UPDATE! Hi all, I just went to Gio again for my opti.smooth retouch and I wanted to let everyone know how it went. I initially had opti.smooth done about 2 years ago by Gio. Fantastic. Then I got my first retouch done at another salon (J christopher) one year ago bc they were really cheap. But you get what you pay for. Seriously. He left out a few chunks of hair that I had to straighten daily (defeats the purpose of straightening!). I was livid. No one at that salon cared. So, another year passes and it's time for my re-touch. I didn't even hesitate about going back to Gio. I will NEVER go anywhere else for opti. My hair is PERFECTLY straight and smooth. I literally let my hair air dry and it looks great! No damage. Gio puts so much time and care into every strand. Trust me. I have something to compare it to! She does not miss a piece!!! And I really like everyone in the salon. They're cool. Not pretentious. very accommodating. I'll be going back in another 10-12 months for sure. PS- she fixed the mistakes that they made at that stupid other salon that I've been living with for year. If you're doing opti.smooth, do NOT consider another salon. Gio does opti.smooth's all the time (another woman was leaving after her opti.smooth when I was coming in) so she has the experience. She's so sweet too and will happily answer any questions you have. I'm happy to answer questions too - from a non-hairdresser/expert perspective if you're feeling nervous. I've sent one co-worker and one friend to Gio for opti.smooth (one cold and one hot process) and they've both been as happy as me. Hi everybody, about a month ago, I had the Opti smooth hair straightening (the thermal smoothing) at Gio...and I couldn't be happier!!! I had wavy hair with tons of frizz, now I can leave the house without any product or styling and look half way decent! IT's not perfect (the ends still have some body- but I didn't want stick straight hair and that's why I didn't do japanese straightening). My hair was "virgin" - no other chemical processes or coloring in years, so it took to the process very well. The only thing is you cant shower for three days (so do it on a thursday night that way you can shower before you go to work monday morning). I've gotten tons of compliments and I truly couldn't be happier!!! It's expensive ($400 at Gio Salon in NYC) but worth every penny! I'm very cheap cheap cheap, but again I'd do this again in a heartbeat. I can't believe how soft and manageable my hair is now. If you're considering and have any questions, let me know. I did so much research before hand because I was SOOOO nervous (I've never done any straightening or chemical processes before) but I know I chose the right process. For me, japanese straightening makes your hair look damaged and too stick straight, BKT brazilian straightening uses either formaldehyde or ether, or I don't want to breath in either! So opti.smooth was the right pick for me, but everyone's hair is different!! Just PLEASE MAKE SURE you have an experienced hair dresser that has been doing the process for years and has regular clients that get it done (you can even ask for a client reference if you want). I went in for a complimentary consultation with Gio before hand and she answered all of my questions and made me feel more at ease. Bottom line, get an experienced stylist and be UPFRONT about anything that could affect the process (any meds that you take, any highlighting, henna, coloring, if you swim a lot, if you're in the sun everyday, etc). GIO is a great salon to do it at! (P.s. you can ask for a first time client discount!) Thanks! :o)
Before meeting up with the lovely Our Hen House ladies for an interview, we stopped by Sacred Chow in New York’s West Village for a bite to eat. Earlier that day, we had eaten at V-Note so we weren’t very hungry; but we also didn’t want to waste the opportunity to check out an institution like Sacred Chow. It’s quite a skinny little space they have, and you can’t see the kitchen space at all unless you walk to the back of the restaurant. There were two other diners when we walked in and several more showed up shortly after we sat down. Their menu is different than standard restaurant offerings. They have tapas (divided between plant protein plates and complex carb plates), heros (sandwiches also known as subs or hoagies in our part of the country), salads, beverages, and desserts. I had heard about the food from my friend Lauren, so I knew I had to at least try some tapas to get the full experience. Jim and I decided on the orange blackstrap barbequed seitan with spicy onions, the root vegetable latkas with Indonesian date butter, and cold sliced ginger soba noodles with sweet and spicy peanut sauce. Rebecca ordered a 4 Seasons salad, which had greens, beets, carrots, apple, strips of yuba, and a Dijon vinaigrette (which was technically a small and quite large). She also ordered the Very Berry smoothie with apple juice. Needless to say, we ended up with some spicy vittles! The barbequed seitan had a thick and tangy sauce that just lingered on my tongue until I took a bite of latka, which balanced out the spice. The ginger on the soba noodles was just right for me, but Jim was already stuffed and didn’t care so much for the spice at that point. Rebecca loved the smoothie and snorfled down the whole thing in just a short bit of time (and she’s one of those slow eaters). We had enough left over to wrap up and take home with us. I really liked being able to share my food this way, family style; it offers a more simple alternative to a structured restaurant environment and the food is just as tasty. I so wanted to get some of their poundcake or velvet triple chocolate brownie to go—but I was stuffed already and didn’t want to bulk up anymore for our interview. I was so satisfied, in fact, that I really didn’t need any dessert at all and was fine until we ate breakfast the next day. I would highly recommend Sacred Chow. It’s inexpensive, centrally located in the Village, and has a diverse menu and fantastic food.
No appointments are needed because there are enough women there to take you without too much trouble. Yes, there can be slightly extended wait times during the peak days and times but they're not bad enough to warrant creating an appointment system. They open every day and have long hours. After you find street parking (which may take a while), just walk right in and head to the back where one of the women will wash your hair with some sort of wonder-shampoo and conditioner. Feel free to bring your own shampoo/conditioner but it'll cost you a few extra dollars. After the wash ritual, someone else will set your hair in the magnetic rollers and sit you under one of their VERY HOT driers. A word of warning for those who are intolerant to the heat...don't be afraid to ask to turn it down a couple notches because you will be uncomfortable the entire time and that is no fun at all. Grab a magazine or dig for the book you brought with you and hunker down for the next 45 minutes to an hour. I would recommend checking the dryness of your hair to make sure that it's completely dry when the timer is near its end because there is nothing worse than sitting under the drier, thinking that you're all dry and then when the stylist gets you 10-15 minutes after the timer has ended, she sits you back under the drier for another 20 minutes. When you're finally dry, be prepared for yet another hot blast where the stylist blows out your curls and roots. Yes, you'll want to cry when the heat is on your scalp but your hair will look so good. :) If you want a doobie (hair wrap), have your pack of bobby pins ready for your stylist to use as she works her wizardry of wrapping your hair around your head. If you forgot to bring hair pins, they'll use their own but that will cost you a little more but not much. Oh what I would give to be able to go to Lila's every week! Why don't they have these kind of salons on the west coast??? Lila's is one of the top local spots I miss the most about NY (yes, I'm easy to please). It's cheap enough to go every week if you have the time as it costs no more than $25-$30. And that is after tips...and please do tip the women.