In the middle of summer, with humidity and flash rain storms threatening any attempt at a hairstyle, Toka Salon became my savor.
I’m always skeptical about blowouts due to my naturally wavy hair– give it five minutes, and I’ll start to look like Shirley Temple, and not in a cute way– but the Midtown East salon and day spa seemed intriguing. With its sleek interiors and stylish design, maybe they could wrangle my long mess of a head.
The salon immediately is impressive upon entering. Take the discreet elevator up to the fifth floor, right below Frederic Fekkai, on Madison Avenue, and be transported into a world of white floors, black angular chairs, and red decor accents; it feels more like a music video set, one with the glimmer of a surprise celebrity or fashion icon visit just moments away.
Hair is shampooed then conditioned, with a brief head massage thrown in, before being welcomed to the swivel styling chair, your throne for the next 30 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the length and volume of your natural hair. Customers also had the selection of ice water and lemon or coffee to sip while relaxing during the blowout.
Toka, both a noun and a verb in Turkish, means the art of connecting, as well as a physical connection– bobby pin or hair tie, perhaps. My stylist did both as I learned about her commute and she complimented my long mane, tying it higher in a large clip to lovingly blow dry each strand before adding a slight curve at the tips, mimicking my own pre-styling curl.
The salon offers a variety of additional services, including cut and styling, dying, threading, and waxing. A special ventilation room separates the main salon from Keratin treatment customers as to curb possible fumes or allergies. Toka Salon also caters to a variety of customers, offering another room for those with religious backgrounds to not show their hair in public.
My blowout, much to my surprise and to many strangers’ compliments, lasted four days even with the July humidity. Finally it seemed I had found the haven for frizz-free hair, and I can’t wait to book another appointment. There is no better way to beat the heat in style, after all.
For more information on Toka Salon, visit tokamadison.com or @toka_madison on Instagram.