Studio Cim Mahony

Studio Cim Mahony.jpg

Bredgade 4, 2 TV
1260 København K
T. +

Since we started making semi-annual trips to Denmark, I've been holding off on all visits to randomly researched hair salons in the States to get my hair properly cut and colored at Studio Cim Mahony. From what I learned following Emily Weiss' Instagram, she trusts her hair with only Cim Mahony himself and will fly from New York to Copenhagen just for an appointment. Now, if that's not a true testament to the man and his salon, I don't know what is!

Because it’s located in an upscale apartment, being a client here is akin to visiting the chicest person you can imagine and then having that person give you VIP service. Everything here is tastefully selected, from the unusual floral arrangements down to the teacup from which you're sipping some exotic tea.  It's Cim's ethos come to life. 

I prefer private hair salons because there's a certain level of attention provided that you can't find at the big-name salons. (In other words, it's not listed on Yelp.) There's a sense of calm and focus in this sort of environment. No crazy commotions. Your one stylist does it all, from greeting you at the door to shampooing to putting on the finishing touches. 

While Cim's services are privy only to an exclusive set, his team of highly trained and experienced experts are available to "everyone else". And they all seem to have the same mission: to create healthy and effortless hair that's meant to suit your face and lifestyle. I've seen a couple of different stylists in the salon before but was particularly happy with my recent experience with Sarah Kjærsgaard Sørensen. She has an anti-trendy philosophy in regards to hair, which is common amongst Danish hairdressers in general, but what I really appreciated was that she took her time to get to know my hair history and understood the difficulties I encountered in the past. European women, she explained, don't style their hair with heated tools as is done the U.S. so it's crucial to get the right cut where the mane of hair lays correctly on its own.

I'd banned myself from any trims or salon visits the past seven months, so my ends were raggedy and my old highlights looked brassy. When I came in, I had about five inches of black roots showing, but my color now looks like someone flipped the light switch on from within. Sarah started by weaving in babylights (super thin highlights) throughout my hair and lifted the color two shades up from its natural base for a subtle and soft effect. Then, she gave it a blunt, one-length cut all around so that it has more of a swingy-ness to it. The whole appointment took a surprising four hours from start to finish–and, yes, it was expensive–but, considering the amount of bad haircuts I've suffered in my life, the time and financial investment is totally worth it.

Here's a little Before/After pic:

*I added the waves myself with ghd's Creative Curl Wand.

*I added the waves myself with ghd's Creative Curl Wand.





Haircuts with Calista Sanderson at Andy LeCompte Salon

616 N Almont Drive

Anyone who knows me knows about my history with bad haircuts. I can't tell you how many times I've wailed to my best friend: "My hair is holding me back!!!" And her replying: "Agree." I have fallen victim to the news anchor haircut so much so that every picture of me in my twenties is essentially the same haircut.

Behold Exhibit A:

Because my hair is so thick, most stylists feel the need to "take out some weight" by adding a million layers or straight-up taking a razor to it. This style ends up being top heavy with stringy ends and results in what my friend Preston has once dubbed "octopus head" because the bottom layers kick out like octopus tentacles. (At one point, he suggested that I look into getting a weave as I grow out the layers. Yes, he was being completely serious.)

Having layers has been such a traumatizing experience that I now play it safe by asking for one-length chops. However, this proves to be problem too because my hair ends up feeling like there's a 20-pound cape on top of head. I need shape, but not layers. OK... How???

Finding a hair stylist you can trust is no easy task. As I was researching salons and stylists in L.A. on Instagram, I kept coming across the same trendy, choppy, ombré "beachwaves" look. I actually tried beachwaves in my hair for about a minute last summer and decided it was far too much work to achieve.

Needless to say, I'm an anti-trendy person. I'd rather subscribe to the style school of Christy Turlington and Stephanie Seymour than, say, Emily Ratajkowski. (I still wear Manolo Blahnik kitten-heeled mules, for example.) At the same time, I want to look "now" yet also "timeless." 

Googling "best hair salon l.a." led me to the Andy LeCompte Salon. I clicked on each stylist's profile and Calista Sanderson's instantly resonated with me. First of all, I was captivated by her slate-blue CÉLINE eyeglasses and chin-length bob. Secondly, this line is everything: "Her women's short haircuts are modern and youthful, and her long layered cuts grow out beautifully, maintaining lasting shape." The hitch? Her haircuts start at $300, which I mentally prepared myself to pay because I've learned the hard way that, especially with haircuts, you get what you pay for. (Believe me, you could easily spend this on a bad haircut because you'd need to get another one to fix it.)

Calista is a total maestro with her scissors. After an in-depth consultation and listening to my laundry list of hair woes, she suggested using Olivia Palermo's long bob as inspiration. She carefully snipped away the chunky length in the back and brought it up to my collarbone, which is right where the last of my old layers hit. Then, she cleaned up the ends and blow-dried my hair. She combed through to check the haircut and finished by combing my hair upwards and lightly snipping through, as it, fell to give it movement. My hair felt swingy and fresh when she was done. Calista also gave me some styling suggestions, like twisting the front pieces with a curling iron for some bend or trying a messy half-bun and creating wisps with my baby hairs. 

I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere with my hair. Finally.