Friday, August 21, 2009

FREE: (helmet) haircut @ Bumble & Bumble NYC

Does it pass the test?


Bumble Razor Bob (4 min version, more hair action)
The above, shorter, 2-min version also appears on the tikit on Trial page

Inside Bumble & Bumble


WITH HAIRCUTS in NYC ranging anywhere in price from $5.50 (yes I did see a sign somewhere and it said men AND women) to $250, a free NY 'do is worth its weight in overgrown bangs.

Bumble Model Project
is a hip salon in the hipper-than-thou Meatpacking district with a 'university' that teaches experienced hairdressers from all over the country their signature 'razor bob' - a groovy haircut done with a traditional razor instead of scissors. Rather than use mannequins and wigs, they solicit willing guinea piglets form the freebie-lovin' public to be models, who thus get done for free. Super cheap and choosy if you're willing to give up your beloved Mamas, Papas and failed hippie look!

Why a razor? It's supposed to 'take off the weight, give more movement and texture', said my stylist of the day, Jessica (Jodie) Anderson.

Looking like she stepped right out of Sex in City, while I looked like I shuffled in from Celibacy in the Suburbs, Jessica was excited about returning to work the next day at Salon Red in Atlanta armed with her new secret styin' weapon.

Since I was just in hotter'n'hell Hotlanta on a speaking tour, I could have used a short haircut while there. You have to have enough hair to make it worth a bumble student's while, and I had to wait three months looking like cousin IT before I qualified. The first time it was cut really well by Jeff Stump, a young stylist from Costa Mesa.

I was also anxious to see if this cut would be a good antidote to "helmet hair". I told them last time, bike riders wanting a good anti-'helmet head' cut are an untapped market. The only problem is that the majority of cyclists are insanely cheap, never mind the choosy, so they'd never make any money on them.

A couple of instructors came by to make sure the razor was safely loaded, and that my 'bangage' (what a word) was falling to the ground the way it should.

Like many salons, Bumble make a lot of money on their branded hair potions and lotions. I looked at the ingredients, and being chemically literate due to childhood allergies to parabens and benzoates, noted that it was fairly standard stuff. If you don't have a problem with formaldehyde releasers and other questionable preservatives, go for it.

A lot of this 'product' was used on my hair, and since I'm super cheap'n'choosy I washed it all out and opted for what Jessica called 'your own product - NY grit, oil, grime, bit of dandruff thrown in for good measure ...' - now all we gotta do is stick it in a minimalist looking concrete bottle with a NY manhole cover for a lid and we got it made ...

The result? Take a look. It actually works really well for helmet hair!

I should mention I consider this excursion part of my ongoing tikit on Trial experiment in NYC. After being told on the phone "we don't have room for your folding bike" it turns out there was space to swing several cats end on end - the salon is cavernous and there is an enormous roof deck overlooking the Hudson. Proving that the convenience of folding bikes is not even on the radar of non-bicyclists. Moral: Just Show Up On It.

Bumble Model Project website

Jessica (Jodie) from Salon Red, Decatur, Atlanta, where haircuts appear to start at a very un-New York price of $35. Ask for her and her razor by (name).

That's the tool of the Bumble trade ...

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