The second I arrived in Orange County I knew I wanted to have my hair done by one of the celebrity salons. I had heard of Christophe & his tony clientele in my fashion mags so when I spotted his salon at Fashion Island I knew that’s where I wanted to try. BONUS: They have a special for first time clients, a free Kerastase conditioning treatment. If you’ve never been to Newport Beach California, there’s a shopping mecca called Fashion Island. FI has all the usual suspects, Macy’s, Nieman Marcus, Nordstrom and bunches of cute boutiques. Plus, there are two salons, Christophe and Toni & Guy.
I’d like to state that I’m very happy with my salon at home, Tanya’s Image and Wellness Salon in Cincinnati. Rae totally rocks there. But a few years ago, at Sundance I had the incredibly good fortune to be a hair model for the stylist who does Natalie Portman’s hair at The Jonathan Salon in Beverly Hills. Marcus Francis if you wanna look him up. I believe the best haircut is one I can manage on my own (and I’m a hair klutz) and one that grows out beautifully. Well, four months after and my hair still looked amazing – even after just airdrying. I just had to see if I could have a repeat from another celeb salon.
This review is only for the Christophe Salon at Fashion Island. He has other locations: Beverly Hills, Washington, DC, St. Barts (I want that one next).
Since I had my hair done before I left, I waited until I was looking pretty shaggy (all that California sun!) then booked my appointment. Well, actually, I wanted to book my appointment for about two weeks, but kept chickening out. Intimidated by those lovely lala land locks. But, it just so happened I was shopping and perked up as I walked by. The person I was with said why don’t you go in? Well, I was still saying “No way, my hair looks horrible” (isn’t it funny how your hair needs to look good when you go to the salon?) as he opened the door and I was in. There was a really cute guy at the desk with purposefully punked out hair and he smiled and asked if he could help. I told him I was new to the area and thinking of having my hair done there. He gave me a brochure & invited me back soon. OK well that didn’t seem too intimidating.
When I looked at the brochure later, the prices weren’t too outrageous for SoCal. $90 plus for a haircut $90 plus for color. Yes, I could do that. I went on Yelp (a fantastic resource BTW from scoping out spas & salons if you’re new to an area) and read the reviews. The standout mentions were for color Maribelle and for cuts Maxx. I was pumped at this point because I love it when a salon separates colorists & stylists. Very niched. So I called and booked.
The morning of the appointment I was sick to my stomach – “What if they mess it up” I agonized. “Maybe I should wait” Plus it was a gorgeous day out. But finally the frizz was victorious and I arrived a few minutes early. Maribelle my colorist hadn’t arrived yet and the girl at the desk guardedly asked me if I’d like to go shop for about ten minutes. The butterflies in my stomach jabbed my innards. “OK ?” I sheepishly said supertempted not to return. But I did. The staff were distracted with each other and I sat in the “waiting area” basically 4 chairs lined up against the window at the front of the shop. I wasn’t even offered a drink. Really I expected so much more. At least some snacks for goodness sake.
The decor was all white and chrome, very parisian which fits with the style of the owner.
Maribelle’s assistant got me in a few minutes (another thorn in my salon side – assistants – if I’m paying top dollar for a service I don’t want an assistant) She took me to a changing closet to put on a cape and then sat me at Maribelle’s station. Maribelle met me a few seconds later and asked what I wanted to do with the color. I told her not too bright, I just wanted to bring out the red tones in my hair without it being too brassy. I appreciated she said I had a soft natural look & we would go with that. I loved the way she applied the color – usually I end up with color splashed on my skin, but she was so quick and adept, she really only covered what needed to be. I’m feeling better.
Stylist Wisdom – Anything worth having is worth a little extra work i.e. styling my hair in the morning!
After I processed, Maribelle’s assistant washed me and did my conditioning treatment. Then she took me to Maxx’s chair. Maxx was the warmest and funnest person I met at the salon. He didn’t ask me what I wanted. Instead he told me I had a great head of hair and I should keep it long maybe adding more layers. He mentioned how his wife has long hair and how much he loved it and he bet my guy loved my hair long. WoW go California dude! So I let him work his magic. As he cut he talked about the area his wife, his old job in Beverly Hills and how this was so much more low key. That everyone was so stressed in BH. (Hmm maybe I’ll give visiting the old 90210 a miss.)
Then, he went in for the bang – my bangs have become sort of a security blanket and I like them long. He just cut them off shorter than I was comfy with and also left a bunch to grow I had too many he said. Was it getting hot in here? But then he dried and styled my mane. Wow I loved it, even the shorter bangs. I felt happy again hurrah! My before and after pics are here. What do you think? Do you like? Will I go back, if I can afford it, you bet.
See you at the spa, Candy