The bowl of quarters on the front counter of Parlor Hair Studio says it all. Clients at this downtown Montclair salon get caring treatment for their hair and skin, and also for realities – like parking. There’s not much that will take away the relaxation of a scalp massage before your haircut faster than a parking ticket, and the staff at Parlor want the calm of your visit to last. And if my visit to Parlor is any indication, that’s a calm worth preserving.
Rosemary, one of the owners, is sunshine personified. She greeted me with a smile and immediately praised Erica, my assigned stylist. “She knows just what to do with your thick, wavy hair!” Oh, thank goodness. As I sat down with Erica, I felt at ease because she told me what SHE noticed first, and then asked for clarification. Sometimes I’ve felt like stylists just nodded and agreed with me, but what do I know? After giving Erica full permission to do what she liked with my hair, Hannah led me over to the shampoo station.
She stopped me from leaning back into the sink and explained that first there is a complimentary scalp massage. Oh boy was it relaxing. And really, the shampooing was just more of the same delightful massaging – I was happily breathing in the Aveda fragrances and could have stayed right there the rest of the afternoon. Lovely.
Returning to Erica’s chair, I sat down ready for my blow out. Erica offered me a magazine, and because this was a special event, I was offered a glass of prosecco or wine*. I declined both; I’m not much of a magazine reader, and I was worried that if I started with prosecco at 4 pm, I’d never make it to the party later! (I eventually took a small glass…very nice!)
Surprisingly, Erica didn’t take as long as I expected to blow-out my head of hair. Usually it’s been about an hour (I have a lot of hair), but we were done well before that AND I got a red hair extension* in honor of our Scary Mommy Book Bash. They are made from real hair, and attached with a clip. They’ll stay in for up to three months, depending on wear and tear. But you can have it taken out anytime with a short visit back to Parlor. I love it, and intend to keep it in as long as it will have me.
Erica did a great job, and she gave me some lovely waves that even made my grey hairs look chic. Between the pampering and the prosecco, I felt like I had been on a vacation!
As I waited for my friends to have their hair blown-out, I checked out the upstairs lounge. Rosemary and Erica explained that clients can choose to do their own hair after a cut (which can sometimes lower the price), and those having color or curls setting can wait upstairs for more privacy. There were magazines, comfy seating, a coffee machine, and a funky vibe.
Something else clients can do to pass the time with color or curlers is admire the art on display at Parlor. When I went, an artist named Erica Resnick was on display. Whenever Parlor changes the art on its walls (and it’s for sale!), they host a Sunday wine and cheese reception to celebrate.
Take a look at my slideshow for more views of the space and service I received at the hands of Erica, Hannah, Rosemary and the entire, friendly staff. Until the end of May, they are offering 10% off all services in honor of Mother’s Day. Stop in – maybe I’ll see you there!