A new year is always full of promises and hopes. We have wishes, dreams, and desires, all dear to our hearts. As one year has passed, so will another, and we all wish to experience the best year we have ever had. We start fresh and we make resolutions. We want to become a better version of ourselves from what we were and achieve personal goals.
To start the new year and to create a new “me,” I met one of the most sought-after celebrity hair stylists in Manhattan at his flagship salon on 58th Street, a few steps away from the Plaza Hotel.
Federico Calce is an institution in New York. The hair salon owner, originally from Milan, has cut the hair of some of the most famous celebrities and dignitaries in New York—or those visiting New York—because not only do Federico and his staff of international stylists operate at his flagship location and also at his Hair & Spa Salon at the Benjamin Hotel, but Federico Calce offers an unusual “24 Hour Beauty Service.”
Yes, a 24 Hour Beauty Service! Because New York is the city that never sleeps and many of his international business travelers simply do not have the time to make it into the salon during regular business hours.
In which case, elite hotels and clients may reach a member of his team via phone 24 hours a day, no matter the day or time, allowing them access to his full salon in the comfort of their own rooms.
They currently serve clients at Manhattan’s finest hotels such as the Baccarat Hotel, Waldorf Astoria, Mandarin Oriental, Essex House, and New York Palace Hotel, where they provide in-room styling, color, massages, nail care, and a variety of hair treatments. This service, lauded by members of royal families and the world’s famous celebrities, has earned them the Concierge’s Choice Beauty Award. No wonder Federico has made a name for himself in the city … his haircuts have become a signature service.
When I met Calce, he told me his goal is to have clients leave with self-confidence, feeling refreshed, and rejuvenated. To help a shy introvert bloom into a more confident self and to help the confident show off who they truly are. A true empowerment through the hair, using creativity to achieve personal enhancements—and sometimes true transformations—to complement their clothing and physical features, and achieve optimal style. Because style is indeed important to Federico, who even worked a few years (in a previous life almost) as artistic director at Bergdorf Goodman.
Shortly after opening his first salon on the Upper East Side in 1989, he also forayed into styling hair at fashion shows for the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Valentino, and quickly moved onto the main stages of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and Olympus Fashion Week. Today he still covers Fashion Weeks and enjoys it.
I certainly felt very pampered during my make over session. After a few hours (… and a few great cappuccinos) of having him and also some members of his warm team all for myself, I went from my regular daily look of straight hair to a complete different look.
A warm chocolate hair color, with beautiful and subtle highlights, and curly hair. A new hair style and color, all from organic products coming from Italy, which, in addition to a complete professional makeup session, made me look like a brand new woman.
A lovely and fun experience that I recommend wherever you are, and not only for those who are in New York. But the key here is to embrace yourself and to take care of yourself, even if you do it by yourself at home, and start something new for this new year!
For our readers who may not have the opportunity to reach out to Federico, he kindly answered a few questions. So here is to a beautiful new 2016 and to a beautiful new you!
Sibylle Eschapasse: What should be our resolutions for our hair in the New Year?
Federico Calce: Women need to embrace their hair. I’m not saying to let it go and turn into a gray mop but work with what you have. There is no reason to look at other women on the street and wish you had their curls or their straight hair. Embrace what you have and flaunt it with a little extra help from us. It is important for the hair to reflect who you are.
Ms. Eschapasse: What’s the best daily routine you can have for your hair?
Mr. Calce: Do not shampoo it every day. Less is more in most cases and for the hair it definitely applies. To keep it soft, I highly recommend investing in a mason brush and using it throughout the day. Brushing the hair 100 times or more helps close the cuticle of the hair gently, the same way an iron would but without the heat. Your hair will become stronger and shinier.
Ms. Eschapasse: What do you recommend so that our hair can look better?
Mr. Calce A great shampoo and conditioner is vital. In our salon we have created our own line of shampoos and conditioners while also carrying the shampoos and conditioners from our treatments. Milbon is a Japanese company that we have been using for years, and their Nue Due line is exceptional and comes in three different types for coarse, normal, and fine hair. It is one of the best products we have ever recommended to our clients.
A great tip to keep your hair looking shiny is to have a glaze done every once in a while. A glaze is a semi-permanent color and sits atop the hair for about 24 washes. It creates a TON of extra shine without the heaviness of styling products. Our stylists are trained to assess the color of your hair and apply the perfect mixture to give that long lasting red-carpet look.
Ms. Eschapasse: What do you recommend to improve the quality of our hair?
Mr. Calce: To find the perfect shampoo and conditioner for your hair, but also the perfect schedule. You don’t want to over-wash too frequently and strip the hair of its natural oils. This leads to long-term problems that are very expensive and difficult to fix. For those who color their hair, I would suggest using organic hair dyes such as the ones that we use at my salon on 58th Street. These dyes are less harsh and lead to less breakage, vastly improving the quality of color-treated hair.
Ms. Eschapasse: Should we do something different at winter time, the same way we change our routine for summer?
Mr. Calce: It depends on each person’s hair. With the winter New York is experiencing now, don’t change a thing from your summer routine. If you go up to northern Canada bring a lot of moisturizing shampoos and conditioners. I highly suggest investing in a good keratin treatment to tame the frizziness caused by the cold dry air outside and the hot dry air of heaters indoors. If not a keratin treatment, a good control balm to use in the hair pre-blow drying is a must.
Ms. Eschapasse: What are the best colors in 2016? What are the trends? What’s hot and what’s outdated?
Mr. Calce: The cool blondes are making a breakthrough. Blondes with red and yellow undertones are moving away from fashion. We are seeing more blue and steel undertones. It gives a very strong appearance to the hair, creating a dramatic look. The ombre is really out of style no matter how well it is done. We are seeing much more balayage in the hair now. That allows a sort of freedom for colorists to use multiple tones in the hair, to create a multidimensional look. Platinum blonde is outdated. But a cool blonde with steely streaks is very in.
Ms. Eschapasse: What are the best colors for winter?
Mr. Calce: Winter is usually a cold time of year and people’s faces are a little paler than usual. So why not try a few balayage highlights? Something soft to just brighten up the hair a bit. For brunettes something two tones lighter than their natural will bring out the glow in their skin while looking very natural.
Ms. Eschapasse: Any additional advice if any you would like to share with our readers?
Mr. Calce: Get a great haircut. You can have amazing color but without an easy-to-do at-home haircut, you’ll never be able to flaunt it like when you walked out of the salon.
Sibylle’s “Style Diary” is a column that explores style from the perspective of choices, and what that means for different people, with personal advice from some of the most stylish people in New York.
Sibylle Eschapasse is from Paris and now lives in Manhattan. She is a journalist and a contributing writer to various publications. Sibylle is also the author of a children’s book, “Argy Boy!: A New York Dog Tale.” She may be reached at Sibylle.Eschapasse@gmail.com