Ooh la la! | AspenTimes.com

Ooh la la!

Aspen truly is a mecca for hair design, as evidenced by the world-class salons around town. Another top hairdresser recently relocated here from Georgia ” the international Pascal Bensimon. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, Bensimon was raised in Israel and France, where he began his career in hair design. He next moved to the States, living first in New York City and then Atlanta, where he developed an extensive clientele base from around the country. Following an initial visit to Aspen this past spring, Bensimon immediately fell in love with the mountains and chose to set up shop downtown.

A grand-opening soiree for Pascal Bensimon Haute Coiffure took place on Friday, Dec. 5, at his brand-new salon on Hyman Avenue. Hosted in part by friend and client Rose Anne Leiner, the reception served as a way to invite the public to the newly remodeled space.

Musicians performed on string instruments. Hors d’oeuvres were served by neighboring restaurant Syzygy as guests sauntered around the salon.

Infused with rich reds and festooned with billowy fabric draped from the ceiling, along with vases of roses and potted poinsettias placed around the rooms, many guests agreed that the salon has a bold yet warm ambience.

In a departure from the traditional swivel seat, Bensimon clients will have their hair cut in armchairs. Reclining leather tables are used to wash customers’ hair. “I’m down for the lie-down haircut,” said Jen Currie as she glanced around the room at the chaise lounges and other plush accoutrements.

Makeup artist Cecilia Anthony commented on the overall decor. “Pascal clearly has excellent taste and the salon turned out beautifully. I think women want to feel luxurious when they go to the hairdresser, and they certainly will here.”

Facialist Brenna Mitchell offered complimentary mini-facials at the opening, since she will work for Bensimon in addition to her full-time commitments at Courtyard Cosmetique. “He’s my boy,” she exclaimed. “I’m very happy to have him here.”

Bensimon’s assistant, Crystal Rich, also recently moved from the South to work as his apprentice. “I feel so fortunate to have been given this opportunity to travel with Pascal and assist him with his creation,” she said.

Though the price of a haircut by Bensimon will be on the expensive side, his friends and associates rave that he represents the finer end of the spectrum. “He pampers everyone from A to Z, which comes at a premium,” said cosmetic chemist Helene Lawless. “It’s not for everyone.”

The salon plans to cater to both women and men.

“A haircut here costs more than my rent, so I probably won’t be able to afford it,” said local chef Adam Gordon.

Cakey Catts countered Gordon’s statement, noting, “This is the only place I’ll ever get my hair cut. It’s fabulous here.”

Local photographer Paul Conrad was treated to an impromptu haircut and facial near the end of the evening. As Conrad reclined on the shower bed, outstretched his arms for a hand massage, closed his eyes for a facial and leaned his head into the sink basin for a hair wash, he chuckled to himself.

“Why me?” he asked.

“Because it’s time,” retorted Mitchell as she lathered his face with a mask cream. After his multifaceted makeover, Conrad emerged a polished man. “I feel like a new person,” he proclaimed as he left the salon.

In addition to operating a full-service salon, Bensimon plans to conduct seminars in which he’ll teach the French hair-coloring technique “balayage” to his students.

To contact May to send info, insight or invites, e-mail: allthewaymaymay@hotmail.com

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