All hands on

Busy NYers spend less time sitting in the salon chair with a ‘glam-team’ approach to hair and beauty

Hairstyling at Ethan Rose Salon and Oscar Bland

In her 2006 book “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” the late Nora Ephron begins the chapter “On Maintenance” with the line, “I have been trying for weeks to write about maintenance, but it hasn’t been easy, and for a simple reason: Maintenance takes up so much of my life that I barely have time to sit down at the computer.”

Maintenance, in this case, refers to all the treatments and procedures that women subject themselves to in order to make themselves look their best. But, as Ephron points out, all of that maintenance takes time. So much time that it can make it difficult for us to get where we need to go in the first place.

Two new salons in Tribeca are trying to get women out of the salon chair faster by offering services “glam-team” style, with multiple stylists working together on a client.

“This is New York City, time is money, no one has extra time,” said Crystal Torres, a hair stylist and co-founder of the Ethan Rose Salon on Harrison Street. After working as a stylist at two local salons — Lotus and Younghee — for seven years, Torres noticed that her clients were constantly complaining about how many different stops they had to make to get all their maintenance done.

Inspired, she decided to open the intimate salon in July, giving clients the chance to get a manicure, pedicure and a blowout all done within an hour. The package costs $100 (Tribeca residents get 10 percent off).

As one woman washes your hair,
another soaks your nails. It’s not as relaxing
as the typical salon visit, but it’s efficient.

Farther east on Worth Street, a brand-new salon, MB45, offers a similar package of services that includes a blowout or a braid plus a manicure, done in 45 minutes for a flat price of $65. “If I’m sitting here for the next hour, why not get simultaneous services?” asked Fernanda Lacerda, co-founder of MB45, which is an offshoot of the popular Maria Bonita salon in Soho.

At both MB45 and Ethan Rose, the treatments are administered expertly; as one woman washes your hair, another soaks your nails. Sure, the relaxing salon atmosphere gets lost in the process, but what the experience lacks in leisure, it more than makes up for in efficiency. MB45 even has a small, portable nail dryer to rest your hands in while your hair is being blow-dried.

“I’ve done blowouts in 15 minutes,”’ Torres laughed. “The clients come in late, and they’re late for a flight, so we have to make it happen.”

In Midtown, renowned stylist Oscar Blandi is experimenting with a different kind of combination package at his eponymous salon; he’s offering hairstyling and Botox treatments in a package he calls Blotox.

“I always wanted to have a one-stop shop,” Blandi said. “We always had the manicure, the pedicure, the massage, the skincare, but talking to different clients, it seems there is a demand for this [package] as well.” 

Blandi partnered with Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, a dermatologist, who meets with each client in a private room in the salon for about an hour and administers the treatments. After that, clients can get a blowout — all for the discounted price of $245.

“We wanted to give the client the opportunity to do whatever she can when it comes to beauty,” Blandi said. “A lot of clients, they try it, they test it, and they’re very happy.”