Foils, bleach and toner–single process, partial and full head–terminology that used to be as foreign to me as that found on my W-2. Born and bred a true brunette, I never tangoed with my tresses in the color department. With all my fashion and beauty experimentation I had maintained a solemn vow to retain my brown locks; albeit less profound a vow than that of marriage or sobriety it was indeed a steadfast one. 23+ years strong.
It was not until a few months ago, with a nod to sheer boredom and too much face time with Life and Style Magazine that I began to acquiesce to the thought of a new “do”. After much rumination, I determined that altering my color might be the change I was looking for. Cue Jennifer Albert of Frédéric Fekkai 5th Avenue. Recommended by a friend, I was informed that Jennifer was an incredibly talented colorist at the salon. I called to make an appointment and was surprisingly scheduled for the following day.
Channeling Camille Grammar, I was “cautiously optimistic” the morning I arrived at the uber swank 4th floor salon inside Henri Bendels. After robe-ing up I was whisked away to the chair, lost in a sea of Birkin Bags, diamonds and pearls (this is Fifth Avenue after all). A surge of panic and anxiety overcame me- not even the green tea and practically full-course spread served to me could calm my nerves. What if she butchered my hair? What if she turned me, (gasp) Blond?
Shortly thereafter, Jen (we are now on the level where I can call her that) arrived on the scene. I whipped out my iPad, equipped with visual aids, and we discussed what I was trying to achieve: think Lily Aldridge (Or at least her ombré highlights; there is only so much one can do with bleach and a brush). Jen looked at the photos and gave her input; she was so knowledeable, warm and receptive to my concerns that I was immediately put at ease. In 10 minutes in her chair she completely gained my trust and allayed my fears.
She went to work.
Three and a half hours later, I was highlighted, toned, shampooed, blow-dried and ready to go. My new coif was beyond words and I looked as if I had been picked off the pages of Vogue. My brunette roots were there, only enhanced by blonde and golden color to the ends and undersides.
I can safely say that Ms. Albert is without question one of the most talented colorists I have ever come across. Her professionalism and demeanor were only trumped by her talent. I cannot even recall how I looked before I balayaged myself blonde, and in all honesty I do not care to. I am still stopped at least once daily by inquiring minds, and I unearth upon them the new weapon in my beauty arsenal, Jennifer Albert.
Blondes may have more fun, but brunettes still do it better…Or so I thought.
Frédéric Fekkai is located at 712 Fifth Ave., Fourth Floor, New York, NY 10019; Call 212.753.9500 to make an appointment.