Hair Care

By Kelly Hushin

A social club often conjures images of rolling golf greens, polo shirts and tied-up sweater shawls, pearls and outdoor verandas. They are the ultimate venues for adult parties where status and fashion sense can be flaunted equally if one so desires. Of course, entry into such venues is not always through an open door and members who are inside are more than discriminating. Naturally, a lady who wishes to take part in such social dancing must look the part – and what better place to ensure her skin is supple, face is radiant and hair is glistening than at the club itself, where she’ll mingle with and glean fashion savvy from other wistful women with the same goal in mind?

Paul Labrecque

Cue Paul Labrecque at CORE: club, the Upper East Side social club du jour. Labrecque has become somewhat of a powerhouse brand in NYC, and the expansion with his newest spot in Core has ramped up that effort. Core is a private membership-based lifestyle community that provides curated access to individuals, experiences, properties and culture. The club, located on 55th Street, is part lounge, part restaurant, part art gallery, part library part fitness center and thanks to Labrecque, part salon, spa and barbershop.

The Core location marks Labrecque’s third Manhattan salon and spa, as well as the time for me to finally go check out one of his locations. While my plan was to visit only the new spot at Core, I was lucky enough – in a rather unplanned way – to see both Paul Labrecque EAST, at East 65th Street, and the location at Core.

Paul Labrecque EAST, on E 65th Street

I booked an appointment for a cut and color and braved a horrific rainstorm to get there. Once in the chair, I explained to my colorist that I wanted “cool” blonde highlights, thinking that would mean I’d look platinum and radiant. I don’t know how I missed this, especially considering how long I’ve been getting my hair done in NYC, but somehow I mistook “cool” for “warm,” which was what I really wanted. After a few processes, my cool, ashy blonde was unveiled, and I was horrified. What was worse was that it was my fault. The lovely colorist at Paul Labrecque gave me exactly what I wanted.

Lobby area outside Paul Labrecque CORE: club

So, back to the sink it was to wash out my toner and bring me back to a warmer, bolder blonder. After a good washing, the true color I was hoping for shined through – but it wasn’t quite there yet. Since I’d been haunting the poor staff for over three hours at this point (I got a cute cut too that I couldn’t complain about), I knew it wouldn’t be right to keep them and decided to book another follow-up appointment that week to give the color the extra little pop it still needed. The fabulously accommodating manager booked me three days later at Core, and I couldn’t wait to get back in the chair.

CORE: club salon

Wednesday morning rolled around and in the three days since the braving of the storm, I had bronchitis. Heading back into the fray for an entire day’s worth of city-cavorting was the last thing I wanted, but I dragged myself out and the reward was worthwhile. I had an appointment first thing in the morning with Pedro, who added a few highlights and lowlights to the almost-there style and I couldn’t have been happier with the result. Not only is he a natural hair talent, he made for great company first thing in the morning, as did the luxurious surrounding of the club. On my way to the salon, I wandered aimlessly through the spa and accidentally the barbershop – and got a peak at how the socialite club-goers live. It wasn’t too shabby, that’s for sure.

For the handsome men who frequent CORE

After Pedro put the finishing touches on my style, I realized that Paul Labrecque’s salons had taught me a lesson about blonde that I’d never forget – and one that’s invaluable for a gal who is blonde most of the year. I know now to never make the warm/cool mistake. Ashy is not what I’d ever want and surely now I know to shout the word “warm,” when I’m describing the blonde I want. Oh hell, let’s make it “hot.”

Originally published May 2010
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