Gavert Atelier: Sherry Ratay & Mika Fowler

First off, I should really be writing fifty times:

I am not a hairdresser.

Because that’s what got me to Gavert Atelier in the capable hands of master colorist Sherry Ratay. Sherry is a what I would call a “hair psychologist” in addition to being a colorist. She analyzes your whole being and asks all about you when wanting to know your color needs. When I told her that I firmly believe that Hairdresser Knows Best (I told her: “Do what you need to do”), her eyes lit up. And on Sherry, that’s a beautiful thing, because she’s a knockout.

About me: I’m a natural redhead, but I was in denial. Meaning, I still thought I was a redhead. But Los Angeles was doing a number on my hair. As I am often writing about skin: we live in a desert but we forget this little fact! My red had faded to blonde and I could not accept this. Second, my red was not only fading to blonde, I now have a ton of grey and I have big white streak at my temple. Ouch. The color boost I had gotten back in Boston a few months ago was already gone and although I’ve been here nine years now, I still don’t have a regular hairdresser. Which means I’ve been coloring my own hair. And I have a lot of hair. Cringe. This was apparent to Sherry but I fessed up almost immediately. I told her she could make it “as red as you want.” That’s when she got really excited. “Reds are my very favorite,” said she. Boy was I in luck! Sherry flies in once a month to see clients from her salon in Orlando, and also teaches master coloring technique at hair shows around the country. I was in the hands of a pro.

(I am not a hairdresser.)

In her deft hands, she brought the blonde back down to red and informed me that yes, “You are a blonde.” Denial! When I was having one of two extremely heavenly shampoos, I asked how the color was, and the lovely assistant replied, “Precious.” That just about made my day.

After my color, I was brought to Mika Fowler, whose specialty is the dry cut: she blew dry my hair first with a little product and a brush to gently style and see where the natural fall was. Like Sherry, Mika questions about your lifestyle, what you do with your hair, what you like, what your needs and wants are. She assured me that she listens. I believed her! What struck me about Mika (aside from her beauty and sense of personal style) were her eyes. When she is cutting your hair, precision is key. (If you have seen the Vidal Sassoon documentary, you will know what I mean.) She makes very small movements, and to very great effect.

Gavert Atelier is a perfectly luxurious salon-you can sip on iced coffee or champagne while you sit under the dryer and the music is kept at the perfect volume. I used to frequent a great salon but the din was terrible which made for an uncomfortable experience.  Gavert Atelier’s high ceilings, natural light and mirrors are masterfully laid out, with all of the elements of salon design are taken into consideration for a perfect visit.

(I am not a hairdresser.)

Donna Lethal

About Donna Lethal

Donna Lethal is the author of "Milk of Amnesia" and writes for her own blog (Lethal Dose), Hair Hall of Fame, Dowager Quarterly, Find A Death, & the Valhalla Cemetery chapter in "Weird Hollywood." A native of Lowell, Mass., she's lived in Boston, NY and London before settling here. When not writing, she's hiking, soaking in a Korean salt room or in the high desert with her pit bull.
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