Ready for My Close Up: A Visit to Ammon Carver’s New L’ANZA Salon + Photo Studio


When much of your life has been comprised of styling celebrities’ hair for photo shoots, it’s only natural that one day you might want to combine the two worlds under one roof. Right? Turns out such a practice is not so common. Though hair styling often takes place in photo studios and photo shoots in hair salons, the two locations rarely mix. Ammon Carver wanted to change that.

Last October, he opened the Ammon Carver L’ANZA Healing Haircare Salon and studio in partnership with L’anza Haircare, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan – a natural location for a beauty salon/photo studio hybrid.

“I wanted to create a space that marries both the salon and photography worlds,” said Ammon, who pronounces his name like “Am-mon,” not the more pretentious “Ahh-mmon” (one of the many reasons I very quickly liked him.) He intends to use the studio to build the Ammon Carver global lifestyle brand, focused on “likeable luxury,” and “helping people feel and look great.”

With more than 12 years under his belt at the helm of L’Oreal’s brand, Matrix, and five nominations for 5 times North American Hairstyling’s Editorial Stylist of the Year, he’s certainly in a position to launch just that. In five minutes, I felt like I was in good hands at Ammon’s. He handed me over to one of his top stylists, Gina Watkins, who proceeded to enact a full-scale blonde redo on my far-from-overdo mousey roots.

Before settling into the chair with Gina, I chatted with Ammon about the studio itself – a very impressive setting for anyone who’s got a design eye. (For readers who’ve read any of my past reviews, you know that’s me.) The studio’s open, loft-like space is airy and bright, with contemporary design and clean lines throughout. The huge windows on either side let the light from 17th Street flood right in. Black, white and brass dominate the color palette, making it all feel very mid-century chic. If I love the space I’m in, I’m more likely to love the work you’re doing – just a fact. Props to Ammon for checking that box.

Next it was time to test Gina’s chops. She got to work and simultaneously told me all about L’Anza, the brand for which Ammon was recently made Creative Director. L’Anza may not be a brand you’re as familiar with as say, Aveda, or Moroccanoil. But when it comes to hair care, it’s certainly got just as much reason for cred. The brand, centered on healing your hair rather than slathering stuff on top of it (insert product, color, etc.), has been around since 1985 but has been mostly a to-the-trade product line. Hairstylists know it, and if you go to a L’Anza salon like Ammon Carver, you’ll know it too.

“L’Anza’s all about healing your hair from the inside out,” Gina said. I commiserated with her about my blah hair – neither curly nor straight, blonde nor brunette. She assured me she’d help, and help she did. When I left her chair, my blonde was bright and refreshed, and most importantly, healthy as ever. It’s rare that I walk out of a salon as a super bright blonde and yet feel that my hair has actually softened.

Aside from having the hair goods (i.e. talent, passion and an all-star crew), Ammon has some really nifty tricks up his sleeve – namely a mobile app. The Ammon Carver app can be used for scheduling appointments, paying for services and purchasing retail. He’s also got plans to have clients use the app to submit photos of hair inspiration to their stylist as hair inspiration before arriving. And stylists can then upload lists of suggested products that then can be directly purchased. So tech-savvy.

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[…] Ready for My Close Up: A Visit to Ammon Carver's New L'ANZA. – When much of your life has been comprised of styling celebrities' hair for photo shoots, it's only natural that one day you might want to combine. […]


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