Someone once told me that the difference between a good colorist and a great colorist lies in whether or not they’ll simply refuse to do something that doesn’t suit you, regardless of how badly you want it. Thus, after years of dabbling amongst good colorists, I finally stumbled upon a great one- Marie Robinson of her eponymous salon. Ever since I first started getting my hair colored, I’ve developed this fascination (obsession almost) with achieving perfect light ashy brown locks- a feat that colorist after colorist attempted- only to garner the identical result- great color for a couple weeks followed by months of drab, rusty, brassy mess. Someday, I thought, I’ll color my hair back to black…but in the meantime since I have access to all the top colorists, I’ll try to achieve that elusive brown just one more time…
Before I went in to see Marie, I did a bit of background research on the color guru and was impressed to find her celebrity clientele to include names like Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Scarlett Johansson- all beautiful, at-one-time-or-another brunettes with the beautiful brown hair that I’ve long desired.
“So what are you in here for?” asked Marie.
“Welllll I was thinking maybe some highlights..or maybe lowlights..I want a nice brown color that will hide the black/orange combo I’ve got going on…and you know, that great brown you did on ScarJo…”
“Actually,” replied Marie. “I think you should go dark. We’ll work with your natural hair color and add some dimension and liven it up a little. Then you should let your natural hair grow out and go back to the salon for some glosses.”
“But what about…..”
“The reason your hair always turns brassy,” Marie continued to explain, “is due to the ammonia in the bleaching process which strips the hair of color but leaves it a tendency to turn red-which your hair has a lot of. For your hair type, you should only really be doing demi-permanent color which doesn’t contain ammonia and therefore won’t leave you looking orange. Don’ t try to go too far away from your natural color. Your hair just isn’t built for it. ”
And with that, I left my hair future to the real pro- to do what she does best- to make sure that the result actually looks good for me. The result? A shiny, glossy, dark color that catches the light in just the right way in the sun to give it a lovely brown sheen.
Marie also employs a number of top stylists at her new salon, which just opened in April 2010. The 5,000sq ft space features 26 chairs and an enviable roster of talent who have all worked with celebrity clients and with experience from some of New York’s most famous names. Following the color, I was treated to a cut by Allison Woodruff, who created one of my best haircuts to date (light, voluminous, and easy) and whom I’ve subsequently recommended to a number of my friends.
Sometimes you know what you’re looking for and you’re lucky enough to find someone who gets you and that was Allison- energetic, talented and knew how to style my hair in a bombshell way that worked for me.
And sometimes you’re lost, and you’re lucky enough to find someone who can guide you back to your best self. And for me, that was Marie - who finally taught me to make peace with my hair.
Marie Robinson Salon is located at 155 Fifth Avenue 4th Fl; (212) 358-7780.