Think you need to go south for Manhattan-style cuts and color? Think again. The City doesn’t have diddly on these new salons and talented specialists.
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The Color Canvasser
12 City Pl at Trump Tower, White Plains
(914) 285-0800Laurence Powell
Hair-color guru Vasken Demirjian opened a glamorous eponymous white salon 15 months ago, perhaps the perfect neutral backdrop for his coloring magic. This former antiques and antiquities dealer, who broke away a few years ago from his family’s renowned Demirjian Hair Salon, also in White Plains, is best known for his “color-canvassing.” This technique—a method of applying different hues of the same color to the top, middle, and bottom layers of hair—creates a head of hair which appears to have more depth than one gets from a single- or dual-color process. While Demirjian is the master colorist for his salon, there are three top colorists on his team in addition to several color assistants.
Demirjian, who talks about hair the way you might imagine Julian Schnabel talks about his art, is very enthusiastic about his new digs. “It’s a real boutique salon, like you find in Europe,” he says. “We wanted to go beyond the standard, not only in hair care but in salon design.”
The interior was conceived by Demirjian alongside his architect/engineer wife, Katerina Soukhopalov, and Maren Sostmann, both of the architecture and design firm Werner Sobek of New York. The ceiling is covered with hollow white cylinders that perform double duty as lampshades and sound insulation. The floor is made of porcelain from well-known Valencia, Spain‘s Porcelanosa. Dramatic bursts of red punctuate the whitescape in the form of large lampshades hanging from the ceiling and occasional counters. A coffee bar is a welcome, cozy touch.
Color ranges from $115 to $450 for Demirjian; a woman’s haircut is $105 and up, while a blow-dry is $50 and up.
The French Favorite
Westchester is home to a rich and diverse international community and some of the county’s best-coiffed are the French, who are devoted clients of French native Laurence Powell. Powell, who cuts chez vous or out of her Harrison home, has pure French training which means several years of beauty school plus apprenticeships, generally much more extensive than a typical stylist’s or colorist’s education stateside. Powell taught color technique at the L’Oréal Professional School in France and worked for several years at a top salon in New York and, later, Greenwich, Connecticut, but says she became eager to be an independent contractor. She flew solo some four years ago.
“Sometimes I feel that American salons can be pushy and the client gets treatments they don’t really need,” she says. “I prefer a lighter way to work: ‘Let’s try henna instead of a chemical color’ or avoiding highlighting the whole length of hair—‘Let’s keep the ends healthy.’”
Powell often makes family house calls. So if you want the perfect chignon or a sweet “bob” for your little girl, Laurence is your gal. Women’s haircuts start at $100, a blow-dry is $45, and a child’s haircut is $20. Champagne not included.
A Jewel in Pelham
319 Fifth Ave, Pelham
This tiny hair emporium was opened by John Barrett (Bergdorf Goodman) alums Hernan Prada and Kelli Devine a year ago and finally is getting the buzz it deserves.
“Prada Studio in downtown Pelham offers Manhattan-style haircuts and color without the elitist attitude that some big-name salons have become known for,” says fan and Pelham resident Jadzia Tirsch, senior vice president of advertising and public relations for Shiseido Cosmetics. “It’s been operating under the radar but has been recently discovered by those who know that you don’t need to leave Westchester to get great service and style.”
Both Prada and Devine have top-notch training and experience. Prada started his career as a teenager in Argentina and in Spain at the Llongueras International Hair Salon, historically the official hairdressers of Spain’s royal family, before stints at the Jeffry Stein Salon and John Barrett in New York city. Devine got her color chops at famed salons John Barrett, Butterfly Studio, and Maximus, all in Manhattan. A L’Oreal master colorist, Devine is one of the few colorists in Westchester who practices baliage, a European highlighting technique that most resembles painting color on hair, as opposed to the traditional apply-and-fold-under-aluminum technique. Baliage starts at $150 while a single-process color starts at $60; blow-dries start at $40; cuts start at $60.
Photography by Chris Ware
Katie Weisman is a Larchmont-based freelance writer specializing in lifestyle, fashion, and luxury goods. She has been hair-challenged for about a decade and has been a keratin-treatment convert for a year.