Following my first Balayage hair service at Maurice Jeffery Salon in East Greenwich, I would now take the advice of owner and hair stylist Maurice LaPlante any day as far as these locks are concerned. One of the most professional and personable hair stylists that I’ve met in my long (and short) hair history, his experience in the hairstyling industry goes back 45 years. He started cutting hair at the ripe old age of twelve after receiving one too many subpar haircuts from his father and began trimming his brother’s hair.
Over the course of his extensive career, he’s even had the pleasure of styling hair for celebrities stopping through the state, including Debra Messing. When the time was right for him to open a new salon, the East Greenwich location was decidedly on the perfect track, both literally and figuratively. Once the town’s historic Duke Street train station, the building has been completely restored and outfitted into a full-service salon. Maurice and his wife Kristin have created an atmosphere balancing the building’s charming history with a chic modern twist.
Maurice’s styling chair is in the station’s former ticketing booth, which was where I’d receive my one-way ticket to natural-looking-blondeville. Prior to the Balayage service, he examined my hair and suggested we go with warmer tones and incorporate lowlights to complement my fair skin. Luckily I’d just had an über refreshing 30-minute facial from the salon’s resident esthetician, Dona Ferrante, which brought my skin tone up a few shades from check-my-pulse pale to fair. Since I’d be on the other side of 30 this year, I was saying bye-bye to long hours spent in the sun and hello to SPF 75. I’d spent almost two decades as a dye-hard blond, battling my roots with bleach and highlights. Maybe it was time I met Mother Nature halfway-ish.
“Balayage,” meaning to “sweep or paint” in French, is a trend that has actually been around for quite some time, Maurice explained. Originating in 1970s Paris, Balayage eventually made its way to the states. Whereas highlights lighten individual strips of hair and normally require foils, the Balayage technique involves “painting’’ broader strokes of hair, sans foils, to achieve a more natural look. Therefore it’s a less time-consuming process. Plus, you can go multiple weeks longer between retouches than highlights allow. For all of the wonderful contributions they’ve made to the world, including champagne, anything confit ever and now this revived hair coloring technique that saves both time and money, “Vive La France,” I say.
Out of the many high-quality hair products used during the service including Olaplex (a moisturizing must for dye-hard blonds), I particularly liked the Pai-Shau shampoo and conditioner line. Using a mix of different teas, Pai-Shau products are inspired by an ancient Vietnamese bathing ritual using tea leaves. In addition to introducing me to a new favorite hair care line, Maurice also lent me some golden hair care advice, suggesting I set the flatiron to a lower heat and go over each piece a couple of times, rather than a damaging high heat sizzle. When it was time for the big reveal, I popped my specs on and loved my new warm caramel color. Maurice LaPlante’s hairstyling skills were shear genius.
Maurice Jeffery Salon
146 Duke Street, East Greenwich