Hair, New York, Spas & SalonsSalon A.K.S.

Who: Aida and Selma at Salon AKS

What: Natural, glossy highlights and face-framing eyebrow tweezing

Where: Salon AKS 689 Fifth Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10022, (212) 888-0707

When: Monday-Saturday

Why: Ever since the highlight disaster of 2009, I’ve been wary of anyone touching a hair on my head.  I come into haircut appointments now armed with a swath of pictures, and I haven’t gotten professional color in a year.  Highlight roots were a reality and after hearing someone describe my hair color honestly as “spotty,” I knew that enough was enough: it was time to get over my fear and ditch the two-tone color situation.

Completely armed with trepidation about repeat tiger highlights, I was completely calmed with Selma’s soothing words and the salon’s 5th Avenue oasis feel, with its soft lighting and clean, blonde wood paneling. From the sweltering temperatures outside: the salon was refreshing and airy, which I partially attributed to its state-of-the-art green ventilation system, which continually filtered in fresh air from the outside.

Once I explained what happened with my last highlights experience, Selma informed me that she knew exactly what had caused my previous brassy highlights, and how to avoid it, stating firmly that it was either because the color wasn’t lifted enough or because the color that was being used was too light for my dark brunette hair.  We both decided on a natural, sun-kissed look for summer, with an emphasis on the natural and with a firm directive of ‘not stripey.’

She got to work, custom-mixing warm, brunette tones and applied even natural foils all over my hair, and slightly lighter baby foils around the crown of my hair, to frame my face and add light.  The result? A warm, glossy, melange of espresso and warm chestnut tones, that brightened my Twilight-esque pallor, and emphasized my skin’s warm ivory undertones.  A Brazilian friend of mine proclaimed my look “very Brazilian!” when he saw me, which I considered to be the highest compliment.

To complete my look, Aida took over the job of remodeling my shapeless eyebrows, gracefully heightening the arch, and thinning the line so that it perfectly framed my eyebrow bone.  Heightening the arch made all the difference–it’s completely opened up my eye area in a way that I’ve never seen before.  As an additional benefit, since Aida tweezed, I’ve been more or less able to maintain their shape for a good 3-4 weeks, by just removing errant hairs myself.  I’ve loved the results so much that I’ve switched from my normal eyebrow groomer to Aida.

Salon A.K.S has a wonderfully luxe, unpretentious atmosphere, with a clientele of hip, young professionals, out-of-towners in the know, and society ladies.  It’s the kind of spa where I can feel relaxed and completely worry-free, and also the kind of place where I would feel comfortable bringing my mom to for a day of pampering.  I hope to bring my mom back for a indulgent manicure and pedicure appointment–on my way out of the spa, I caught sight of Salon A.K.S’s nail treatment room, with its stone laid, custom-designed copper pedicure sinks, which looked heavenly and comfortable enough to doze off in.

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