I got an email confirmation of my appointment Wednesday at Sam Brocata Salon in SoHo. Taking the subway from the Upper West Side stressed me out because I was so worried about being late. As I climbed out of the subway, I was completely disoriented and had to ask directions. I felt awkward interrupting a woman typing on her iPhone, but since everyone looked too busy to ask I had to. We guessed together and looked up and there indeed was Grand Street.
I walked down the stairway off of Wooster Street into a concrete floored, brick walled clean and simple space with mirrors everywhere. I was on time. Checked in with one of the two beautiful people behind the counter computers and was escorted to the changing room. Marisa, my colorist, willowy and all natural blonde (looking) sat me in her chair and talked about my color. When she was done, the equally understatedly pretty Lisa discussed the cut. They left, and Joy introduced herself and gave me a neck message. All this attention is making me feel anything but relaxed although the vibe in the place was very low key. Marisa returned and we chatted about Nicaragua and her baby August as she gently painted the dye into my roots. Next she filled a large squeeze bottle with golden brown goo and worked that through the rest of my hair. I perused Paper Magazine looking for people I know while the timer ran, digitally, out of sight.
Chelsea led me to a big sink and worked huge volumes of water and soap through my hair, but then she had to go. Randall rinsed and massaged and conditioned my head. He took me back to Lisa who considered and cut my hair, fixing all the angles but not radically changing it. Then she asked me if it should be curly or straight and I picked straight because I never do that. She pulled out her blow dryer. I loved it because my hair was soft and straight and reminded me of the way it felt when I was in kindergarten. She recommended two products to keep it that way and I said yes. I was terrified they would be super expensive.
But they weren’t. I am finally old enough to ask first. The cute young man rang up my bill and I was mentally prepared for it to be 10 times the Nicaragua price. But it was only a hundred dollars more than Seattle. The tip envelopes stared me in the face. By now I had come in contact with 5 people in the Salon, each of whom introduced themselves by name. I hopefully asked if the stylists shared their tips with the helpers. Not really. So I distributed another 20% among the envelopes. I cut out Chelsea because she passed me on to someone else.
I looked great. I felt like my younger self. Emma met me for lunch and browsing. I only bought a sweater because the day before I bought a Nicole Miller dress at Purdy Girl. When I got home it occurred to me it was the 2010 version of a dress I had about 10 years ago