Varin Salon: The Best Cut & Color of My Life

Yann, Lauren (me) and Teresa after my hair experience
I have been having my hair colored and cut for as long as I can remember (OK, cut more) and I have usually found I have to go to two different salons to achieve the best results. Well that all changed yesterday.
I spent the better part of my day at Varin Salon on Madison Ave. across from the Dennis Basso store (I actually saw Dennis Basso helping customers in the store from my chair. When does that happen?).The salon itself is immaculate (no need for a Tabatha Salon takeover), well lit and even though the address could spell ‘Super Snooty’, the staff could not have been warmer or friendlier…and I mean everyone. Even the other customers seemed happy and friendly.
First I had a consultation with both Teresa (my colorist) and Yann Varin (the owner). I went in with an open mind. My hair was admittedly in a sad state when I walked in. I had over an inch of regrowth and was not liking my current hair style. So unless they suggested I go Ronald McDonald red or cut my hair Halle Barry short I was all game. I Varin-salon was even considering
bangs to hide my non-Botoxed forehead (don’t judge, I have Fashion Week this week to contend with where everyone judges).
Teresa decided to give me Balayage highlights which I have never tried before. I always get foils. What is Balayage you ask? I didn’t know either. Balayage is a hair coloring technique which emerged in Paris in the 70’s designed to create very natural-looking highlights which grow out without noticeable roots. Amen to that. Basically the highlights are painted on your hair. Now the process takes longer than foils (at least for my hair), but the results are very dramatic. My hair actually pops now. Watching Teresa paint my hair was like watching an artist.
When I met with Yann for my consultation he sat with a sketch pad and studied my face and asked questions about my lifestyle. I told him since I have a young son I am lucky if I spend 2 minutes on my hair. Normally I wash and go leaving my hair curly/wavy. I do blow it out on occasion (like for Fashion Week), but generally I like no-fuss hair. Yann came up with three sketches specifically for me. He told me he doesn’t like magazines because people will come in requesting haircuts all wrong for their lifestyle or face shape. I couldn’t agree more which is why I walked with no preconceived notions. One sketch was a very layered style with long side swept bangs which would look good curly or straight, another was with a very heavy long bang (which I was dying to try) and the last was an inverted bob. He left me to decide while my hair was being colored. Pressure. I hate such decisions.
After Olga gave me the best shampoo of my life (thank you), I was ready for Yann and still had not decided which cut I wanted. I really wanted the bangs, but knew I might not be able to commit to trims every 2 weeks so I went with the first option. Tons of layers and long side swept bangs. He first had me stand to cut my hair. Then when I sat I noticed him studying my hair and my face. I have never seen anyone cut my hair so laser focused. I knew to keep perfectly still and quiet. It was like watching Picasso. Then my hair was blown out and that is when I noticed the amazing color. This was going to be good.
This is about the time I started talking to Yann about his salon and story. He has had his own salon since 1999, but just moved to the Madison Avenue fancy digs this past July. He came to NYC from Normandie France to learn English, met his American wife and never left. His mother was a stylist in France so Yann comes by it naturally. All of the stylists in his salon are trained to cut and color the French way. Coming from a family of Farncophiles, I can appreciate this. Judging by the amazing hair I saw leaving the salon, I can say…clearly he is on to something.
After my blow dry he finished my hair, cutting a bit more here and there and texturizing it in a way I have never seen, I have to say, I was shocked by the end result. My hair was dare I say? Beautiful.
If you want an amazing and possibly life-changing hair experience, I urge you to check out Yarin Salon. I walked home with a spring in my step and have not stopped looking at my hair since. It’s sorta like meeting a new man.
Varin Salon
762 Madison Avenue (between 65th & 66th Sts.)
—Lauren Dimet Waters
FTC Disclosure: Complimentary treatment received for review.

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