2020, the year haircuts felt illicit. Those words rang in my head as I walked through the doors of the Mark Ryan Salon in New York City, mid-pandemic, but when the case numbers were still well below one percent in early fall. After all, it had been nearly 10 months since my last professional cut. Before COVID, I’d postponed an appointment due to a busy schedule. It was time.
A bit of background about Mark DeBolt and Ryan Trygstad. Ryan has been doing Kelly Ripa’s hair for 17 years (among other celebs). Mark’s clients include Naomi Watts. If I was going to dip my toe back in the water, I knew I’d be in good hands.
Mark was up first. An expert colorist, he blessed me with a cinnamon ‘do—my first-ever experience as a redhead. But when it came time for the cut, Ryan did something that blew my mind: He asked me to pull up my camera roll or Instagram account.
“Show me a photo where you loved your hair.” (I scrolled back to my friend Harley’s summer wedding last year.)