Cut, Color, and Good Cuisine at Phillip Pelusi’s New TELA Salon

I’m a Virgo so I’m big into multitasking. I like to accomplish as much as I can in as little time as possible. After all I am a native New Yorker as well, so the essence of time is even more important. That’s why my trip to Phillip Pelusi’s new NYC salon TELA turned out to be pretty rewarding. A cut, color, and gourmet lunch during mid day in under three hours is rather impressive – especially since I received several rave reviews on my new autumn ‘do.


Hair stylist Phillip Pelusi has been in the beauty biz for close to 40 years. He opened his first salon in Pittsburgh in 1965; today he owns 14. He was voted one of the top ten stylists in the U.S. by In Style magazine and he’s garnered a great reputation as an educator, stylist, product designer and photographer. Phillip says that he approaches hair design with a focused understanding of the “fabric” and unique texture of his clients’ strands, which he believes is the basis for excellence in cutting. Determining these attributes helps him create free-flowing styles that are very much in sync with each individual’s face shape and hair type.

For my visit, I wanted to keep my hair mid-length but give it more shape. Phillip suggested cutting some shorter layers in the front for more movement and adding in some long bangs. I then spoke with colorist Erin Andrews, who began her career with training at the Aveda Institute and most recently worked at Warren-Tricomi uptown. I wanted a bit more red and definition to my leftover summer strands, so Erin suggested a combination of caramel and red highlights to fill out my brassy brown hues.

Once my hair consultations were complete, I was offered a menu for lunch from Arium, an intimate café for artists and patrons of the arts to enjoy gourmet food, drinks, exhibitions, and musical entertainment. It’s conveniently located right next door to the salon. I dined and relaxed while receiving a quick dry clipping followed by my color application. It was a great way to spend my afternoon lunch.

TELA is a spacious and soothing environment with light classical music playing in the background. And when it came time to wash out the color and apply the amazing smelling shampoo and conditioner, I was totally at ease with a soothing scalp massage. Speaking of products, what’s used in the salon are all of Phillip’s creations, many of which contain sun guards and are made with less resin so all of the city dirt you acquire while walking the streets doesn’t have detrimental impact on your strands. By the time my hair was dried and done, my locks felt revitalize and I was ready to take on the rest of my day.

Services at TELA include cuts, color, texture (straightening, relaxing, perms and body waves), extensions and general styling, such as blow-drying. Quick note on to know on winter color: Erin recommends that in between coloring appointments it’s a good idea to get a conditioning treatment like as a high gloss to maintain the hue and health of your hair. If you color your strands every six weeks or so (like I do) that means around week three you should pop by the salon for a tress “tune-up.” TELA offers a wide array of options in terms of conditioning treatments including exfoliating, rehydrating, and color enhancing, among others. Many of these consist of organic ingredients like honey, sea kelp, papaya, and sage. Cool info alert: TELA is open late on Thursdays (till 10PM) for wine, sangria, and tapas.

31 Little West 12th Street

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