Hair Care

By Kim Taylor

Filled with whimsical objects and capricious décor, Wonderland Beauty Parlor in NYC’s Meatpacking district is aptly named. Purveyors of both beauty and art, the salon’s owners have artfully displayed some quirky accents throughout: clear bubbles encasing Mermaid Barbie dolls hang from the ceiling, a life-sized stuffed leopard sits next to a pink velvet loveseat and greets visitors at the entrance, a shop sells unusual products, and an enormous, luxurious chandelier completes the picture.

Having lived in the city for years, it was time to see what the fuss was all about and whether the stylists’ hair craft lived up to the salon’s crafty décor. I soon found out that owner Michael Angelo and his creative team are serious about what they do – and the result is practically magical. I trekked to Wonderland through the first snow of the season in New York City, where I met Annastasia Konidaris, a Haigo Artist on the Shu Uemura Art of Hair team, and the woman who gave me one of the best cuts I’ve ever had.

Annastasia assessed my hair by determining length, preferred style, desired amount of time devoted to upkeep, and a cut that would work with my hair texture. I have a bit of wave, but mostly straight hair, and asked for a cut that would be offbeat, yet still professional and age-appropriate. She grabbed a thick batch of hair at the back of my head, and we both agreed: it had to go. It served no aesthetic purpose. She then created long, soft layers and long bangs for an incredibly versatile haircut. When she was finished, my hair felt lighter, elevated and easier to style. Annastasia and the entire staff at Wonderland have a warm, friendly vibe that’s not too over-the-top or forced. The comical décor sets the tone, and everyone seems relaxed and genuinely happy to be there.

Wonderland specializes in cutting, coloring, conditioning, styling, Keratin smoothing, makeup, brows, manicures and Red Carpet/Special Event bedazzling. The 13th Street location is prime; a snowball’s throw away from the High Line and just around the corner from Sephora, The Gansevoort Hotel and Pastis. An early meatpacking district pioneer, The Wonderland Beauty Parlor has been in its current location since 2006, and will celebrate its sixth year this month on Valentine’s Day. Asked about current trends in hair, Annastasia said the salon is giving a lot of short, pixie and medium-length cuts, and that the color trend is a rich, one-color hue with a more traditional feel.

An aspect that sets Wonderland apart from other salons is its highly-curated shop of beauty delights including: natural Lip Tar (seen above) to benefit the Somaly Mam Foundation, distinctive jewelry, Cambodian scarves, hand-made hair accessories, rare perfumes, curious hair products, beauty products, postcards and nail polish.

The Wonderland Beauty Parlor is the most fun you’ll have at a salon, and also where you’ll find the most artful treatments too.

Wonderland Beauty Parlor
418 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10014-1103
(212) 524-2800

Originally published February 2012
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