The soothing black and white interior of Chris Chase, with it’s dramatically grand crystal chandelier suspended in the center of the room like a solitary sparkling planet, relaxed me instantaneously as I walked into the chic West Chelsea salon on a random Sunday to have my hair highlighted for the first time in eight years. Ready for a change from my natural coffee black color, I’d chosen Chris Chase for it’s impeccable pedigree–conceived a matter of months ago by the same people behind Robert Kree salon (a New York favorite in fashion circles), Chris Chase has gotten nothing but rave reviews and exclusive contracts with such acclaimed houses as Calvin Klein and Prada.
Coming to colorist Jenna Montefusco bearing little more than a few pages torn out of a magazine and a vague idea of what I wanted, the seemingly all-knowing color pro intuited exactly what I was thinking as if by mental telepathy. A few whisks of her brush later, I was looking at a subtle, sun-kissed, better version of me. Nonexistent were the thick skunky stripes I had feared–instead, the highlights were barely perceptible, simply imparting a soft golden glow throughout my hair.
Next, I walked over to Johnny Gaita’s workstation. The dapper Gaita, a stylist for the salon who originated at Robert Kree, studied me for a brief moment and listened carefully to my direction before wielding his sharp cutting scissors and–with a sheer confidence rarely found in stylists–went to work, performing the entire cut on my perfectly dry head of hair. “It’s actually easier for me this way,” Gaita said as I watched chunk after chunk of newly highlighted hair fall to the ground. “This way, you see exactly what you’re doing–you see the shape as you’re creating it.”
Whatever the case may be, Gaita’s magic touch left me with one of the best cuts I’ve had all year–softly layered and falling perfectly into place with an ease that negates the need for hair dryers or flat irons. Needless to say, Chris Chase gained one more regular client that day–and converted a previous color “virgin” to boot. Not bad for a quiet Sunday.
Chris Chase Salon
182 Ninth Avenue (nr. 21st Street)
New York, NY 10011