Sunday, January 25, 2009

Best blow out in NYC

Bar a two year hiatus somewhere around 1994/5, I have always had long blonde hair, with no layers or fringe (US: bangs). To put it simply, I do not represent a challenge to the hairdressing industry.

But, easy hair or no, I am also incredibly spoilt: frequently I get my hair cut by session stylists on shoots and, more often, for free in extremely expensive salons by stylists who know, if I am happy, I will recommend them to other editors, to friends and maybe write them up in print from time to time. Of course, like most editors, I am usually strapped for cash (we get paid little, and rely on the emollient joy of the freebies that enable us to present a groomed front,) but even I can afford the hefty proportional tip that comes with freebie haircuts.

The flip side is that when a free hair cut isn’t in the offing, and my over generous use of the curling iron is making my split ends a thing of horror; I have no idea where to go. I worry about butchers with scissors in cheap salons and, equally, can’t afford to pay hundreds of dollars for a simple haircut.

This brings me to Mariko at dlala on Avenue A in the East Village. Scooting past on the way to the Post Office, I clocked both the Japanese stylists and the extremely reasonable price list. I trust Japanese hair stylists: I like the precision & thoughtfulness they bring to cutting, as much as the head massages they always give.

She fitted me in as a walk-in, sat me down in the window for a through consultation - something that doesn’t seem to happen as often as it should, and then gave me not just a clever cut, but the best blow dry I’ve had in this city. (And I've been everywhere - from the Polish salons on 1st to Rita Hazan.)

I dropped my mother off there yesterday to have her hair blow dried– chuckling at the juxtaposition of Uptown, Birkin –toting, black-clad, Chanel-loving mother and Downtown, rainbow-striped dress-wearing Mariko. When I saw her forty minutes later, my mother looked like she’d had a pro make-over. Again, quite simply the best blow out she’s ever had.

And, yes, we both paid.

Mariko Roberts @ Dlala.
149 Avenue A, NY10009. Tel: +1 212 777 5252
Blow outs from $35
Hair cuts (incl. blow out) from $60