- Edition 2, Chapter 3 -
In the age of blow outs and Kate Middletons, looking put-together feels like the antithesis of realistic morning routines. Like all things I associate with adulthood – pant suits, time management, cash flow – a toss-worthy do was as inconceivable as a parliamentary monarchy in America. So I succumbed to poor hair care, settling for stringy, bleached-out lengths that vaguely resembled a discarded Barbie: this was my state prefacing Hairstory.
The day I visited the studio, the bustle of Wall Street tourists and Ground Zero construction couldn’t have been more of a contradiction – the tenth floor was a quiet haven bathed in soft light, interrupted only by the shoeless gaits of the staff. One set of footsteps belonged to Michael, the bespectacled Englishman and mastermind of Hairstory, who meandered through the long hallway and entered the hairdressing rooms unannounced, camera in tow. The dozen or so hairstylists, colorists, and creative types hardly acknowledged his entrance; instead, the clipping and combing and chair-swiveling inspired uninterrupted chatter. Here, in Michael’s commodious apartment-cum-creative space, all feel at home.
This degree of ease, uncommon in salons altogether, was especially valued at the beginning of my day – the consultation, to use Hairstory parlance. In the plushly carpeted living room, I sat stiff-limbed on a stool as cameras silently rolled around me and resident stylist and colorist, Wes and Roxie. I fumbled through my hair aspirations with, “You know, something cool but, like, polished I guess?” as one tousled my hair and the other gazed on with a discerning smirk. In less than five minutes, the duo translated my vague jumble of words into expert and unapologetic recommendations, even suggesting I keep that little piece curtaining half my brow – that swoop I’m actually fond of. With that, trust was established.
Next came the several hours of bleaching, toning, cutting, floating between rooms, and sipping Nespresso and a carafe d’eau with my legs folded beneath a silver cape. Occasionally, Roxie would peek beneath the congealed peroxide, tilt her head, and say something like, “a little light-er,” and with her assistants she turned my hay locks to a silken taupe blonde – a striking but natural color. What followed was a muffled exclamation from me before settling into Wes’s chair; unlike the compulsory duration of coloring, Wes was quick and light, well-acquainted with restraint: a structured wet haircut followed by dry snips around the face and ends, or what looked like the most fun part of the process.
The result was all me, but better: a balance of high-maintenance color with no-guesswork style. The cut magically followed suit, enhancing my straight-meets-wavy texture – a look much like those perfect hair days when planets align and excuses are made to go anywhere, even the corner store. And yet, we’re all familiar with this “salon effect” and know it tends to fade. Fast. So I was handed a bottle of Hairstory New Wash, the product that advertises miracles. Determined to preserve the halo that is now my hair, I took it home for the real test – could this last?
Three days later, I finally washed my hair. Instead of the usual lather, rinse, repeat nonsense, I massaged the creme in, aggressively rinsing it out before towel drying as usual. With a few strokes of a cheap, wide-toothed comb, the wet mop smoothed into a detangled wonder. I oohed and ahhed, letting it air dry (as recommended) until I awoke the next day to voluminous, perfectly disheveled hair – a look difficult to replicate daily without a professional touch. But I did, with almost no effort. OK, I did nothing, unless you count entrusting my hair to an all-star team that gets it. I. Was. Hooked.
Aside from not needing to wash my hair every other day, I no longer dread the wash-and-style routine that cut into my snooze time. In the half hour it used to take to get my hair to a passable state, I eat breakfast, read the morning paper, even arrive to work early. That’s when I realized the “adult” haircut I was after had nothing to do with the amount of sleep I sacrificed to iron out my so-called flaws. Instead, it is the right hairstyle and foolproof maintenance plan that makes me more grown-up than ever. Hair toss and all.