My first year in Paris, I returned to NYC enough times where I could continue to get a haircut at my trusty Oscar Blandi Salon. However, the last time I was back in NY was in October 2012…which meant, I had to finally give in this year and begin my search for a hairstylist in Paris. With the traumatizing experience my fellow study abroad friend Jennifer had years ago ingrained in my memory, and hearing enough more recent hair horror stories from other expats, I set out to find my Oscar Blandi replacement. After searching “best hair salons in Paris” and asking a few friends where they got their haircut, I decided to give the salon Delphine Courteille’s Studio 34 a try. Having worked on the cheveux of celebrities like Sophia Coppola and Gisele Bundchen, I felt confident enough that my hair would be in good hands. I mean, it better be for 100 euros! Well, my haircut looked good and I was perfectly content with how my hair turned out.
Three months later, it was time to rein in my grows-as-fast-as-weeds hair again…and I decided not to go back to Delphine Courteille’s Studio 34 salon. To be honest, even though I had given my Paris haircut virginity to Studio 34, the whole time I couldn’t help but thinking how I had really wanted to schedule my haircut at the buzzed-about David Mallett salon instead…so that’s what I decided to do. You may be wondering why I didn’t opt for David Mallett for my first haircut and the answer is simple…a haircut with a senior stylist there is 135 euros and that just seemed like a lot of money for just a wash, cut and blow dry. (Clearly, I had forgotten that my Oscar Blandi cuts with stylist Mairead were $175 a pop!) But I decided to screw it and told Rio he would have to brown-bag his lunch for a week, and decided to make an appointment at the salon that’s loved by beauty editors, the fashion world and more celebrities than I can list.
Located on the second floor of a 17th century hôtel particulier (town house) in the 2nd arrondissement, when you step into the David Mallett salon, you’re immediately taken by the beauty of the space. Decorated in gray, bronze and taupe, the airy salon is punctuated with cool details in each room like the 10-foot ostrich standing center stage in the main room and the tiger lying in wait in the washing room. And have I mentioned all the cool-looking, sharply-dressed salon team…who also have great hair?
Well, I’m happy to say that the 135 euros were stylishly well-spent four months ago and I even returned for a second visit this week. This time, instead of my usual trim, I decided to trust my stylist Richie’s recommendation and chop off a good three to four inches of my hair. I’m not going to lie – I was a bit scared and thought to myself, “I really hope I don’t start crying if I hate it”! But no tears were shed, my friends all raved about the cut, and even my harshest critic – Rio, who else? – loved it! Whew.
Want to see what my David Mallett haircut looked like? Here’s an Instagram pic.
March 2014 Update: Needing a change, I decided to lob off five inches and get a version of the “fashion bob”. What I like about my stylist Richie was that he didn’t recommend having my hair angled too much (the fashion bob is shorter in the back, and longer in the front) and cut it the way he thought was best for me. Although I haven’t quite figured out how to style it on my own, I think it looks pretty darn good. Here’s an Instagram pic.
14 rue Notre-Dame des Victoires
2nd arrondissement // Métro: Bourse
Tél: 01 40 20 00 23
**I love my stylist Richie (who also speaks English) and for a great blow dry, Etienne is your man!
A Tip on Hair Tipping: Wondering what to tip when it comes to haircuts in Paris? Apparently, you shouldn’t feel like you have to tip 20% like in NYC. According to my Frenchie friends, 5 to 10% is perfectly acceptable and even considered generous. Personally, I feel more comfortable tipping around 10%. At the David Mallett salon, you can just ask the receptionist for a small envelope to put your tip in. Then, simply give it to them to hand over or walk back into the main salon room and deliver it yourself.