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Miwa Ikegami admits that when she opened her first hair salon, after fourteen years as creative director at Vidal Sassoon, she was naïve about running a business—and got burned. So the stylist was understandably reluctant when, in 1996, Japanese entrepreneur Alex Yang approached her about opening a new salon downtown. Her primary concern was that her clients—Broadway stars, well-known art reps, and museum curators—wouldn’t follow. Luckily, they did, and her Flatiron District salon now serves the likes of violinist Joshua Bell and stage and screen actress Cherry Jones. A sprite of a woman with an inviting smile, Ikegami snips locks with the precision of a surgeon, and isn't shy about her love of the craft; she insists on no less from her mostly female staff. The salon sees hairstyling as an exchange of energy, and seeks to make every visit, whether color, cut, or makeover, a holistic experience. Light from floor-to-ceiling windows pools on the red painted wood floor, while patrons recline on cushioned tables to enjoy their shampoos with head massage. Activity never reaches the point of commotion, and the salon boasts an entirely enjoyable atmosphere—one in which Ikegami hopes real people, not just celebrities, will feel welcome.Extra
Ikegami uses her salon's exposed brick walls as a kind of ad hoc art gallery. The first show featured pieces by fellow alumni of Tama Art University in Japan.
Tuesday morning training sessions, overseen by Ikegami, take longer but cost only $18.
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Best of New York: Health & Self
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.