Wednesday, November 11, 2009

VA Review: Bumble and Bumble Salon, NYC

So, I'm starting a new section of the blog: VA Review. Here, I will review products, restaurants, other consumer places, etc. to give people (you, readers) my first-hand experience.

First up, The Uptown Manhattan Bumble and Bumble Salon.

Bumble and Bumble
146 E. 56th St.
(Bet. 3rd and Lex)
New York, NY

Confession: I hadn't had my hair cut in 18 months. So, I finally decided that the dead, splitting ends look wasn't exactly the best for me. Finding a salon in New York City is almost as difficult as finding a job. There are millions, one on every street. But, how do you know if the salon is any good? Did their stylists actually go to school? I started trying to talk to people, get some word-of-mouth recommendations, but didn't really hear anyone really rave about a particular place. So, while walking one day, I passed by a Bumble and Bumble pop-up shop and thought, "hmm. I should make an appointment with them." I figured that Bumble and Bumble products are well respected in the hair-world and after doing some research, I made myself an appointment. I found out that Bumble and Bumble employees are required to have at least 12 years of experience before coming in as a Junior Stylist. I know in NC there was no such thing as a junior or senior stylist, but that's the trend in NYC. Price lists are made based on what level the stylist is. I went with a Junior Stylist. 12 years is enough for me. :)

I have to say, I am immensely pleased with what I found at B&B. The salon is tucked into a cute NYC brownstone with windows all across the front, allowing lots of natural light to enter the lobby area. I was greeted immediately and was taken to the back, where my coat and scarf was taken and hung up. I was given a black silk robe and told to have a seat in the cafe. The cafe, a full service "restaurant", featured complimentary water, sodas, tea, coffee, lattes, and small snacks. It was stacked with magazines and books, a very friendly atmosphere.

After a hair consultation with my stylist, Katrina, I was taken to the back again to have my hair washed by a woman named Yolanda. I was surprised to find the chair reclined completely back (with your head in the sink), lifting your feet off the floor, and to my surprise, massaged my back. I had my hair washed, conditioned, my neck and shoulders massaged, all while Yolanda took extra care to protect my dress and keep my face and neck dry. Very impressed.

Back with Katrina, we talked about wanting my hair to look healthy (translation: cut off the dead) while keeping it long. For those of you who've had long hair, you know that there are essentially 3 options for "changing up" long hair. 1. Bangs, 2. Blunt-cut trim, or 3. Long layers, frame the face. Katrina and I decided that #3 would be best since I've started getting a bit of wave in my hair, the layers would allow the natural wave/curl to come out.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with the experience. There was only one thing that I didn't really like; my stylist hardly spoke to me. Granted, I'd much rather someone focus on what they're doing instead of making sure to be chatty, but a little bit of conversation would have made things a little less uncomfortable.

VA Rating: 8

The rating isn't a 9 or 10 because I was just a little bit uncomfortable while my hair was being cut/styled (maybe because she looked a little uncomfortable while I was "watching her") and because of the price. With the wash, cut, blow dry, 2 styling products, and tip, I ended up throwing down $160. While I understand NYC is a bit pricey when it comes to salons and styling, I feel that it was a little bit on the expensive side for an appointment that didn't include coloring or other professional services.

But, I am pleased with how my hair turned out. It looks healthy, has lots of body, and is incredibly soft. I can't wait to play with some new looks. Have a look-see, what do you think? It's hard to believe that I had almost 4 inches cut off the bottom!

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