Hair Care

By Kathryn Holl

This time of year is extremely hectic. You find yourself running ragged around town searching for the perfect gift, the most delicious recipe, a chic dress for your New Year’s party and suddenly you remember – you need touch-ups! Have no fear, for those short on time and in dire need of color rejuvenation, Pierre Michel has just what you need. But beware, many who visit once find themselves coming back again and again.

Pierre Michel is as typical New York as a salon can get. Busy, busy, and even more busy. As you make your way inside past the coiffeurs sneaking a quick smoke, you instantly find yourself engulfed in a two-story hair care mecca. With a full-service coffee and snack bar, 67 chairs, and approximately 150 employees (many of whom have been there since the days of Rhythm Nation), one could easily feel overwhelmed. However, feelings of intimidation are fleeting as the results speak for themselves.

I had the pleasure to experience the work of Stephen Sanna, veteran colorist affectionately known as the anti-premadonna. I was in need of touch-ups but wanted to return to a shade more reminiscent of my natural color. First Stephen covered my head with a single process to achieve a more natural look that would allow for darker highlights. He informed me that toners can add more body by swelling the hair shaft – good news to us gals with pin-straight hair or those looking for an extra lift.

I’m always searching for the answer to longer-lasting color. According to Stephen, the answer is hair dye with ammonia or peroxide otherwise the color will grow faint. He also told me that those who wash their hair on a daily basis need not to fret about fading. For those looking to save time and money, Stephen recommends coloring hair as close to its natural shade as possible to avoid frequent trips to the salon. He prefers foils for highlighting because it is the only technique that allows the stylist to have total control of the product. Those of you who currently use a cap or boliage (painting) to highlight your hair might want to think twice. According to Stephen, caps can leave dark spots at the roots while boliage is messy and can lead to colors bleeding into each other. No matter what method you chose, Mr. Sanna reminded me of one very important thing, “Hair is an accessory – you should always play with it!”

If you plan to check out Pierre Michel, ask for Noreen Clarke for a blow-out. It was the first time in a long time that I asked for something toned-down and got exactly what I wanted – beautifully blown-out hair with a touch of style.

On my way out, I spoke with a regular of Stephen’s who has been going to Pierre Michel for the past 15 years. According to this customer, Stephen and the salon in general are not just consistently good but consistently great. I didn’t know what was better, hearing an impressive assessment from a long-time customer to reinforce my opinion about the salon or how positively fabulous my hair looked and made me feel!

Pierre Michel
131 E. 57th Street
NY, NY 10022
212.755.9500
http://www.pierremichelsalon.com/

Highlights $200.00 and up.

Originally published January 2006
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