Far away from the preening hoards of Japanese shoppers and PR girls of SoHo, the artists of TriBeCa, and the fabulousness of Chelsea, right next to the U.N., there's an organic hair salon tucked away on an unassuming street. It's got an unassuming name too, Le Salon, and a simple decor of flowers and blown-up images of beauty icons.
This clean air salon opened in 2008, and is run by Donna Moreno, who has some of the most fabulous natural curls I've ever seen. Her own hair was rehabilitated from what she said was a hot mess before she converted to the organic beauty life. "It's transformed my hair," she tells me as I wait for the stylist to take my own hair on. "I have the worst hair." She parts her curls to show me her dark, grey, coarse hair. I'm shocked, because her blond looks perfectly natural and lovely.
It's not easy to do organic hair color, apparently. Stylists have to be trained and certified. "Some of the organic products are terrible. They are not created equal. That's why we use Organic Salon Systems; their products work," Moreno tells me. "It's not Herbatint or henna--it does have some chemicals--but all the worst stuff is taken out. By that, she means ammonia, parabens and sulfates are missing.
When I ask Moreno about her clientele, she says, "We get a lot of people from the U.N. We get a lot of people from New Jersey and Westchester who are searching for an organic salon. A lot of clients' daughters, because they want them to start with the right treatments. We're starting to get people who want restorative treatment. Some people with health problems. A lot of pregnant women."
"We want people to save their hair. A lot of older women who come to us are balding because of the toxic chemicals they've put in their hair," Moreno says. But she does have a warning for ladies looking for quick fixes for their ravaged hair. "By sticking to the organic, it's not going to necessarily happen the first time or second or third time. We have to do a lot of things to get that all out." First, you submit to some detoxing treatments, then rebuilding treatments. Your hair color will not be perfect at first, but if you're willing to put in the work, it's worth it.
I have virgin hair in a rich brown I already cherish, so I opt for a reconstructive treatment, plus trim. First, Vincent does a stretch test on my hair, wetting some strands and stretching it in his fingers. He says that at my roots it is healthy, but breakage at the bottom means my strands are protein deficient. (Not that I don't eat enough protein, all sorts of environmental factors are responsible for low-protein hair.)
My reconstructive treatment involves two deep-conditioning treatments and two rounds under the heat hood, then one more time under the faucet. The conditioning treatment smells so lovely, it puts me into a happy stupor. Then, I'm handed over to Ashraf Ghashvand, an Iranian women with an fixation on Bridgette Bardot. She razors the heck out of my hair, then dries it into an uber-volumized 'do, reminiscent of an early 90s babe.
And actually? I'm kind of into it. I'm already planning my Halloween costume of high-waisted Levis, suspenders and a tube top. Gashvand spends some time trying to convince me to do my hair like Bridgette Bardot in a fluffy clipped ponytail, and almost convinces me before I snap to my senses. I'm sent home with bottles of that yummy regular and leave-in conditioner.
I will say this, the haircut with its face-framing, razored layers looks great swept up into a ponytail. I haven't been able to recreate the 90s babe look. But take a look at the pictures and decide for yourself!
What do you think? Would you try this salon?