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.


On Short Hair by Joan Juliet Buck

'm borrowing this piece from Joan Juliet Buck, who originally wrote it for American Vogue in 1988. I found it by way of a mention on Into the Gloss. While I am trying to grow my hair long, I can't help but think about the day when I can lop it off and feel fresh and new. I was never one to be afraid of starting over. After all, it's just hair. It'll grow back.

Hair is time.

Women with short hair always look as if they have somewhere else to go. Women with long hair tend to look as if they belong where they are, especially in California. Short hair takes a short time. Long hair takes a long time. Long hair moves faster than short hair. Long hair tells men that you are all woman, or a real woman, or at the very least a girl. Short hair always makes them wonder. Short hair makes children ask each other --usually at the school-yard gate, when parents are late-- "Are you a boy or girl?" Men married to women with short hair should not have affairs with women who have long hair kept up with many little pins and combs. Once you have cut your hair you have to remember to wear lipstick, but you can put away the brush, elastics, and the black barrettes in the form of shiny leaves with rhinestone hearts. When you cut your hair you lose a nose and gain a neck. A neck is generally better than a nose. It does not need to be powdered, except on extreme occasions. It does, however, need to be washed more often.

With short hair you suddenly dislike the month of March, when the wind blows down the back of your neck. With short hair you begin to crave pearl necklaces, long earrings, and a variety of sunglasses. And you brush your teeth more often. Short hair removes obvious femininity and replaces it with style. When it starts growing out a little and losing its style, you have to wear sunglasses until you can get it to the hairdresser. That's why you need a variety. Short hair makes you aware of subtraction as style. You can no longer wear puffed sleeves or ruffles; the neat is suddenly preferable to the fussy. You eye the tweezers instead of the blusher. What else can you take away? You can't hide behind short hair. Your nape is exposed. Men put their hands around your neck instead of stroking your long locks. You can only pray they have friendly intentions. The backs of your ears show, your jaw line is clear to anyone watching, and you realize --perhaps for the first time-- how wide the expanse of skin is between cheekbone and ear.

You may look a little androgynous, a little unfinished, a little bare. You will look elegant, as short hair requires you to keep your weight slightly below acceptable levels. However, the first time you wear a bathing suit with short hair, you will feel exceptionally naked. People who used to look straight at you will love you in profile. Short hair makes others think you have good bones, determination, and an agenda. The shape of your skull is commented on, so are its contents. They can pick you out in a crowd, and you can be recognized from behind, which can be good or bad. But your face is no longer a flat screen surrounded by a curtain: the world sees you in three dimensions.

Chase to the cut.

Haircuts with Dean Holcombe at Cutler Salon

47 West 57th Street near Avenue of the Americas
2nd Floor


465 West Broadway bet. West Houston and Prince Streets

Dean Holcombe is the Creative Director at Cutler Salon. When you get a haircut with Dean, you never walk out feeling ho-hum. You feel a difference. You feel like a whole new woman. I walked out of the salon this afternoon feeling very va-va-voom! (A far cry from THIS disaster which made me feel like a news anchor from Milwaukee. I shall withhold the name of the salon and stylist who butchered my hair.) You can find him flitting between both the uptown location and the one in SoHo, so catch him wherever you can! 

My hair was first graced with his artistry in the spring of 2008. I had just returned from Paris Fashion Week and suddenly had this idea to cut my hair into a chic graduated bob. I remember calling Cutler Salon and saying, "Hi, I'd like to cut about eight to ten inches off my hair. Which stylist could I trust to do this?" The voice on the other end told me, "Dean. He is a master." I was dazzled. It was such a transformative cut. (Click here to see it.) The amazing thing was that I left it alone for a good three months and it grew out beautifully.

Now, I must admit, there have been times when I've been led astray, but that's mostly because a haircut with Dean is an investment of  $125, and not because I have, at any time, been unhappy with his work. It's possible to find a great stylist that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, but I haven't had much luck there. The consequence is that I end up with a mediocre cut—or worse! Anyway, lesson learned: If you find a stylist that's a keeper, do yourself a favor and stick with him.


The Curse of the Bad Haircut

Found a video of myself obsessing over a bad haircut from months ago

"I know what to get you for Christmas," said my boyfriend last week, "But it's not very romantic." 

Oh boy.

"What is it?" I asked.

"Well, you've been talking about how much you've been wanting a haircut, so..."

I started shrieking with excitement before he could even finish.

Back in February, I got a terrible haircut, as shown above. It was awful. It was too short, too thinned out, too lopsided, and too "news anchor". It was the result of a deal I found on for an expensive salon uptown. Bad idea. I've been trying to grow it out for the past eight months. The thing about a bad haircut is that it's still a bad haircut even when you're growing it out. A bad haircut is cured only by a good haircut.

"It is romantic! It is romantic!" I said, tugging at his arm, "It's so thoughtful! Thank you!"

I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. Or talking about it, for that matter. My appointment is scheduled for tomorrow morning at Cutler Salon.

"I think they may have to cut a few inches here to even it out," I explained to him last night on the sofa. I held up a chunk of hair and turned my fingers into an imaginary pair of scissors to demonstrate. Like most guys, I knew he preferred long hair. 

"Will you still find me attractive?" I asked, in all seriousness.

"Of course," he said, kissing me on the cheek, "I just want you to be happy."

I smiled. He's the best.

"The only way that I would find you less attractive..."

My smile dropped.

"...Is if you cut your hair like Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables."

Is he serious? I think he's actually being serious.

"You mean, like, if I specifically asked the stylist to chop off locks of my hair with a dull razor and make it as uneven as possible?"

He nodded.

"That is not gonna happen!"

Oh God, if that does end up happening, I Dreamed A Dream should be my theme song. It just better not happen.

To see how my haircut turned out, click here.