Apr 3, 2006

It's not easy being blonde

Oh, the sacrifices one must make to be a New York Blonde.
"Trust me, it takes a lot of money and a lot of effort to have hair that appears so effortlessly beautiful," said Kathleen Flynn-Hui, a senior colorist at Salon AKS on Fifth Avenue and author of "Beyond the Blonde," a gossipy roman à clef set in a Madison Avenue salon. In her opinion, a New York Blonde's hair is her best accessory. "It looks expensive and it definitely turns heads," she said.

At Manhattan's haute salons, highlights generally start at $200 and soar into the stratosphere upward of $500 without tips, depending on factors like the length of one's hair, its color (lightening dirty blond hair is less pricey than transforming chestnut), the processes required and the star power of the colorist. By contrast, according to a study published in American Salon, a trade magazine, in 2004 the national average that American women paid for standard highlights was $61 to $71.


The price of being a New York Blonde is also measured in time.

"I think the really chic ones are in the salon every two weeks, because your roots start growing out the minute you leave the salon," Ms. Sykes said. "The girls who look good are there every four weeks, and the ones who don't look so good are there every two months."

But even if a salon appointment is every six weeks, the effort required to constantly look this beautiful can be exhausting.

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