I was sure he’d be the best.
Oded gets to business right away after settling clients in. After asking politely what you are looking for, he will size you up with a glance and tell you with the calm conviction of a specialist what needs to be done. In my case, he perceived that my hair needed to be “more edgy and contemporary.” He specializes in such European styles, and with my caffeine half in hand and half in belly, I went for it.
Oded works with a lot of concentration but he works fast. He is a master technician with the vision of an artist. I am the first to admit that I am not an easy subject. Not only is my hair coarse, frizzy and downright unmanageable, but I also have a long face with prominent cheek bones, a high brow and square chin. I need a cut that brings out my strong features but also balances and frames them with softness. Stylists must also take heed that in summer’s first heat wave, my hair tends to expand mightily, so I need layers but not too many.
Oded created an easy yet carefully calculated bob that was just right for me. He also suggested touching up my hair color to give it more juice. He knew how to synchronize the hue perfectly to my skin color by mixing a rich gold that was not yellow, not reddish yet not pale or ashy either. He told me he has used only the German Wella color line for 20 years and trusts no other. The color is vibrant and does not change. After three weeks, I can proudly declare that my color has not faded in the least.
One of the distinguishing traits of the experience at Lovella is the full cranial massage at the sink. Don’t miss it; it is good for the brain, for the complexion and for the beauty of your hair. By allowing the blood to circulate to your roots, your hair gains energy and life. I also was treated to a revitalizing hair mask by Repêchage, a Hydra Amino18 Hair Spa Thermal Seaweed Mask. It contains amino acids, and elements like iodine and minerals extracted from the sea. Amino acids act as building blocks of protein to restore damaged and chemically treated hair. The masque left my hair soft and hydrated with a natural luster like it had just been in the sun. At the end, Oded blow-dried my hair to a perfect finish.
The salon also offers facials and I thought, why not continue on the indulgent path? I tried the newly launched Lamina LiftTM Mask also by Repêchage, a brand that Oded swears by. The procedure includes a skin cleansing followed by the application of a paper mask soaked with wonderful ingredients like EcoCert Seaweeds, Orange Water, Aloe Vera and natural botanicals such as Horse Chestnut (effective at maintaining healthy blood circulation). My complexion felt refreshed, hydrated and looked more luminous in just 15 minutes.
Lovella is one of the best neighborhood salons I have been to in the city. Whether going for a sexy new European cut or a facial treatment, you will have a lovely time and you can trust that you will walk out with hair and skin that are looking their best.
111 W 72nd St.
New York, NY 10023