There’s a precision in hair coloring that (in my many adventures through New York City salons, I have noticed) is not always properly attended to. Sure, the color greats of this great city don’t always need to be perfect in their application. But I have learned over the years that when separating the colorists from the stylists of the world, there’s an easy way to delineate: colorists are scientists, stylists (those who cut) are artists. What a gross stereotype, I know. All the greats of the biz, whether they cut or color your coif, are artists. But still, the cliché oft lends itself to some truth – a truth I clearly confirmed on my recent visit to Eiji Salon on Madison Ave.
I first saw colorist Jess Hong at the 5th floor Madison Ave salon, and on my next visit, saw Eiji, who would cut my hair in his signature dry cut style. Both worked with precision, but Jess’s was far more defined – the precision only a colorist can relate to. But unlike some who might get bogged down in details, Jess’s work was precise, yet quick and confident. The end product was a refreshed looking blonde that was structured, balanced and lively, all at the same time.
What really made the difference though was the fabulous treatment he gave me after. A product called Inphenom was applied in five steps, immediately after coloring. But don’t be scared by the whole 5-step thing – it was much quicker than I thought. In fact, my initial reaction when he told me five steps was to glance nervously at my watch. In reality, it only extended the time of a normal shampoo and conditioning treatment post-coloring, by about five minutes. The Inphenom treatment comes from Japanese based Milbon, a superior product company whose effects I had experience a few years back on my visit to Rita Hazan’s salon.
The first step prepares the hair, the second starts the repairing process, third seals the cuticle layers to lock in moisture, fourth locks in repairing ingredients with a ceramide polymer and the fifth and final step restores a lipid coat on the surface of the hair for sine and smoothness. It was undoubtedly the smoothest my hair has ever been (apart from perhaps my first year or two of life, but who can remember that far back?)
Next up was Eiji and his dry cut. Again, precision was the word. He washed my hair, then blew dry it before cutting, which can be jarring if you’re not used to the process. But washing, drying and then cutting, allows Eiji to see where the hair truly falls before cutting it, preventing the, “Oh my god it’s so much shorter than I thought!” reaction which can often come once the stylist has dried a freshly cut, wet mop. Instead, it’s dry and straight, which leaves you no surprises, and even affords the opportunity to ask for a little more off if you’d like (as I did).
Apart from the precision and supreme softness my hair enjoyed, the best part of the experience at Eiji is the calm, collected and soothing nature with which you’re treated. It’s difficult to feel like you’re getting the attention you deserve at an uptown salon in this city, but at Eiji you never feel ignored.