A deep conditioning treatment for the hair, just before winter’s winds blow their cold, dry wrath on my tresses, sounded like a good idea. So I bundled up on this frigid November day and headed up to 66th Street off Madison Ave., on a street filled with lovely brownstones and canopied apartment buildings, to the Ricardo Rojas Atelier salon. Mystified (I saw no shop sign), I came across a small building with an apartment buzzer block, with the salon name next to 5B. An elevator whisked me up to this intimate, cheerfully white space, with floor lamps shaded by white umbrellas, a pretty terrace and an elegant chandelier centering the room. Argentine hairstylist and owner, Ricardo Rojas himself, warmly greeted me, along with his staff, and so began the process of what is a truly European deep conditioning experience. First, Ricardo examined my hair, magnifying the top of my head with some contraption that captured my scalp via video, displayed on a computer screen, showing me the buildup of product on hair and scalp. This procedure insures exactly what kind of conditioning treatment to use, dependent of hair type—mine was “thin, but lots of healthy growth,” I was happy to hear.
First, my hair was dotted with Leonor Greyl regenerist oil—part of a high end line of French hair products that Ricardo uses throughout the procedure. The oil was deeply massaged into my scalp and then mixed with a combination of celery, carrot and ginseng power (carrot for the thinness, ginseng for vitality, and celery for the extraneous oils and limpness), combined with something called Huile germe de blém, a cream used to further revitalize the scalp. The mixture was carefully painted on with a brush; another deep head massage followed, the hair was twisted and wrapped and then I got placed under a dryer, all while sipping delicious spiced tea out of a beautiful, ornate tea cup. Some more oil was then massaged into my neck, and, while the treatment was cooking on my hair, Ricardo applied an electric massager, which worked its magic on my neck, back and shoulders. All was washed off with a volumizer shampoo, until another high tech contraption—this time an electric suction activator—was placed on the scalp to open, vitalize and oxygenate my scalp. Finally a blow out and my hair felt and looked like it was injected with a Vitamin B6 shot…authentically fuller, with (forgive the hair jargon) “movement,” something my rather limp tresses were not used to. The entire treatment takes about an hour and costs between $80-$120. This is like getting a full body massage and facial—all for the head. I say, go for it . The Ricardo Rojas Atelier Salon, 60 E. 66th St., 212.721.5900